What if, when flying on an airplane, you could watch videos instead of subjecting yourself to yet another mediocre Big Bang Theory rerun? YouTube‘s latest update to its mobile app will realize that fantasy. The top video sharing site will allow users to temporarily store videos for offline viewing.
Resourceful smartphone owners will instantly liken the upcoming service to Pocket, the popular app that allows users to download articles to a folder where they can easily be accessed without an internet connection. There currently exist circuitous ways to do the same thing with videos, but the YouTube update will allow users to save videos without having to leave the official first-party app.
An official post on the YouTube Creator Blog suggests users apply the new feature to their commutes. “This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable,” says the post. “So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.” Any service that provides a more worthwhile pursuit than staring at the Jonathan Zizmor ad in the NYC subway is a welcome addition to my daily travel routine.
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Of course, the update raises a few questions. For starters, how long will videos be available offline? An e-mail sent to YouTube creators suggests the duration will be 48 hours, more than enough time for a commute, plane ride, or all-day underground spelunking adventure. I’m also curious to see if saving YouTube videos will be a time consuming process. Should the download process be quick and easy, YouTube’s new feature will become just as much of a fixture in my daily routine as Pocket.
Photo credit: Mashable