It looks like the new version of the YouTube app on Android hides some new features in its code that might be activated at a later time.
After dissecting the new YouTube app (version 5.3.23), Android Police has revealed that the new app features “framework elements for the upcoming YouTube subscription service, ‘Uninterrupted Playback,’ an offline video mode, and background music listening.”
The YouTube for Android app features code that appears to be for a page or popup prompting users to opt for “Music Pass,” which perhaps could be the video streaming service’s upcoming subscription-based music service. The code has references to “Music Pass, Offline playback, Take your music everywhere, Background listening, Keep your music playing while using other apps, Uninterrupted music and No ads on millions of songs” strings that hint to the hidden presence of the new service.
“The #SamsungTwitterParty is back! Get ready to party the night away come 19th December at Zone 7 with fellow tweeps. Entrance is 15,000shs. Call 0775439894 for details. Great music and drinks.”
The reference to “no ads” directly hints at a paid service. As the website notes, the terms “Offline playback” and “Background listening” also appear in the text of the prompt, suggesting that perhaps offline listening and background playback could be restricted to subscribers of YouTube’s paid offering.
The code also features strings related to offline video playback including “Offline version expired, Video is already added to offline., This video can’t be watched offline, Adding playlist to offline and Offline version expired. Reconnect to check availability” indicating that offline playback will soon be live on the YouTube Android app. It also appears that users will be able to cache entire playlists for offline playback and choose between 360p and 720p quality. Most likely caching will only be valid for a period of 48 hours, as we pointed out previously.
Similar to previous instances, YouTube could soon activate these features as soon as the new service launches.
YouTube had previously announced that it plans to release a new feature that will allow users of its mobile apps to watch videos offline. YouTube had said that it was exploring ways to bring in more viewers, and that it would launch the offline viewing service later this year. The feature will allow people to add videos to their device, and be able to watch them for a short period even when an Internet connection was not available.
It was earlier reported by The New York Times that YouTube was planning to unveil a paid subscription service for music soon, competing with outlets like Spotify. It’s expected to release the mobile-optimised service in November or December, offering subscriptions at about $10 a month, and giving users access to YouTube’s catalog of music videos without interruptions from advertising. It would also let customers temporarily store videos on their smartphones and tablets to watch offline.
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