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server-side

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Content suggestion thumbnails on YouTube while playing full-screen video are rolling out slowly

Google seems to be trying many new things in terms of content on YouTube, including video thumbnails once a video has been completed, cards at the top of searches, video recommendations as notifications, and numerous tweaks to the now playing screen. We've been made aware by multiple readers of a new video suggestion feature while watching a full-screen video.

In the most recent version of the YouTube app, 12.05, when watching a full-screen video, suggestions will pop up at the bottom, giving you ideas for what to watch next. These show up as a preview of a thumbnail, but can be tapped on to bring them into view. Presumably, this is an attempt by Google to get people watching something else if they're bored with what they're watching, which would seem to be a wise move, because ads.

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The slightly tweaked YouTube UI seen last year is rolling out to more people

It was a good seven months ago now that we saw evidence of a tweaked YouTube UI, exposing video buttons and rearranging things slightly. As of YouTube version 12.03, it appears this has now rolled out more widely, although it is vaguely different from the UI shown in August.

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Play Store has new layout and transitions for search results, may be rolling out via server-side update

Google iterates a lot on the Play Store - the new shade of green, darker and richer than the previous one - is currently rolling out globally, along with the big uninstall button and tweaked list view for apps. We've now had wind of another test, using big cards for apps that can be horizontally swiped through in search results.

 

When searching for an app, tapping a result will take you to this new view, where you see the current content but instead of fullscreen, it is contained in a card. Scrolling down makes the card bigger - so the view is as it is now - and scrolling up puts it back in a card.

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The new Play Store UI that Google leaked in one of its own videos is real, and it's going live for some

As many Android enthusiasts may know, Google is constantly experimenting with new features and UI changes for its apps. Just a few days ago, in a recently published Google video featuring the Pixel, we noticed a never-before-seen Play Store UI on the device. This user interface possessed a new color scheme, a larger "Install" button, and more. Now, we're starting to see elements from that video pop up on enthusiasts' devices.

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RCS is going live for some Google Messenger users, enabling "enhanced features" for messaging

A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.

Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it.

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New YouTube UI with navigation bar on bottom rolling out server-side on Android

YouTube's Android app seems to be getting yet another design revamp, this time in the form of a navigation change. This news comes just a few weeks after it was reported that the YouTube app is getting a new UI for comments and video descriptions (which many people, including myself, still don't have).

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Play Store app's "People" area, +1s on app pages may be getting phased out

It seems that two features of the Google Play Store app, the "People" area and the "+1" option on app listings, are disappearing. At this time, I've personally checked five of my devices, and only one which hadn't been powered on in months still had them.

There is a chance this is a bug or some kind of unforeseen consequence of Google making another change to the Play Store, but it seems much more likely that the removal of these features is completely intentional. Google+ doesn't get much love these days, and Google has dramatically reduced the prominence of it in its various other products, rebranded the "Sign in with Google+" button as just Google, and started to pivot the platform as a whole into more of a meeting place for interest-driven communities rather than a "social network." In light of that, killing off the more social-network-y features of the platform in connected products is only logical.

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YouTube's New Card-Style Video Options Menu Seems To Be Rolling Out Widely

Want to change the streaming quality of the YouTube video? Tap the overflow button in the top right corner. Options will appear in the middle of the video for Captions, Quality, Report, and Cardboard.

Except, maybe they won't. Months ago many people started seeing a card-style menu instead. Now judging from the onslaught of tips in our inbox, a lot more people are seeing them. Some of us are as well.

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YouTube Is Testing A New Progress Bar Showing How Far You Were In A Video

When you start watching a video, you don't always finish it right away. Distractions happen. Someone hit you up with a Hangouts message. You needed to restart for an update. Whatever.

Now you're back to finish watching, but where did you leave off?

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YouTube Redesigns Home, With Bigger Videos And More Relevant Personalizations

Times are a-changin', and so is YouTube's Home on both Android and iOS. It's not quite equivalent to moving houses; more redecorating, giving things a lick of paint where the wallpaper has got a little tatty.

The most noticeable change is videos are getting bigger. Instead of the small, thumbnail-like videos of the past, the video preview now takes up almost the entire width of the screen. This means that fewer videos can now fit in a single scroll - on my Nexus 6P, the old layout could fit six previews, just about, whereas the new design can only fit a measly two.

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