YouTube is very addictive, and if not careful can be very costly on your part, in terms of data. This necessary evil can exhaust your data, if not well regulated and monitored. Watching videos in HD can be tempting yet satisfying, but also comes at a cost. More so watching videos on mobile network as compared to WiFi can be very punitive. So, what can you do, to keep yourself entertained while at the same time not decimating all your monthly or 90-day data bundles in just a single day or less?
One of the very easiest ways to save data on YouTube is by lowering the video resolution. You can go as low as 144p, though the video might be that clear that it can be a bonus to your data. You can jog around with the resolutions, but the lower the better. This will also be resourceful if you are interested in the voice rather than the graphics, for instance when watching an interview sort of.
2. YouTube Go
YouTube Go is similar to the standard YouTube app, but built with the focus of helping users save their data while not missing the entertaining, fun, educative and all those tutorials on YouTube. The app uses a simple interface, with few menus; ‘Home’ and ‘Downloads’. With the ‘Home’ menu you get videos listed in no particular order, while the ‘Downloads’ menu allows you to view the videos you have downloaded and share them with your friends who have installed YouTube Go. This eliminates the need for your friends to also download the same video, thus saving their mobile data in the process. When you click a video on YouTube Go, you will be presented with two options; download or play the video in standard quality or in basic quality.
3. Offline viewing
YouTube has a feature known as YouTube offline viewing, that allows users to save videos for later viewing. When using the standard YouTube app, as small button appears below the video, that lets you save that video to your device’s internal or external storage (you can change in the app settings). This feature only works on eligible videos, and some videos, like music, cannot be saved offline. Saving videos for offline viewing can be a great thing when on free WiFi, and watching them later without incurring an extra cost. Even after the videos you saved have expired, they are automatically saved again when one is on WiFi.
4. Switch to audio
YouTube lets you switch seamlessly between audio and music videos. You have the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video, no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple transition that keeps the music flowing. Switching between songs and music videos is as simple as the tap of a button. Users will notice a video button at the top of the screen as they start listening to a song, and with a simple tap, they can instantly start watching the music video or flip back to the audio at the same point in the track.
The mobile app’s screen displays two options: ‘song’ and ‘video’. The audio-only version will feature just the song and its cover art, while the video is time-matched to the song, meaning you can swipe back and forth between the two without pausing or starting over. Users can also head to the settings menu and toggle ‘don’t play music videos’ if they’d prefer to use less data while not connected to WiFi, handy for those who want the audio, but don’t necessarily need to watch the video to get it.