Rumours

YouTube tested a way to sync downloads across devices

YouTube wants to make video downloads easier to manage for Premium users. A cross device offline settings entry has popped up and subsequently disappeared in the most recent Android app versions for some. While the feature apparently wasn’t fully functional yet, it looks like it might allow you to download videos on your phone and make them automatically appear on other devices someday.

In the settings menu, a “cross device offline settings” button would show a pop-up asking which device you want to sync as well as a toggle that would “allow downloading to this device.” But testing this feature between two phones didn’t sync downloads between two Android phones they tried it on. We also checked for the feature on a couple different Android phones and didn’t see it show up — whether it’s still out there for limited testing or has been pulled entirely remains to be seen.

This isn’t the first time this feature has been spotted; Android Police also saw code referring to it when they looked at a “tear-down” of the YouTube app back in 2018. Given the fact that it’s still hanging around more than two years later, it’s entirely possible YouTube finally flips the switch on it. But given how small the Android tablet market is, this likely isn’t something that people will use very often. Most people don’t have two phones they’ll want to sync downloads between, and phones are probably the main place where this feature would be used.

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