If you own Android, you are not alone out there, almost 3 million people use Android devices all over the world. The operating system (OS) for these devices is owned and operated by Google since 2005, when it acquired the startup behind Android and rewrote the operating system from the ground up. But the tech giant hasn’t stopped making changes to Android since then. In the past year alone, Google has updated its Payment Policy to tighten billing service requirements for app developers, and has already announced plans to change privacy protocols for Android devices. Now, Android users are on the verge of losing one service due to another change from the tech giant. Read on to find out what to give up in the coming months if you own an Android.
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Many of the changes Google made didn’t come without a cost to Android users. With the recent update of their payment policy, many companies have since restricted and removed some features on their Android apps, likely as a way to preserve their full revenue. The Verge reported that on April 1, Amazon stopped allowing Audible users to purchase audiobook titles with a credit or debit card on its Android app. Shortly after on April 4, Barnes & Noble notified shoppers that they would not be able to purchase digital books or other content from its Nook app for Android. Then more recently, Hulu removed the option for users to create a new account or start a new free trial on its app for both Android and Android TV.
In another change, it was just confirmed that Google will kill one of its Android apps in 2022. The tech giant is ditching YouTube Go, according to a May 2 announcement from YouTube on Google Help. The app will begin closing in August, although no exact date has been set for when access will be shut down completely. But as tech news blog Ghacks also reported, for Android users who have never downloaded the YouTube Go app, it’s no longer actually available on the Google Play Store.
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First launched on the Google Play Store in 2016, YouTube Go is designed as a way for Android users to access the video platform even when “in locations where connectivity, data rates, and low-end hardware have prevented us from providing the best experience primarily with the YouTube app”.
But as a lite version of the main YouTube app, its features have been restricted, notably not allowing Android users to “the ability to comment, post, create content, and use the dark theme”. It also hasn’t been updated since October 2021, according to 9to5Google. Despite this, YouTube Go still currently has more than 500 million installs – so those users might be appalled by the latest announcement.
Android users won’t have to use YouTube entirely when YouTube Go is officially phased out. Instead, Google advises you to go to another source. “To access YouTube, we recommend YouTube Go users to install the main YouTube app or visit youtube.com in their browsers,” the company said.
According to the announcement, YouTube is improving the main Android app to help address some of the issues the YouTube Go app was initially built for, such as better performance in certain environments and a better user experience in general.
“Specifically, we have improved the performance of entry-level devices or those viewing YouTube on slower networks,” YouTube said in the announcement. “We’re also building additional user controls that help reduce mobile data usage for viewers with limited data, so stay tuned for more updates.”
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