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The YouTube TV app is preparing to add this highly requested feature soon

YouTube TV
YouTube TV (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The YouTube TV app is preparing to allow users to save shows for offline viewing.
  • The functionality was discovered in the most recent version of the mobile app that's currently being rolled out.
  • Offline streaming is currently available on YouTube's other apps.

The ability to "download" videos and music is quite useful when you want to save something to watch later without worrying about running down your battery with a constant data stream. Both YouTube and YT Music have this feature, which saves content to the device to be viewed within the app itself. When it comes to YouTube TV, however, content is handled through the app's cloud DVR that still requires a connection. Fortunately, it appears that offline viewing is finally making its way to YouTube TV subscribers soon, based on code found in the latest app update.

In version 5.06.2 of the YouTube TV app, the system notification "Looking for incomplete downloads" was spotted (via 9to5Google), mirroring the same notification found on the YouTube and YT Music apps. Upon looking into the app code, it was found that YouTube TV may very well receive the ability to save videos for offline viewing:

<string name="offline_landing_title">You are offline</string>
<string name="offline_landing_button_primary">Go to downloads</string>
<string name="offline_landing_subtitle">Watch your downloaded videos</string>

Additional code indicates the presence of a download button and dialogue. The feature doesn't seem to be live at the moment and could be pushed via a server-side update to the latest version of the app.

Since the feature is not yet live, it's unclear how the app will handle offline downloads; how long they'll last, what channels will support the feature, if the downloads will be available to watch from the best streaming devices, etc. Considering how long YouTube TV has been available, it's surprising this feature hasn't been available sooner, although it's likely there may have been some legal hurdles to deal with regarding content. The new version of the YouTube TV app is currently rolling out, so it may not be long until the feature is rolled out as well.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

3 Comments
  • Only thing that would make me go back to YouTube TV would be a price decrease by making the sports channels a separate tier. Otherwise, I'm done with them.
  • Yep. $65 per month is just too much for my budget.
  • If there's another price increase YouTubeTV will be dead. The current $65 window is just as high as my cable TV for all the same channels. The only advantage YouTubeTV has over cable for me is the fact you can watch it anywhere. I will probably change in the fall - IF YouTubeTV has no price increase and has support for multi-user profiles on ChromeCast.