Google seems to be on a rampage of updates with small tweaks and adjustments to a number of apps. I like to think of it as polish. YouTube in particular has been flying through minor version bumps, the latest of which seems to include just a single visual adjustment to the player screen. Tap on the screen while a video is playing and the overlay now contains the current video's title, the channel it's from, and the total number of views it has acquired thus far. Read More
Google shipped quite a few updates this week, some of which are adding (or teasing) legitimate usability improvements, while others tend to be a bit more cosmetic. The new version of YouTube Gaming leans in the direction of the latter group, though some of its changes speak to subtle improvements for information visibility. There are quite a few little details and some of them aren't obvious unless you're looking very close.
Left: previous version. Right: latest version.
The first change stands out pretty clearly: it's a big new button in the title bar. Tapping on it will instantly launch the setup for live streaming from your own device. Read More
An update to Google's Messenger application rolled out yesterday afternoon. Like a lot of other updates lately, this one appears to be centered around clearing up bugs and issues rather than adding new features. For regular travelers or those that have some compatibility issues with their local carriers, there is now an option to override the automatic country detection the app currently performs. Those users on Android N can also look forward to a fix for a pretty critical bug that could cause Messenger to crash with a simple YouTube link.
Bug Fix: YouTube Links No Longer Crash Android N
For those people living on the edge with the Android N Developer Preview running on their primary (or only) phone, there can be some pretty critical bugs that tend to break things in really unexpected ways. Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More
VentureBeat is claiming to have wind of a new app by YouTube, named 'Connect.' The app will reportedly be used for live-streaming, in much the same way as Periscope and Facebook. According to VentureBeat's sources, Connect has many of the same features as those two apps, including a 'news feed' to see which of your subscriptions are streaming or have shared video, and chat among users.
This marks the fourth YouTube spin-off app, following Gaming, Music, and Kids. It's interesting to note that Connect will introduce a social element to the internet's go-to video service. While YouTube does have a subscription feed updated with videos from creators you subscribe to, it's a poor rendition of a true news feed à la Facebook. Read More
One of the loudest voices of criticism when T-Mobile launched Binge On was none other than Google, but it would appear the two companies have patched things up. T-Mobile just announced a big expansion of Binge On support, and among the new options are both YouTube and Google Play Movies. Read More
You can browse through channels and recommended videos on the YouTube app's homescreen, but chances are, your experience starts with performing a search. To help you find what you're looking for, YouTube has started putting cards at the top of searches that point users toward related search terms. Read More
You know what I hate? Being at the airport or a café and trying to watch a few YouTube videos to pass the time only to be hit with a buffering animation and interminable amounts of waiting. Well, it doesn't really bother me now, because I haven't had time to travel or go chill in a café in years (you do realize I work two full-time jobs, simultaneously?!), but I suppose it would if I was the kind of person who did that. I'm just very sympathetic to everyone who's tried it and I have very good news for them: YouTube is about to make you wait less and watch more. Read More
Have you compared YouTube on your phone to YouTube on a friend's phone lately? There are better than average chances that the two are at least slightly different. The video consumption app is a bit like a snowflake, at least in the sense that it's not the same experience for any two people. The latest experiment for some users is introducing a new icon for the floating action button (FAB) and an entirely new screen for uploading content to YouTube.
Left: older look. Right: new look.
There's not much of a change to the FAB itself, just a new icon. The somewhat generic upload icon has been replaced by a camcorder. Read More