Google overhauls YouTube for Android, adds second-screen features
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is rolling out a new version of its YouTube application for Android that enables users to find videos on their smartphone or tablet, then send content to their Google TV with the click of a button.
According to Google, the YouTube app update pairs the Android device with the consumer's Google TV-enabled unit via the same Wi-Fi connection. Users identify the video they wish to view, click the TV icon within the YouTube app, and the clip automatically begins playing on their television.
"Like a remote control, you can pause, scroll or skip to the next video with your mobile device as it plays on your TV," notes YouTube Product Manager Timbo Drayson. "Since your devices are connected in the cloud, you can also do things like find the next video to watch from your tablet or browse around the Web on your phone, all while the video plays on TV. You can even connect multiple devices to the TV to have your friends add to the playlist."
The new YouTube video-sharing functionality recalls similar capabilities integrated into rival Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Airplay streaming media platform. Speaking to Fast Company, Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Quieroz hinted Google may expand the YouTube for Android features to Apple's iOS. Apple removed YouTube as a preloaded iPhone and iPad app with the launch of its iOS 6 operating system update--in September, Google released a new standalone YouTube app for iOS, complete with paid advertising.
Google recently announced that YouTube mobile views have quadrupled during the past 18 months and mobile devices now generate a quarter of all traffic across the video platform. "We're experiencing a massive consumer shift," Global Head of Content at Google/YouTube Robert Kyncl said at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in October, noting that in some markets like Saudi Arabia, half of all YouTube consumption takes place on mobile devices.
YouTube is now the largest source of mobile data traffic across all international markets, accounting for more than 25 percent of total network data in some regions, according to a report issued earlier this year by broadband equipment vendor Sandvine. YouTube generates 27 percent of all North American data traffic, Sandvine adds.
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