Google announced some big improvements to the YouTube API during I/O that will help Android devices get the most out of the service with smooth, high-quality playback. Those kind of improvements usually result in a new app being released sooner or later. It's more sooner than later with Google releasing a new YouTube app today.
The new YouTube app for Android released today is pretty much all about one thing - your subscriptions. Everybody on YouTube has subscriptions, it's what drives us to our favorite content and keeps us on top of the new content being released by our favorite creators. The new Android app is following the Web site redesign from last year to bring those subscriptions to the core of the experience.
The front page of the YouTube app can now be swiped to the left to reveal a bar that features all of your subscriptions. It's just like how your subscriptions are listed on the left-hand side of the screen on the desktop version of YouTube. It's extremely useful especially when YouTube recommendations lets one of your favorite creators' new video slip by.
The best addition to the YouTube app is the ability to prefetch the video while you're on a Wi-Fi connection. While your phone is charging and connected to Wi-Fi, it will grab and prefetch videos from your subscribed channels for storage in a local cache. When you go to watch said videos while on mobile data, it will have the video already pre-loaded for your viewing pleasure.
The desktop and mobile experience on YouTube are now connected on an intimate level. The videos that you like, favorite and share on an Android phone will be reflected on the desktop version under your account. The description also makes it appear that you'll be able to queue up the next video from your phone without having to interrupt the current video that's playing on the desktop.
The new YouTube app is only available on Android 4.0 devices for now, but it will be rolled out to other versions of Android in the future. You can grab it from Google Play.