Bangalore, December 15 2014: Last week's much hyped YouTube gift -- the ability to download India-interest content and view it offline -- is a case of too little, too late.
It works only if you sync your Android or iOS device with YouTube. Videos which offer this feature -- mostly Indian language movie and music clips -- carry an extra icon, a downward arrow. Clicking on it lets you choose the quality you want to downlod-- 720p or less.
Google is launching the feature in India, Indonesia and Philippines-- regions where many mobile users can't get 3G speeds to enable smooth video viewing or don't want to pay the Internet access charge. This way they are download once and view many times.
But there are a few catches: the downloaded video is available only for 48 hours and the accompanying ads if any, also get downloaded. That way YouTube continues to monitor your usage and charge the advertisers.
A simple Google search will throw up dozens of 3rd party YouTube downloaders which do the same job, stripping away the ads selecting the best available quality up to full HD and letting you keep the downloaded as long as you like.
So what's the big deal with this new YouTube feature except that the Google embrace just got tighter?