Every so often, YouTube will open up a new experiment for mobile users to test. The latest of these is the new “smart downloads” feature that anyone on the best Android phones can try out.
The smart downloads feature was spotted by 9to5Google and appears to work similarly to the feature of the same name on YouTube Music. When switched on, the app will download 20 videos per week when the user is on Wi-Fi.
The benefit of content downloaded within the app is that you won’t have to rely on a data connection to view it. YouTube wants to make this process a bit more seamless by doing it for you, likely by choosing videos based on your viewing history.
To try out the new feature, you have to be an Android user and subscribed to YouTube Premium. You can sign up to try it out by navigating to Your Premium Benefits in the app and Try new features. Once enabled, you can find the new option in the Downloads section of the app. That said, it appears as if it’s not widely available at the moment, and 9to5 suggests that it’s only open to users in Europe.
Google has been making a push for offline downloads recently, adding the feature to YouTube TV last year and enabling it on the web version of YouTube. Additionally, the YouTube Music app for Wear OS also has a smart downloads feature so users can enjoy their content offline, which is particularly handy on the best Android smartwatches.
It’s unclear if this feature will remain available on the app after the experiment ends on February 14, but it seems likely given the track record of YouTube’s recent experimental features.