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youtube

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Google is using Opinion Rewards questions to improve YouTube video recommendations

If you've never used Google Opinion Rewards, it's an app from Google that periodically sends you surveys and rewards you with Play Store credit. Most questions are usually location-based, asking if you've been to a certain place recently and how you would rate it. But it looks like Google may be using Opinion Rewards to improve YouTube video recommendations.

Earlier today, I received a survey asking about my YouTube history. It's worth noting that if you have YouTube Watch History disabled, you won't get these surveys.

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Left: A YouTube survey?! Right: Here it asks about a video I watched earlier today.

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Google is moving Hangouts On Air to YouTube Live for future broadcasts

Coming as an inevitable surprise to no one, Google has announced today that Hangouts On Air will be leaving Google+ and moving to YouTube Live. All future broadcasts will need to be scheduled in YouTube Live, and events in Google+ will shut down after the hard date of September 12.

Google says that recorded Hangouts On Air will still be available on YouTube, and that Google+ event content will be available in read-only format in the Activity Log.

In regards to Q&A, Google's suggestion to broadcasters is to use Slides, which has the same feature, in conjunction with broadcasts. The company also suggests that questions are gathered ahead of time via social media.

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YouTube Music v1.38 now allows removing tracks from offline mixtape, promises landscape orientation [APK Download]

If you're a regular user of the dedicated YouTube Music app, you're probably accustomed to updates that add fairly non-obvious changes. The latest update includes a hidden gem that makes the offline mixtape feature considerably more useful. According to an official changelog posted late last night, we should also see screen rotation, but it seems that didn't actually make it into this release. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom so you can skip Google's staged rollout.

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YouTube Kids finally works with Red subscriptions

YouTube has a lot of content, not all of which is acceptable for kids. Actually, a lot of it isn't acceptable for grown ups either, but that's beside the point. The YouTube Kids app was launched last year to aggregate kid-friendly videos, but it didn't support YouTube Red. Now, it does support YouTube Red, which we predicted in an APK Teardown earlier this year.

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YouTube version 11.29 returns the 'X' close button in the background notification

We've taken a look at the APK for the latest version of YouTube, 11.29, and there's some mildly interesting bits under the hood, but not much that's user-facing. There's one exception: the little "X" button to close the notification has returned. See it up there? It's back. Hooray!

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Last time, on Minute Video Player User Interface Adjustments...

Of course you only get the notification if you're 1) subscribed to the YouTube Red premium service and 2) have background play enabled in the app's settings menu. The button inexplicably disappeared from the notification after an update late last month. Now it's back.

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Latest YouTube update removes notification button to close background play

Google does a lot of smart things, but it also makes some very bizarre (dare I say, dumb?) decisions. Case in point, YouTube recently changed the way it handles background play, making it harder to end playback from the notification. The "x" used to be tiny, but now it's just gone.

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YouTube Gaming v1.5 adds chat overlay to full-screen videos, landscape orientation, watch history, a new easter egg, and more [APK Download]

It has been about six weeks since the last YouTube Gaming update rolled out, and it's clear the developers have been keeping pretty busy on making changes. The latest update has quite a few improvements to be found throughout the app, not to mention at least one feature that might be considered pretty huge. Topping the list is a new live comment stream that overlays gameplay videos so you can see the action and watch the commentary at the same time. A few features have been moved to more convenient places and a video history is now available. Finally, there's a new easter egg, and it's pretty awesome.

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YouTube is testing an improved comment UI in the Android app: likes, dislikes, reactions, and sorting

Open your eyes wide because a miracle is about to happen. You know how YouTube has long had some comment tools on its website to change the sorting order and like/dislike comments? Well, the Android app doesn't have any of that. What you get is just a regular list of comments with the option to add your opinion to the mix and... nothing else really.

However, that might be about to change. Some users are seeing a new comment interface on the YouTube Android app with the cool features from the website. There's a like and dislike button below each comment, an indicator of how many replies it got, and an option to expand to view said replies in a separate page.

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YouTube v11.25 begins preparation for mobile live streaming [APK Teardown]

YouTube is going to earn a reputation as a service that doesn't let anybody else stomp on its territory. In a story that sounds entirely too similar to the launch of YouTube Gaming to combat the success of Amazon-owned Twitch, rumors started circulating a few months ago with the suggestion YouTube had started preparing for a head-on fight with mobile livestreaming services like Periscope. It was no surprise when a formal announcement was made last week confirming YouTube would add live streaming to its flagship mobile app. The latest update to v11.25 contains evidence this is either ready to go, or at least in the works.

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YouTube introduces mobile live streaming, built directly into YouTube app

Live streaming is a big topic at the moment, what with Twitter (through Periscope) and Facebook introducing their own mobile solutions to the growing social market. Despite the fact YouTube is the biggest video repository on the web, it didn't have native mobile live streaming - until now.

Of course, YouTube has had live streaming for a while - Google I/O for one has been live streamed on the platform for the last few years. However, moving this platform to mobile is a pretty big leap, as it essentially means anyone will be able to live stream anything. According to YouTube's blog post, to start streaming all you'll have to do is hit a big red button in the app - I assume this will be a fairly prominent button - and you're off.

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