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YouTube offline now lets you pick a time to download videos

Google rolled out the ability to take YouTube videos offline in India in 2014, and the search giant is now adding a Smart Offline feature that makes it easier than ever to download videos. Cellular networks in the country offer reduced data rates for late night hours (usually between 3AM and 5AM), and you can now take advantage of the savings by scheduling videos for download during off-peak hours.

From the Google India blog:

We're always working on ways to make the YouTube offline experience even better. Many mobile operators already offer discounted data and promotions to their subscribers, for the Internet during late night hours. Today, we're beginning to roll out a feature called Smart Offline on YouTube that lets you takes advantage of these cheaper data rates as offered by your mobile operator, without requiring you to stay up late at night.Here's how it works: when you tap on the familiar grey arrow to take a video offline, a prompt will appear, giving you the option to select "Save overnight" using your mobile operator's discounted night data plan. When you select it, the YouTube app will smartly schedule your video to be offlined after peak hours that night. When you wake up the next morning, your videos will be ready for you to watch offline and on the go, with no buffering.

The feature is now available to Airtel and Telenor subscribers, and will be making its way to other carriers in due course of time. As you'd imagine, the feature only works if you are on a cellular connection, and isn't valid for those on Wi-Fi.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Why wouldn't it work on wifi? Maybe broadband speeds are really bad and trying to use the Internet while downloading a video is too hard Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is for folks that have metered cellular connections. Broadband service providers offer a flat rate for bandwidth, so it doesn't matter when you download videos.
  • I can see why this would be a good thing for those in developing nations, as some may not have the luxury of Wi-Fi and rely on cellular connections.. On My Note 4
  • I wish this would be available in Canada, because the situation is even worse (no "happy hours" for mobile data).. our data plans sucks terribly, and being able to get them to download on a wifi connection would help.
  • There are plenty of YouTube downloaders out there to help you download them when on WiFi,just Google it :)