As early as last year, we began seeing quite a few references in teardowns pointing to the ability to overlay music onto videos uploaded in the YouTube app for Android, along with other features like video filters. With the wide rollout of the new YouTube UI, these advanced editing options are finally available to more people, so let's take a look at them.
'Featured,' 'Genre & Mood,' and 'On Device' are the categories you can choose when adding music. The featured section seems to be a catered list of the best generic instrumental tracks that Google has to offer.
Right now, if you're watching a YouTube video through the official YouTube app, you can tap the video player to bring up the scrubber and lots of other controls - minimize, add to playlist, share (again), full screen, and an overflow menu which offers quality and closed captioning options.
Dedicated YouTube users are a fickle bunch, and they don't like having the peanut butter of their video content mixed with the jelly of social networking. The way Google+ comments and YouTube comments intermingle when a video is posted to the social network has been one of the oldest complaints about Google+. Starting today, that won't happen anymore. The following was posted to the official YouTube blog earlier this morning:
With today’s announcement from Google+, you’ll see more changes. The comments you make on YouTube will now appear only on YouTube, not also on Google+. And vice-versa. This starts rolling out today.
We detailed a new YouTube interface back in March that stripped the app of its hamburger menu and replaced it entirely with tabs. Now the look seems to have rolled out to a wider number of users. A ton of you have reached out to us with the news, and at least one of us at Android Police has received it as well.
Here you can see the new interface with the four primary tabs—Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and Your Profile—spread across the top.
360-degree video for YouTube was introduced earlier this year, giving users the ability to move their phones or mouse cursors to shift their POV in any direction. Within a short time major advertisers such as Coca-Cola and Nike began using the new technology to create videos for their YouTube channels with the hopes of achieving greater customer engagement.
Based on initial feedback from the videos that were posted, viewers are more likely to watch a video in its entirety when they can control the direction the camera is facing. A 360-degree Coca-Cola video celebrating the 100th anniversary of their curvy bottle had a 36% higher view-through rate than the standard, single viewpoint video.
Vertical videos are terrible for many reasons, but we may have to come to terms with the fact that people just won't stop recording videos vertically. This inescapable foible of humanity is made slightly less galling by a new feature in YouTube 10.28 (which you can grab from APK Mirror). Vertical videos are now displayed properly (i.e. vertically) when made full screen - something we didn't quite notice until today.
YouTube's Offline Playback feature was first introduced alongside Music Key back in November, finally giving people a way to store a (limited) selection of videos for trips into areas with poor connectivity, or just to avoid using up capped data plans. While it has remained mostly unchanged in the last 8 months, the latest update finally brings a few modifications. The interface is now a bit more informative and uniform, and there's a new low-quality option (which is actually a good thing). A teardown also revealed some big improvements to the voice command interface that has been in the works for a while.
The share button inside YouTube is unlike the icon used in virtually every other Android app. Rather than the usual set of three connected dots, we see a horizontally flipped version of the reply symbol in Gmail. Well, Google isn't yet changing the iconography, but it does seem to be testing out a new location.
In addition to the share button's usual home at the top-right corner of a video, we're also seeing it next to the like and dislike buttons.
If you're not seeing the new layout, try closing the YouTube app and opening it again. That works for some users.
Video on your watch. Video... on your watch. Yup, it's a thing now. And not just any video, millions and millions of videos (at least 20% of which feature cats) on the world's biggest distribution service. Pack it in, NASA. Hit the showers, CERN. Go suck eggs, DARPA. There's no need to try anymore: now that we've got a YouTube app for Android Wear, humanity has reached its absolute peak.
Video for Android Wear & YouTube comes from appfour, the developer of AIDE, Gmail for Wear, and the Android Wear web browser. In that context this is sort of a natural progression, but it's still hard to think of the app as anything more than a novelty.
After the launch of Music Key in November, we've had good reason to expect quite a bit from YouTube. We've seen things like 60 fps live streaming, 360-degree videos with cardboard support, and big updates to the Kids and Creator Studio apps – and that's just some of the stuff from the last two months. We also know there's plenty still to come, particularly an ad-free subscription model. The latest update doesn't seem to deliver any new features, not unless Google is planning to flip a switch server-side, but it gives a few hints about what to expect in the future.