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.
YouTube has started testing two new so-called "experiments" across its various platforms: A new sign-in reminder prompt that may appear on the web and TV devices, and a new search bar on Android that replaces the old search icon. It still looks nothing like search bar Google uses for all its other apps, but YouTube's known for sticking with its own entirely different design choices for no good reason.
Shortly after starting to test an all-in-one record-and-publish function in the YouTube app, its developers have added another experiment that'll be useful for those of us who'd rather only watch videos. They're working on a button that lets you switch voice search languages right on the input screen. If you're multilingual and like using voice search, this will finally make it possible to search for videos that aren't available in the language you've set up in your YouTube app settings.
YouTube is testing a new all-in-one shooting and uploading feature for its creators using the platform's mobile apps. It allows people to record multiple clips right in the YouTube app and upload them as a new video. However, there's a limitation that's odd at first glance: It looks like creators will only be able to record 15-second long clips or takes at a time.
We're all probably guilty of watching YouTube before bed, and it's harder to keep track of the time these days. To help make sure you're able to wake up in time for those at-home morning meetings, YouTube is rolling out new bedtime reminders to let you know when it's time to put the phone down, and the options are smart enough to do things like wait until you're done with your current video, too.
YouTube's comment section has always felt like an afterthought on mobile — you have to scroll all the way past video recommendations to see it. Whether that's good or bad depends on how much value you see in comments, but we can all agree that the current interface is far from great, and YouTube saw fit to change it. The company has announced that it's adding a comment section preview right below a clip's description, expandable by tapping on it. There are also general changes to the watch page, like bigger Up Next thumbnails and the inclusion of community posts along these.