In an update to version 4.2.16, Google's YouTube app has received a (thankfully) refreshed UI for ten-inch screens, along with some bug fixes. The "revamped" UI seems to be the only thing of note in this update (though if there are any hidden goodies, you can be sure Ron will tell us about them soon), but it makes for a great refresh. For the sake of comparison, we'll take a look at a few before and after shots.

Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-12-39 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-05-29

The app's start page is much cleaner, featuring a side-bar navigation system and bigger, cleaner tiles representing videos relevant to whatever selection you've made, defaulting to your subscription feed. This eliminates the visually fun yet functionally questionable rotunda that greeted users in YouTube's previous iteration.

Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-04-08 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-05-29 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-45-00

The navigation panel, by the way, significantly changes how the whole app is organized. Instead of a front page with Home, Browse, and Account tabs, users can browse channels and categories, or their own account all from the side panel, which stays put as the larger pane on the right changes.

Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-29-55 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-24-42

The video page is also cleaned up – the actual video is much larger, video descriptions live conveniently in a collapsible box in the upper right corner, and recommendations are get the same large-tile treatment we see elsewhere.

Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-49-47 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-50-30 Screenshot_2012-12-10-21-51-05

The UI is not just cleaner and easier to look at, but its consistent across every page, and more in line with the app's UI on smaller form factors. Users can expect a familiar experience on a phone, seven-incher, or ten-inch slate, whether browsing a channel, looking at recommendations, or taking a look at their own playlists.

If you've got a 10" tablet, just hit the widget below to grab the update.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Ha. Nope, there are no hidden goodies. They switched over from their custom-built Google+ stuff to Google Play Services, and the app uses the Youtube API now instead of... whatever they were using before.

    Basically a bunch of under the hood changes happened so everything is more standardized now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001261702441 Timothy Bennett

    Awww... I'll miss the Crysis like wall of videos :(

  • defred34

    Ok, now this is a good change. Always hated the previous layout of YouTube. This one feels more desktop-y, no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001261702441 Timothy Bennett

    Awww... I'll miss the Crysis like wall of videos...

  • Valentino

    Is possible to get this IU on the N7? Right now it uses de phone UI and it's useless

    • arahman21

      I would have to check what DPI setting enables that, it's very easy to do with ParanoidAndroid (plus, it also moves the buttons to the side, so no reaching in the middle).

  • Alvin Brinson

    Sadly, it still leaves "preload" as a phone-only option. I am often on slow WiFi and do not understand why preload is not available on tablets! It's not like tablets are using 3G in most cases, that would be phones.

    • ChavaM

      I have preload option on my tablet with this update.


      • http://www.facebook.com/chibichan89 Chibi Chan

        Hm, don't have this option here (N10) even though I updated just now. Maybe it's Location specific? Germany here.

        • ChavaM

          I'm in the US using a Transformer TF101.

  • Frank Fiorta

    Update is broken for me. I keep being forced to download Google Play services which won't install. Keeps giving me some shared user ID error

  • http://www.facebook.com/santiago.gomezflor Santiago Gomez

    My galaxy note 10.1 just became smexier

  • http://www.facebook.com/raulie Raúl Y. Mora Colón

    It looks perfect in my HP Touchpad! =)

    • defred34

      These things still work?

      • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

        They do, and very well. I've got my TouchPad running CM9 (ICS) on my night-stand mostly to watch Netflix before I go to bed, play music, etc. It does all of those things as well as, say, my Nexus 10, just not as quickly/effortlessly.

        • Evan

          FWIW, CM10 works awesomely as well. I highly recommend upgrading.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1102547808 Rodolfo Padilla

        Mine is a year and a half old now, has CM10 and it works like a charm...!

  • GazaIan

    Finally! Couldn't stand the carousel layout, and the entire app just didn't feel new. Its been the same since Honeycomb. Glad that we finally see some sexiness now.

  • Jon

    have to scroll all the way down of my subscription channels to see trending and browse music???

  • defred34

    Ok, just a few problems I realized:

    1) The UI on the start screen is ridiculously large. The left hand panel (and text) can be made smaller to fit 3 videos on each row.
    2) Pressing the back button when playing a video fullscreen will take you to the start or search screen, not to the video's description page.

    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      The UI looks completely ridiculous on the Nexus 10, especially if you view it in portrait mode, when the UI becomes even larger than in landscape. Where the Honeycomb-era 3d carousel fit 15 videos on the home screen, this fits 4 (and about half of two more). The actual video view however is much improved at least. Having to toggle a different tab to view related videos or comments before was kind of stupid, and I much prefer the new layout.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chibichan89 Chibi Chan

        When you're in portrait mode, you can swipe the videos preview page to the left to make the navigation bar go away. Looks a lot nicer that way.

  • Ed Chavez

    It looks stupid now.

  • MVP

    I was wondering if they were gonna make it the same as my iPad version

  • QwietStorm

    Horrible video feed UI. The carousel was perfect as it was. This UI is fine on my phone, but I can't stand it on my tablet. I wish I had known it was changing. And we still don't have direct reply.

  • ericl5112

    I always thought the old youtube app homepage was something to show off. Now it just looks like..any other app.

    • New_Guy

      I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought the original UI actually looked amazing. I'm actually pretty disappointed at this "update"...

  • wideopn11

    Is it just me or can you not watch full screen?

    • Adam

      It's just you. :)
      The icon for full screen is in the same place, still, on the bottom right of the video (after any adverts have finished)

      • wideopn11

        Well I just confirmed its an issue with my Asus tablet and the dock. When I am not in the dock, the button is there in the bottom corner where it has always been. When in the dock it is not. And if I have the video in full screen undocked it goes back the second I snap into the the dock. Frustrating.

        • Joshua Johnson

          All of you guys are lucky. I had to revert because my fullscreen option wouldn't show up docked or undocked on my G Slate. :-

    • erwan

      I have the same problem with my rockbox tv media box (minix neo x5). Fullscreen button gone. It seems like Asus Transformers also have no fullscreen button while docked, but they get it back undocked.

    • A.Noid

      It appears to be a problem with Asus Transformers when docked. Was not a problem until the new patch.

      • Mark Vrijenhoek

        I have the same with my galaxy tab 10.1 standing in my desktopdock, very irritating.

      • Tyrone Curwen

        not to mention the padfone, no full screen when the phone i sin the tablet dock or the keyboard dock. the only way i have been able to get full screen on the tablet is to start the vid on my phone while it is sideways, then slide the phone into the tablet dock. worst update ever.

    • ja450n

      fullscreen button is hidden when android.intent.extra.DOCK_STATE != 0, not sure the purpose behind this, but it's really annoying.

    • FHilus

      Me too, and it's the only problem I found on this UI. I like it.

  • Ed Chavez

    applications with white backgrounds suck. White is so N00B!

  • LiamBryant

    I absolutely love the light-themed w/ dark ActionBar layouts that are starting to become the norm in Android. I do like the full light (w/ gray ActionBar), but this just seems more visually appealing. I think the next step would be to remove all of those hideous dark/gradient-themed apps now that Android has further matured past the whole "tron"-inspired look. Don't get me wrong, it was good for ICS, but JB just has a much more mature and sophisticated look and feel to it now.

  • http://twitter.com/IamPeePay Tomáš Petrík

    While I appreciate the update, I'll miss the old look where 15 videos could fit on the start screen. Now it is just 4 and two halves.

  • Dafuq youtube??!

    Oh god I can't find the videos I am interested now that it only shows 4 per page and 3 of them are "youtube recomendations" also my videos aren't ordered chronologically. Wtf?

  • http://www.flexlabs.org/ Artiom

    You might also mention that if you paired your device to "YouTube TV" ( https://www.youtube.com/tv ) you couldn't see the playback queue for the TV on the tablet app before, but that was easily available on phones.. The new interface finally fixes that, so the tablet app behaves like the phone one. Cool!

  • Danilo Viana

    Why does it say the update is for 10" tablets? Mine is a Galaxy Tab 7.7" and I got the update.

    • ChavaM

      Because the N7 already had this layout.

    • http://twitter.com/jordanlong20 Jordan Long

      the update included other changes than just the UI for 10" tablets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    With the updates to gmail and this I'm really hoping Google voice gets some love.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I never got to play with the old layout. This new layout looks like the phone layout which actually is pretty good

  • http://twitter.com/oOBlueOo Haunter

    While I understand the 'minimalistic' look... I quite enjoyed the 3D wall carousel. It really looked nice, especially on the N10 screen. :-/

  • coversnails

    Every update to the youTube app seems to hide away youTube comments more and more, probably not all that surprising given what the average youTube comment is like these days but the tabbed system is much much easier than having to do so much scrolling.

    And if Google wat to encourage developers to follow design guidelines for Android apps then they need to update their design guiddlines which highlight the previous version of the youTube app as an excellent example of using tabs in an app.

  • justmeow

    The fact that even though i have auto rotate switched off on my tablet, youtube persists to ignore it and rotate my screen. This really needs to be fixed. I also hate the new design, its too bright, i want to be able to revert back to previous versions

  • http://twitter.com/NoBullet NoBullet

    Now when you hit the full screen button while in portrait it doesn't force the video into landscape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mtanic Miljan Tanić

    Good things: As opposed to the old UI, in this one I can see my watch history, which is good, because I sometimes don't remember the titles of videos I wanna re-watch. That's the only good change.


    - No fullscreen button on my Asus Transformer Pad when docked!

    - Still no HD on mobile networks (I should be the one to decide if I'm gonna spend my money on youtube, not outube itself)

    - Still not able to see the full title of videos that have long titles (I had that same problem on the last version on mobile)... there is absolutely no way to click on anything to displa the full title after the "..."

  • Dissappointed Nexus10 Owner

    I for one find the updated Youtube very discouraging!!

    The old interface was classy looking, especially on a 10" tablet. You could scan video selections at (15) per page.

    The new layout is painful to look at period!!! Huge white margins all over... You can scan (4) complete video selections along with about 1/2 the tops of (2) other video selections... Very difficult to see this as even approaching an improvement!!!

    Then you have an entire 1/3 of the left hand screen is consumed with information that belongs in menu items to be summoned as needed....

    This update is horrendous at best... It was forced into my Nexus with an update so I didn't get to choose. Wish there was a way to go back!!!

    Perhaps there is an opportunity for a third party developer to produce a quality UI instead of this half though out gibberish from Google!!

  • M3G4

    I liked it so much more before, i wish i hadn't updated it.