YouTube is testing a new Smart Downloads feature on Android
If you use YouTube music, you would be aware of the Smart Downloads feature baked into the app. It’s essentially a feature that downloads some tracks offline whenever you’re connected to Wi-Fi so as to conserve mobile data when you’re out and about. The YouTube app on Android is testing something similar on the video side of things. Smart Downloads on the YouTube app will automatically download a bunch of videos every week based on an algorithm for recommended videos.
As reported by 9to5Google, some users in Europe have received a prompt on their Android smartphones to try out the new Smart Downloads feature. Once you enroll yourself to try it, the YouTube app will download a set of 20 videos every week whenever you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. The videos will be curated for you based on an algorithm that probably works by analyzing your watch history and the genres of content you consume on the platform. The downloaded videos will be added to your offline playlist with any other videos that you may have manually downloaded in the app.
While the feature may sound unnecessary to a lot of people, it can be helpful for those who either have limited mobile data and want to consume content while commuting or for someone who does not have regular access to an internet connection. The screenshot also mentions that users with limited storage on their devices will be notified before any downloads take place so that relevant action can be taken to make space. This feature is currently supported only on the latest version of Android — Android 12.
Smart Downloads is currently available only for a few people to try out and only in specific regions. It’s also available only for YouTube Premium subscribers and users who receive the prompt can enroll to try the feature till 14 February. If you are one of the chosen ones, you should see a banner when you open the YouTube app or you can try heading to Settings > Try new features to see if you can find the option there.