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.
The YouTube app was supposed to get an offline playback mode some time ago, but like the subscription music service, it hasn't materialized yet. That's not stopping Google from teasing it, though. Right in the Play Store you'll find a few screenshots with a navigation menu listing for offline videos.
A couple of days ago, Google fulfilled its obligation to prevent me from sleeping by releasing a stack of newly updated apps for me to examine. Some of them were pretty straight forward, like the latest version of Android Device Manager, and others turned out to be pretty mind-boggling. That's how the YouTube update turned out. The apk grew by 2 MB, and Google certainly packed in quite a bit, but many of the additions don't make much sense.
Last night, YouTube received what looked like a substantial update v5.9, and, of course, I rushed to start digging through the APK in hopes of finding all sorts of under-the-hood changes. Imagine my excitement when I saw the following new string buried, among other things, inside res/strings.xml:
Update Wednesday is here, and it's time to start things off with YouTube. The latest release makes the jump up to version 5.9, and it's quite a hefty one. This time around we see the file size jump up an additional 2MB. Here's what you're getting with those extra bits.
When Sony debuted the Live on YouTube app last month, we wondered if compatibility would extend backwards to some other high-end Sony phones. The time is now, Sony smartphone owners... at least if you own one of three very specific models. Last year's flagship the Xperia Z1, its slightly smaller brother the Xperia Z1 Compact, and the high-powered Xperia ZL2 (which is only available in some Asian markets at the moment), all have access to the app as of now.
Update 7/24/14:VentureBeat reports that the deal has finally gone through, though nothing official has been announced by either company just yet. The waiting game continues.
The original post from May 18th continues below.
Google has reportedly succeeded in securing the acquisition of the game streaming service Twitch. If the deal goes through, Twitch will apparently become part of YouTube. The sale price is being reported as an even $1 billion in cash, which works out to exactly one Instagram.
It seems like the only thing we hear about the upcoming YouTube music service as of late is how many problems it's having. Case in point: the Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube's product manager in charge of music, Christopher LaRosa, is leaving the company in favor of an as-yet unnamed startup. LaRosa's LinkedIn profile says he's worked at YouTube for over four years, and at Google for two years before that.
A small change on Google's end has added the option to access your purchased Google Play video content in YouTube. Check out the navigation menu in the YouTube app and the purchases link will now be overflowing with Google Play Movies and TV. Well, maybe not overflowing, but we've all got that free copy of Big, right?
There are big things happening at the world's biggest video site. Which one is biggest will probably depend on exactly what you want out out of Google's streaming behemoth, but the most notable addition from an Android perspective is the new YouTube Creator Studio app. This add-on allows frequent YouTube uploaders to check analytics, likes, comments, and that sort of thing without needing a PC. If you make your living on YouTube, which is statistically unlikely, this will be an invaluable resource.