Latest Android YouTube app to offer ad-free listening on 'millions of songs'
The new version of YouTube for Android devices seems to have laid the framework for a soon-to-be released music service that would allow music to be listened to free of advertising.
The Android Police website has peered into the source code for the new version 5.3 app and found several strings that point towards the existence of new features, one of which seems to be a subscription service called Music Pass.
A file called "music_upsell_dialog.xml" makes reference to "Music Pass" and "Offline Playback", which would suggest that users will be able to download tracks and listen to them in the absence of an internet connection.
There is also mention of "Background listening" which would allow users to hear music even while using other apps in the foreground and "Uninterupted music" and "No ads on millions of songs".
Because these features are all mentioned in a file that makes reference to "music upsell" in the filename, it would suggest that they will be limited to paid subscribers of a new service.
There are also several icons which appear in the new version of the app, including an aircraft icon - probably for use on the offline playback feature, and a "no ad" symbol.
The site also claims that there are clues that point towards offline playback of videos on the Android app, such as strings that contain "This video can't be watched offline" and another with the name "offline_video_expired_confirmation".
Google were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.