The cards have been creeping into more apps as of late, and now it looks like Google is testing a new mobile web interface for YouTube with some of that card-based Android flavor. There are more cards, a cleaner video pages, and a slide-out navigation drawer that could have been ripped right from Android.

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The new web UI could easily be mistaken for the YouTube app at first glance. Content is broken up more like the app, there's that hamburger navigation drawer button, bigger thumbnails, and the suggestions/comments are laid out in the same general way. Looking at the old web UI, this one is a clear improvement. The video pages in particular look much nicer.

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The navigation drawer might contribute most to the Android look of the new mobile site. However, the content that it lists isn't much different than what is already there. There are some screens of the current mobile web UI below for comparison.

2014-02-10 06.42.25 2014-02-10 06.43.22 2014-02-10 06.44.50 2014-02-10 06.50.15

Update: It looks like a similar card-based redesign of the desktop site is in the works too.

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[+Nedas Petravičius via Google Operating System]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • yodatom10

    Yes !! Uniformed look is a good thing :)

    • abobobilly

      Not all the time though.

      (For argument's sake) Android's design guidelines not being followed by some devs, to make their apps look like a perfect replica of iOS Apps (*cough*twitter*cough) would have been a good thing ... Which it isn't.

      • yodatom10


      • miri

        Technically, Twitter doesn't follow Android's guidelines either. It maintains the basic aesthetic, but that's it. There's a lot to consider in terms of layout/organization and usage of building blocks and Twitter makes a mess of both.

  • topcommenter

    I still await the day the official app itself can show top comments and thumbs up/downs...

    • Milind Shah

      One huge bug, try plugging in your earphones when a video is playing it'll stop and rebuffer...this might only happen with earphones with buttons as that's the only pair I have.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      I just want to reply to comments over the other stuff you mentioned.

  • Mayoo

    Priority: Fix the damn "There was a problem with the network" issue on the app before working on this. It's not like it was hard to reproduce, you just watch a video for longer than 5min and it happens.

    • abobobilly

      This issue comes and goes out of nowhere. Its like a Ninja. You never see it coming, but when you do, it literally kills you (breaks your heart).

      I mean, think about it ... you wish to listen to some music. You open YouTube, and suddenly that wretched error pops out, even when it was working absolutely fine yesterday ... you'll definitely feel like killing yourself. lol

    • Android Developer

      That's not the only problem on youtube.
      they sometimes make it quite slow loading the video, and when it plays and I wish to go back a few seconds since i've missed something during the playback, it re-loads the video again....
      this issue happens on both flash and HTML5 playback methods.

  • Mike

    Can someone explain to me why loading a YouTube video takes WAY too long while loading a 35 minute porno takes a matter of seconds? I can not watch YouTube on my S4 for this reason. Non stop buffering on Wi-Fi or LTE SD or HD

    • abobobilly

      Lesson Learned. Watch more Porno, because its "Flows" faster :p

      Being serious for a moment, that is a major MAJOR annoyance for me while browsing YouTube, and it makes you pull your hair out at quite a few occasions, especially when you are watching it on Android.

    • miri

      Your network could be throttling it. I get HD over Sprint's slow 4G in seconds with no buffering after.

      • Mike

        I said Wi-Fi or LTE. Either way, I do not get my stuff throttled anyway.

  • Evan Jenkins

    So I don't wish to be a bother, but is YouTube ever going to implement "offline cache" mode for videos? I know that preloading exists, but never works for me. On my Nexus 7 the YouTube app was using a whole GB for preloading, but when I would load up a video on poor wifi, I couldn't even get to the 3 second mark. I remember hearing about a supposed offline mode that would cache a video for 48 hrs. Was that in a APK teardown? or a leaked feature? either way I hope this happens soon, would love to have that feature for roadtrips.

  • Johnathan Rodriguez

    A friend of mine was complaining about the new YouTube layout, which I wasn't aware of there being one for the time being. She sent over a picture, and it had the Card layout. I don't browse YouTube with a G+ Page account, so I'm not sure if it's just for that, but her layout went back to normal a little later. This was over a month ago, Am I crazy, dumb, forgetting something, or did she get an experimental layout or something by accident?

    • Aaron Jaeger

      Not sure, but mine does not look that way.

    • miri

      It's an experimental layout that comes and goes every few months for a small percentage of users.

  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    I find it kind of silly how mobile websites and their apps are always somewhat competing with each other. What's the point working on a cool app, and then doing the same to the website? Are developers undecided how the users will use it? Why don't they just ditch apps completely and switch to html5 then?

  • Martin

    In my IE it's the new look.. In my Chrome it's the old... Hate the NEW, love the Old..
    Here is the NEW:

    • IncCo

      yea.. that looks like shit

    • http://diznits.deviantart.com/ Diznits

      Ugh... yeah... Youtube has been really slow since they established the new design, and I can't browse all of my favourites anymore because the damn page never loads the next few rows. I would much prefer it if they switched back to the older layout (because at least it was functional), but I personally still favour 2011-2012 design. I don't fancy being forced to connect my youtube to my Google account.

  • Daniel Gimpelman

    Worst app from Google to Android.

    • John

      Are you serious? It's pretty much one of their better designed apps.

      • Daniel Gimpelman

        Yes i do,the app is slow to load,slowly loading videos,cant play in background,cant play HD videos lacks a lot of features that the desktop version has and so on..
        Im using the nexus 5 with 100Mbit connection

        • John

          Your 100Mbit connection has nothing to do with it. The app loads instantly for me on my S4. I play HD videos all the time too.

        • Android Developer

          it's not the worst.
          the worst is hangouts, which has a lot of features and potential, but it doesn't work well at all.

          • Morten Ulveseth

            I love the app, but I have to admit it doesn't work well with SMS.

          • Android Developer

            yes, that's why i've disabled the SMS feature of it.

    • abobobilly

      I am not sure if you are serious or just trolling, because YouTube app is one of the very few highly Optimized and extremely well made app from Google.

    • [A]dri[A]n


  • Fulletting

    buono good

  • Andrew

    Already using the new UI on desktop for two days... Just sayin

    • Matthew Fry

      Not here. Are you in a beta or something?

      • Andrew

        No, it just showed up once. Randomly. But they change it very often... I guess it won't last for two more days.

  • Melad360

    but... does it have background playback yet?

  • Robbie Khan

    The one thing that really bugs me about Youtube mobile and the Youtube app is that you cannot directly reply to a comment. It's seriously annoying because when I have a reply to a question someone asks I cannot do it unless I load Youtube in desktop mode and reply that way (tedious) or find a desktop/laptop to work from if I'm not at work or home (inconvenient).

    Or simply being able to "@user " in order to reply to them would be fine.

  • Jonathan Curtis

    Looks great...one problem though. They took the high quality button away. Which means that it sets the quality automatically based on the connection, and for me that usually means I'll get garbage quality. I always hit the HQ button before watching videos to avoid a grainy picture. Now I can no longer do so :(