Do you remember that kid in high school that really wanted to be popular? He wasn't as athletically gifted or as attractive as his friends, and, even with his expensive clothes and his designer (Gorilla) glasses, he just didn't get the attention and respect he felt he deserved. So, what does this guy do to get noticed? He becomes the class clown, the funny guy - Mr. Giggles. Now, a good sense of humor is a perfectly legitimate way to gain social standing and win friends so what's the problem with that?
We're naturally big fans of Google here at Android Police. But living in Google's world as we do, it's easy for us to see the flaws in the enormous company, and it's also our duty to point them out. One of the biggest problems with Google is that it's often terrible at providing customer service to its hundreds of millions of active users. So it is with the first major problem to pop up for Music Key, YouTube's new music subscription service.
By now you may have seen YouTube's experimental new web player UI. The new interface has been popping up for some users for a while now, but if you haven't used the new player yet and you're feeling left out - good news. Today we've learned there's a way to enable the UI for yourself using a simple Chrome extension.
Advertising is a necessary evil. If you look around this very page, you'll see ads that keep Android Police afloat. (Unless you're blocking them, in which case you owe me a beer for every paragraph you read.) Google knows its way around ads - that's how an incredibly expensive, bandwidth-intensive video service like YouTube makes money. But if you could skip the annoying commercials before your videos, even the 5 second blips that require an extra click, would you? You'll probably have that option soon.
Tired of seeing these?
A recent email sent to active YouTube channel operators says that Google is getting ready to implement a subscription-based, advertising-free option.
Have you noticed that it's impossible to search for a game-related video on YouTube without seeing dozens of hour-long "Let's Play" videos? You're not the only one. According to a report from The Daily Dot, Google is looking to re-make YouTube's live streaming service (the one you use for every official Android event) with a focus on video games. The report cites anonymous sources "within the streaming industry," so it's firmly in the rumor department for the time being.
DOTA 2 2014 World Championship Tournament. Image credit: Polygon
While there's no way to confirm the report, it certainly makes sense.
Play Music's v5.8 rolled out last month with a slew of fixes and improvements to make the app fit better with Material Design's guidelines and provide some added functionality like biography and history for artists, and a previous song button in the collapsed notification. The app has since seen a few incremental changes, but the latest v5.8.1836R got a rare treatment from Google: an official changelog. So it must be something important, right?
Well, yes and no. If you don't subscribe to Google Play Music All Access (or Unlimited as it's being referred to recently), you may not notice any significant difference in the app.
A fresh update for YouTube began rolling out today, bumping the version number to 10.10. This appears to be a fairly minor release, as it only includes some visual tweaks and adds the new 4K video search filter. Still, it might appeal to anybody with a screen and hardware that supports super high-def video. There's a download link below if you're anxious to give it a try.
Left: previous version. Center: new version. Right: 4k video.
4K search first appeared in a teardown of YouTube 10.8, just 3 weeks ago. Like any other video filter, it can be enabled after performing a keyword search, at which point there's an icon to the right of the search box that can be used to access the list of filters.
Just in case you were getting comfortable with the YouTube app's latest design, it looks like there may be more changes in store. It seems a number of users are encountering a new YouTube interface, apparently triggered server-side without an app update.
The change sees YouTube's hamburger menu flipping right out of the interface, going the way of Google+ in discarding the left-side navigation drawer. Instead, users are given four primary tabs - Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and your profile. Interestingly, a couple of these tabs seem to have bars underneath to switch from, say, all videos to music on the home tab, or from uploads to channels on the subscription tab.
We spotted some references to 360-degree videos in a YouTube APK Teardown last month, and now it's live. Google has highlighted several channels that have already published the first 360-degree videos, which are essentially moving Photospheres. They work on desktop Chrome and in the Android app. Check out the playlist below.