A couple of months ago, Google brought 360-degree videos to YouTube. While we're still not seeing a lot of multi-directional content popping up, it has certainly warranted some attention, including a fairly lengthy mention during the Google I/O 2015 Keynote presentation. At the time, we learned that YouTube would be adding VR video support for Cardboard later this summer. In a rare turn of events, Google's claim of "later this summer" actually meant it was one week away – or six days, to be exact.
left: old version, right: new version. Note the cardboard symbol next to the timeline
Now, whenever a 360-degree video begins playing, the overlay screen will show the Cardboard logo just to the right of the track bar shortly before the entire overlay fades out. You don't need to jump through any hoops or install the Cardboard app, YouTube v10.21 includes the pieces you need. Tapping on the logo instantly launches into stereoscopic mode.
left: stereoscopic mode, right: paused with track bar
If you've used Cardboard in the past, or even watched 360-degree videos on YouTube, you already know what to expect. The one cool addition YouTube brings to the experience is the capability to skip around, just like normal videos. Simply click the Cardboard trigger to pause the video, then aim the target at the appropriate time on the track bar and click again.
If you happen to have Cardboard or any other comparable viewer, pull open the navigation drawer and scroll to the bottom to find the 360-degree video category on YouTube, then look for the "Ideal For Cardboard" playlist for a few particularly well-suited videos to get started with. Definitely check out the Avicii - Waiting For Love music video.
Cardboard support seems to be the only notable change in this update, but if you see anything else, let us know in the comments.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File Name: com.google.android.youtube-10.21.57-102157130-minAPI15.apk
Version: 10.21.57 (102157130)