Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis.
We knew that YouTube Music Key would start rolling out this week, and it looks like it's in full force at this point. A bunch of us here at AP already have it, and from the look of our tip box, most of you do as well. If not, well, I'm sorry. Here's a quick look at what you're missing.
As expected, we've got offline playback (you can choose to save the videos in 360p or 720p), background playback, and ad-free music videos.
If you're excited to try out YouTube's new music subscription service, you may not have long to wait. We've gotten several tips this morning from users who now have access to YouTube Music Key on the web, though that access doesn't seem to extend to the Android app just yet. Most users seem to be left out at the moment, so it's probably another one of Google's frustrating staged rollouts.
Having the latest version of the YouTube app (5.17) installed on your phone doesn't seem to help, though at least one reader with Music Key enabled said that there were now no ads being shown during music videos.
When Google announced YouTube Music Key, we had a few questions, most of which revolved around how this would affect Google Play Music All Access subscribers. Music Key's inclusion of All Access was part of the announcement, but it wasn't stated whether or not AA subscribers would automatically get access to Music Key, or if they'd have to sign up for the service all over again. Of course, that would be a really stupid way to handle things, so thankfully Google isn't doing that.
Google has given a bunch of its apps the Material Design treatment. Thus far, YouTube isn't one of them, even if you're running Android 5.0. But a few users have noticed a UI change that nudges things in that direction. They've fired up the app and slid out the sidebar, only to see that it's now white. With their avatar in the top left atop a colorful background, YouTube is starting to look ever-so-slightly more like what Lollipop users would expect.
Guys, it's happening (....gif). The rumored YouTube music service that we've been hearing about for months is finally a reality. It's called YouTube Music Key, and it looks pretty great.
So here's the gist: it'll cost $7.99 a month (initially, at least - the price will eventually jump to $9.99), and includes full albums, background playback, offline viewing, and no ads. No ads. It's worth eight bucks a month just to get rid of the ads.
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.
YouTube is a somewhat respectable internet destination, but that doesn't mean you want to turn a kid loose on it. HomeTube is the newest app from Chris Lacy, and it aims to make it easier for kids to watch the YouTube vids you deem appropriate. You can even give it a shot for free.