The YouTube comments section often is a special kind of hell spewing toxicity, and Google's half-hearted attempts to make it a more pleasant place aren't helping much. Following a recent redesign of how comments are displayed in the Android app, Google has now silently added the option to read them in fullscreen mode, too — the one place previously safe from having to interact with your fellow internet users.
Messing around with experimental software features is a ton of fun. After all, who doesn't love to enable the newest flags in Chrome just to see what happens? YouTube has long had a hub for all of its unfinished tweaks and tools, but it was so unpublicized, you likely didn't even know it existed. That's finally starting to change, as new banners in the app are asking users to try out all sorts of incomplete options for a limited time.
Not all of us are fans of YouTube autoplaying videos on its home screen, but it seems like that's here to stay. In a new test, the "feature" is picking up more exhaustive controls, making it possible to have more interaction with the active video without having to further open it.
Even though Google offers a dedicated music application, a good chunk of people still can't shake the habit of catching their favorite tracks on YouTube. Google previously tried to prompt users to switch to YT Music, but it seems like it's tired of doing so as it's testing a new YouTube interface that's meant to improve the music listening experience.
YouTube is no stranger to experimenting with new features, regardless of whether a proposed update is popular with its users. Its latest test is bound to draw in some negative attention, with major changes in the works for video ratings. In the coming weeks, YouTube will begin experimenting with hiding public dislike counts from view to help prevent harassment campaigns targeted towards creators.
While Google allows customers to buy and rent movies and TV shows from both Google Play and YouTube, it's always been a bit harder to find content purchased on the latter platform. Thankfully, Google is making it a little easier to keep track of your movies and shows with a new menu option in its latest update.
YouTube is arguably the world's largest visual platform, and from redesigning the playback UI on Android TV to adding a new button in the bottom navigation bar, the YouTube team is continually looking for ways to improve the interface. The icons used in the Android app haven't seen major changes since the 2017 material refresh, but now it looks like a significant revamp is rolling out to everyone — and it's not necessarily a change for the better.
A few years ago, a YouTube update changed the video player's progress bar, extending it over the full width of the display. Ever since, it's been easy to miss the fullscreen button and hit the end of the seek bar just below it instead, often making for a frustrating experience. A YouTube app update tries to remedy that problem by preventing the bar from responding to single taps at all — you now need to hold and slide your finger to seek.
Google Photos only recently got an improved custom share sheet, and Twitter is testing a better implementation of its solution as well. YouTube apparently didn't want to be left out as some people report that they're seeing a new share sheet in the app, too. In contrast to the other two, the video service's solution is a drastic regression in function, making me wonder if it's a bug that passed testing.