YouTube App Feature to Allow Offline Video Viewing

YouTube plans to unroll a new mobile app feature that would enable offline video viewing, the site announced on its blog today.

The announced feature, set to launch in November across all YouTube mobile apps, will let people store videos in the phone's memory cache, or temporary data storage. The videos can then be watched for up to 48 hours, whether or not you have an Internet connection.
You'll still need an Internet connection to store the videos in the first place, however.

Plenty of third-party apps and websites currently let people download YouTube videos for later viewing. However, such services are against YouTube's terms of service agreement, which currently forbids downloading its videos.

It remains to be seen whether YouTube will now alter its terms of service to account for the fact that it's allowing users to temporarily download its videos.

MORE: 12 Video Editors for Your PC

YouTube did unroll an Android-only feature back in June 2012 wherein the app would begin downloading recommended videos based on your viewing preferences while you were connected to the Internet.

As long as you pressed "play" while you were still connected to the Internet, you could then watch those videos from your phone's cache without an Internet connection.

The forthcoming update will be available across YouTube's mobile apps, including Android, iOS and Windows. Tablets such as Nook and Kindle also run on a modified version of the Android operating system and will be able to get the upgrade as well.

On its blog, YouTube said that video creators will be able to choose whether or not they want to let viewers cache their videos for offline viewing.

This feature is potentially life-changing. After all, how could morning subway commutes possibly be bad when everyone in the car is watching cute corgi videos on their phones?

Email or follow her @JillScharr. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She's currently Project Lead Writer at the games studio Harebrained Schemes, and has also worked at Bungie. Prior to that she worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation among many subjects.