Google Chrome 54 Android Beta Allows Web Videos To Play In The Background

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If you're a mobile user who has yearned for the day when you'd be able to listen to YouTube videos in the background on your phone, that day have finally arrived. To take advantage of this new functionality, you might want to hop on over to Google's Play Store and grab the newest beta of Chrome.

In the latest Chrome 54 beta for Android, Google has opened up the ability to play Web videos in the background, which is perfect for those who just need to listen, not watch, streaming content. While music is likely to be the most common use of this feature, it could also prove valuable to those wanting to listen other content as well, including an example in the video below: TED talks.

Both the video above and the screenshot below show YouTube being used as examples, but any Web video site should technically be supported. We tested Vimeo out as well, and the functionality was exactly the same.

Google Chrome 54 YouTube

Because Google doesn't want to drain your battery for no reason, as soon as you leave a webpage that's playing a video, it will pause. To un-pause, you simply need to swipe your notification bar down and tap the Play button. From there, you can pause it, or swipe it away to close it.

One big question remains -- does the video drain just as much battery if it's only in the background? We're willing to bet no, but for those who only want to use this kind of feature for music, it might make more sense to use a dedicated solution, like Spotify. But, for content that's not easily available through such apps, this feature could prove extremely useful.