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News In Brief Lifestyle & Entertainment

New Features for YouTube Shorts: Smart Downloads and Picture-In-Picture

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New Features for YouTube Shorts: Smart Downloads and Picture-In-Picture
28 Jun 2024
5 min read

News Synopsis

YouTube is continually testing and introducing new features to enhance the user experience on its platform. In its latest move, the company is experimenting with several new functionalities specifically designed for YouTube Shorts.

These enhancements aim to improve offline accessibility, video navigation, and multitasking capabilities for users, particularly those with Premium accounts.

Smart Downloads for YouTube Shorts

YouTube is testing a new feature called Shorts Smart Downloads, which will automatically download Shorts for offline viewing. This feature is currently being tested on Android for Premium users and is based on the user's watch history, similar to how long-form videos are downloaded on the platform.

This functionality can be particularly useful in areas with unreliable internet connectivity, ensuring users can still access their favorite content offline. The recently viewed Shorts may take some time to appear in the Downloads section, and this experiment will run with select Premium accounts until July 15.

Jump Ahead Feature

Another feature being tested for Premium subscribers in the US on Android is the Jump Ahead function. This feature allows users to skip directly to the most engaging part of a video.

When a user double-taps to skip ahead, a 'jump ahead' button will appear, taking them to the best part of the video. YouTube is using AI and viewership data to deploy this feature effectively, enhancing the viewing experience by quickly directing users to the content they are most likely to enjoy.

Picture-In-Picture Mode for Shorts

YouTube is also introducing a picture-in-picture (PiP) feature for Shorts. This addition enables Premium Android users to continue watching videos while multitasking on their devices.

The PiP mode allows users to keep a small video window open while they navigate other apps or tasks on their phone, making it easier to stay engaged with content without interruption.

Conversational AI Assistant

In a bid to further enhance the user experience, YouTube is experimenting with a conversational AI assistant for Android users in the US. This tool can be accessed via the "Ask" option under select videos and is designed to answer questions, suggest related content, and more, all without interrupting the playback experience.

The conversational AI assistant aims to provide users with additional information and content suggestions seamlessly integrated into their viewing session.

Redesigned Web Page and Other Enhancements

YouTube is also experimenting with a redesigned Page on the web, aiming to improve the overall user interface and navigation. Recently launched features include the ability to pick up where users left off in a video and enhanced 1080p HD video quality.

Additionally, YouTube Music Premium subscribers benefit from offline listening, background play, and the new Samples tab, which helps discover fresh music.


YouTube's ongoing experimentation with new features for Shorts and other platform areas demonstrates its commitment to enhancing the user experience. The introduction of Smart Downloads, Jump Ahead, picture-in-picture mode, and a conversational AI assistant, along with other recent improvements, ensures that YouTube remains at the forefront of video streaming innovation. These features, particularly for Premium users, provide more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable ways to interact with content on the platform.

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