It looks like Google isn't wasting any time laying down a support infrastructure for its new set-top box push. Just one day after the shiny new Nexus Player officially went on sale, the YouTube app for Android TV has been published in the Play Store to enable easy updates without a firmware upgrade. If you happen to be one of the few people with an ADT-1 developer unit from Google I/O or you got lucky with an early delivery of the Nexus Player, you should see the update automatically.
According to Google, approximately one out of every two hundred Android users reading this post actually placed the built-in YouTube app widget on their homescreen. That's not really surprising: the one that has been a part of the YouTube Android app for years isn't all that useful, it just grabs a handful of videos that the search algorithm thinks you might be interested in and plops them down in a stacked list.
People have been searching for an easy way to download YouTube videos to Android since... well, probably since the original G1. And sometime in the very near future, Google is prepared to give it to them... if they live in India. Tucked into the promotional materials for Android One's launch was this tidbit about letting users download YouTube videos for watching online later. The idea is for users to download the videos on WiFi and save on data charges or access them when outside of mobile coverage.
Exactly when YouTube will be available offline hasn't been disclosed.
Before now, enabling notifications within the YouTube app would only result in an Android device getting alerted whenever the app had something new to report. Now, there's a tab in the sidebar that's dedicated entirely to these messages. Users can click on it to view their notification history, which should make it much easier to flick away future alerts without wondering if that action will be regretted later.
Notifications will presumably still pop up as before, they just now have a place to stay after they've been dismissed.
YouTube thrives off the videos produced by independent content creators all over the world, and while it compensates many of them through ads, that money is hardly enough to make a living off of in most cases. Earlier this summer Google said that producers would soon have the option to request donations right on their YouTube pages. The feature's live now, so here's a look at how it works.
When you're watching something produced by someone who's willing to accept donations, an icon will appear in the top left corner of the video.
YouTube has videos. Google+ has videos. In fact, Google+ uses the YouTube backend and interface for its videos. So it makes sense that you can seamlessly move uploaded videos between the two. Except that you can't, or at least you couldn't before the latest update to the web versions of both services. You'll need to "merge" your personal YouTube channel with Google+ to take advantage, which might be a sticking point for all those YouTube users that cried foul about the whole username thing a while back.
Google, like many companies, engages in a practice known as dogfooding. That's when a company has employees internally test new features and products before rolling them out to the public. While poking around in the recent YouTube APK, we found a little surprise. There's a GIF presumably shown in dogfood versions of the app to remind people to keep their big fat mouths shut.
Google knows using YouTube on a TV could be better, so the company has started to push out an updated version that fits in more with the company's latest sense of style (Android TV, anyone?) and, more importantly, makes content easier to access.
YouTube looks great on a TV, but it's not as easy to browse as other media services such as Netflix and Hulu, where users can just shift through movie titles and the latest shows without having to go through all that much effort.