Google today updated its native YouTube for Android app with a slew of new features. You can download the latest version now from the official Google Play store.

I think the biggest update is for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) users, which have gained the ability to preload YouTube videos. This is very useful for Android users who want to watch videos on poor connections. Here’s how Google describes the feature:

This feature temporarily stores video data on your Android phone and lets you watch YouTube videos (even high quality ones) without any interruptions. To play these preloaded videos, you’ll still need a network signal. Even if you have a weak network signal, you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos without any pausing. Right now the following videos are available for preloading: Subscribed videos and Videos in your Watch Later playlist

The latest data from earlier this month shows that the two Android versions account for the majority of the market share pie. In fact, Froyo and Gingerbread combined make up a whopping 71.5 percent of Android devices. This is no small update. The app still requires Android version 2.2 and up, which likely won’t be changing as long as Froyo is still used by hundreds of thousands.

For all Android users, other additions include a fresh new user interface, the ability to add videos to your YouTube TV queue (quite handy!), and additional channels that were not named. The two screenshots below suggest this is the same redesign that Android 4.0 users got in June:

youtube for android 520x462 YouTube for Android updated with fresh interface, TV queuing, preloading on Froyo and Gingerbread

The official changelog for version 4.1.23 is as follows:

  • New UI and Preloading now available on Froyo and Gingerbread devices.
  • New Watch experience.
  • Add videos to your YouTube TV queue.
  • More channels to pick from on the Channel Store.

See also: Google’s new YouTube app for Android 4.0 is rolling out today

Image credit: stock.xhcng