The latest YouTube “new” feature that users can test, though it’s not widely available, is “Smart downloads” for the Android app. 

Automatically download videos when your Android device is connected to Wi-Fi.

This capability works to automatically download 20 videos every week when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. Offline content will appear in the Downloads page (of the “Library” tab).

The feature is nearly identical to YouTube Music’s and is useful for those that have limited data plans or are regularly in areas with poor/no cellular coverage. The algorithm responsible for deciding what’s downloaded is quite good in YouTube Music’s case and that hopefully translates over to videos.

Note: Users with less available phone storage will get notified that they need to take extra steps for Smart downloads to continue. This feature works on the latest version of Android.

YouTube has curiously decided to limit who can test Smart downloads. Unlike past “experimental new features” found at youtube.com/new, this one is only appearing for some users (in Europe) and we’ve yet to encounter it (stateside). Most users are only seeing the “Picture-in-picture on iOS” test.

If available for your account, you might have seen it advertised in the Home food. On mobile, you can quickly opt-in from the account avatar > Settings > Try new features.

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Thanks Sir Henry

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com