If You Have an Android, You'll Be Barred From Doing This, Starting in August
Google is discontinuing this service for users in the coming months.
If you own an Android, you're hardly alone out there, as nearly 2.5 billion people use Android devices worldwide. The operating system (OS) for these devices has been owned and operated by Google since 2005, when it acquired the startup behind Android and re-wrote the OS from the ground up. But the tech giant hasn't stopped making changes to Android since. In the past year alone, Google has updated its payment policy to tighten billing service requirements for app developers and has also already announced plans to change privacy protocols for Android devices. Now, Android users are about to lose one service because of another change from the tech giant. Read on to find out what you'll have to give up in the coming months if you own an Android.
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Android users have lost the ability to do a number of things because of recent Google changes.
Google's plethora of changes have not come without some cost to Android users. With the recent update to its payment policy, many companies have since limited and removed certain features on their Android apps, likely as a way to keep their full revenue. On April 1, Amazon stopped allowing Audible users to purchase audiobook titles with a credit or debit card on its Android app, The Verge reported. Soon 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. And then more recently, Hulu removed the option for users to make a new account or start a new free trial on its app for both Android and Android TV.
Google just confirmed it is discontinuing an app for Android users this year.
In yet another change, it was just confirmed that Google will be killing off one of its Android apps in 2022. The tech giant is getting rid of its YouTube Go app, according to a May 2 announcement from YouTube on Google Help. The app will begin shutting down in August, although an exact date for when access will be completely retired has not yet been given. But as the technology news blog Ghacks also reports, for Android users that have not previously downloaded the YouTube Go app, it is already no longer available on the Google Play store.
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YouTube Go was created to address problems with the main YouTube app.
YouTube Go first launched in the Google Play store in 2016, designed as a means for Android users to access the video platform even when "in locations where connectivity, data prices, and low-end devices prevented us from delivering the best experience in the main YouTube app."
But as a lightweight version of the main YouTube app, it has been limited in its features, notably not allowing Android users the "ability to comment, post, create content, and use dark theme." It has also not been updated since Oct. 2021, according to 9to5Google. Despite this, YouTube Go still currently has more than 500 million installs—so these users might be dismayed by the recent announcement.
But you will still be able to use the main YouTube app on your Android devices after August.
Android users won't have to go without YouTube altogether when YouTube Go is officially phased out. Instead, Google is advising you to transition to another source. "To access YouTube, we recommend that YouTube Go users install the main YouTube app or visit youtube.com in their browsers," the company said.
According to the announcement, YouTube has been working to improve its main Android app to help address some of the problems that the YouTube Go app was initially created for, like a better performance in certain environments and a better user experience overall.
"Specifically, we have improved performance for entry-level devices or those that watch YouTube on slower networks," YouTube said in the announcement. "We're also building out additional user controls that help to decrease mobile data usage for viewers with limited data—so stay tuned for more updates."