Some mobile networks in India offer their customers discounted data during late evening, off-peak hours, and now YouTube has announced a new feature designed to make the most of that. The company recently announced Smart Offline, which automatically downloads videos to a smartphone overnight so that they can be watched anywhere — even without a data connection — the next day.
This comes a year after YouTube launched offline video saving in India, a feature that requires a subscription to YouTube Red in the United States. Airtel, the largest provider by subscriber count in India, and Telenor, which ranks eighth, are the first two companies that’ve signed on to support Smart Offline. YouTube says it’s open to expanding the feature to the rest of India’s numerous mobile networks.
To try out the new feature, users must be connected to the cellular data network (the option won’t appear when on Wi-Fi) and tap the grey arrow that saves clips offline. On participating carriers, users will then see a prompt giving them the ability to schedule the download for later that evening. “When you wake up the next morning, your videos will be ready for you to watch offline and on the go, with no buffering,” Jessica Xu, a YouTube product manager, wrote on the company’s India blog. The latest version of YouTube’s mobile app is required, as well.