Google is killing off its lightweight YouTube Go app, an app designed for phones with low storage and limited access to robust LTE and 5G networks. The company cites improvements to the mainstream YouTube app that rendered this service redundant. The app will remain available for download in the Play Store until August. The app boiled down YouTube to its essentials and stripped away things that weren’t necessary like commenting, posting, or creating videos.
“When we launched YouTube Go in 2016, it was designed for viewers in locations where connectivity, data prices, and low-end devices prevented us from delivering the best experience in the main YouTube app. Since then, YouTube has invested in improvements to the main YouTube app that make it perform better in these environments, while also delivering a better user experience which is inclusive of our entire community,” the YouTube team said.
YouTube Go is just one of a slew of apps Google (and other tech companies) have rolled out to accommodate cheaper phones with weaker processors and lower storage caps. These have mostly been Android phones running Android Go, but the cancellation of this latest app makes it apparent that not all these apps have a long shelf life.
Some of them, like Google’s Files Go, eventually receive enough updates that they become full-featured apps in themselves, while others like YouTube Go or Instagram Lite eventually die off as the web becomes better and good phones from Xiaomi and OnePlus become cheaper and cheaper. As Google progresses in its work with Android Go, we will find out if the Lite operating system will eventually follow one of those two paths.