Ever since YouTube’s inception, a massive cottage industry of video downloading tools has existed to allow people to watch their favorite videos without a connection to the internet. Now, YouTube says it plans to add similar functionality to its mobile apps right out of the box.
In a post to the YouTube Creator Blog, the company says the ability to download videos for offline viewing is on its way and should be available come November. According to the post, users of YouTube’s mobile apps will be able to download videos “for a short time” before they disappear off their device.
Google hasn’t outlined the specifics of how the system is slated to work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are restrictions placed on what videos you can watch offline, especially content uploaded to YouTube by major content providers. There’s also no word about whether or not the contested YouTube app for Windows Phone will get the same offerings.
But, if you want to watch a couple hours of Maru to tide you over on a plane ride without dealing with the sluggishness of in-flight wi-fi, it seems like there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do that by the Thanksgiving travel season.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.