Chromebooks have an incredibly barebones video player interface that hasn't changed much over the years. It looks like Google finally wants to change that. The company is testing a much prettier video player in Canary, complete with enhanced, floating controls.
One of the things that first struck me about MX Player, when I tried it out many years ago, was its swiping gestures on each side of the screen. Instead of looking for physical volume buttons or pausing the video to find the brightness controls on my phone, a simple swipe would adjust those without skipping a second. These same gestures are now available in Android's built-in video player.
MX Player is one of the most popular apps for playing back media content on Android devices thanks to features like picture-in-picture playback and Chromecasting local files. In the latest beta release, the app is implementing several new additions including pinch-to-zoom and in-app YouTube browsing.
VLC is one of the best media players. It's available on pretty much any platform and able to play almost every audio and video file type you could think of. Its UI on Android has become a bit stale over the years though, so with the recently released version 3.2.3 of the app, the developers have decided to polish up the looks while also adding new features to the Android TV and Chromebook variants.
As one of the most popular and fully-featured video player apps available on the Play Store, we've become accustomed to MX Player getting useful new features on a regular basis. Most recently, the team behind it added Chromecast support for online streaming content, and the latest update includes a Picture-in-Picture function.
If it were up to us, every video would be 16:9, with some exceptions made for some more cinematic footage. But because there are older videos and people unaware of vertical video syndrome on YouTube, videos with inferior aspect ratios are an unfortunate reality. The team behind YouTube is making the best of this situation and has now forced its web player to adapt to different aspect ratios.
Chrome 65 came out last week, and included Google's new ad-blocker and a few other security features. Chrome 66 has now graduated to the beta channel, and has several major experimental features. There's a new 'Modern Design' interface, partially based on the ill-fated Chrome Home UI, as well as updates to the media player and a new Clipboard API.
The video player on Chrome for Android has always closely mirrored (or looked identical to) the desktop Chrome video player. There's a play/pause button, a timeline, and whatever other controls the site has enabled (full-screen, volume, download, etc.). A brand new video player has appeared in Chrome Dev and Canary, with the same double-tap to fast-forward/rewind that the YouTube app added earlier this year.
Plex has been up to lot lately; it wasn't too long ago that the company announced Live TV, a free service for all Pass subscribers. Shifting back to a stronger Android focus, the app is getting a rather interesting update starting today. V6.0 (technically, 18.104.22.1683) adds the ability to play locally-stored video files on your phone or tablet.
YouTube's update to v5 introduced its floating in-app video player, giving users an easier way to browse for a new video while finishing up whatever they were just watching. While the YouTube developers are known for experimenting heavily with interface adjustments, the floating video player has gone basically unchanged over the last four years. That is until a few weeks ago when some users found themselves looking at a new bottom bar layout equipped with player controls. But that's not the only thing YouTube is considering, there is also evidence that users will have the option to shut off the floating video player altogether, or only leave it on while connected to Wi-Fi.