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Google discontinues YouTube Go App for Android

If you own an Android device, you are not alone there, as nearly 3 million people use Android devices all over the world. The operating system (OS) for these devices has been 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. Last year alone, Google. It updated their 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 you’ll be giving up in the coming months if you own an Android.

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Many of the changes Google made didn’t come without cost to Android users. With the recent update of their payment policy, many companies have since restricted and removed some features from their Android apps, likely as a way to preserve their full revenue. On April 1, Amazon stopped letting The Verge report that audiobook users had purchased audiobook titles with a credit or debit card on the 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, the option to remove Hulu for users to create a new account or start a new free trial on its app for both Android and Android TV.

A person holding an Android smartphone
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In another change, it was just confirmed that Google will kill one of its Android apps in 2022. The tech giant will be ditching the YouTube Go app, according to a May 2 announcement from YouTube on Google Help. The application will begin closing in August, although no exact date has been set for when access will close completely. But as GAX mentioned in its tech news blog, it’s for Android users who haven’t already downloaded, YouTube Go is no longer actually available on the Google Play Store.

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First launched on the Google Play Store in 2016, YouTube Go was designed as a way for Android users to access the video platform even when “in locations where connectivity, low data rates, and devices have prevented us from providing the best experience in the first place with the YouTube app.”

But as a lite version of the main YouTube app, its features have been restricted, notably not allowing Android users “the ability to comment, post, create content, and use the dark theme”. It also hasn’t 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.

YouTube TV
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Android users will not have to fully use YouTube when YouTube Go is officially cancelled. 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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