Major update continues Google's new application look and feel, brings a unique multi-window view 

There's a big app update for YouTube beginning its slow rollout today, and while there are the standard bug fixes, the focus is on app design. Keeping with the current look and feel of Google's applications (forget all about Google Voice for a bit, Google seems to have) you have your sliding menu pane on the left, cards everywhere and a new multi-window feature that lets you keep one video playing while you look through your feed or search. While there is no official change log on Google Play just yet, somehow I was lucky enough to get the update today and here's what I'm seeing.

  • The new "hamburger" menu
  • A card based UI for your feed and search list
  • History, playlists, favorites and uploads are now at the top of the menu for easy access
  • A new icon
  • The ability to search for playlists
  • The new multi-window display

The majority of the changes are self-explanatory, for the new multi-window trick is something that needs explaining a bit. While playing a video, you can shrink it down to the bottom right corner by swiping down, tapping the down arrow overlay, or by pressing the back button. The video will continue to play while you're sent back to the UI, where you can look through the app and check your feed, look through a search list, or do just about anything else in the app while it continues to play. If you want rid of it, just swipe it away or drag it up to return it to its original position. 

As usual, this is a Google staged rollout. That means you may be waiting a bit until it's time for your account to see the new update, or it may be there waiting for you right now. (Of course, you can also download it from one of the hundreds of file mirrors that are already posted, providing you trust side-loading after the last security scare.) It's a great update, and worth the wait. See a gallery full of screenshots and pictures after the break.

There are 68 comments

RaiderWill says:

Can't wait to check this out...

elvisgp says:

Just downloaded it. It's awesome. A lot faster and smoother than the old app.

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sethwardo says:

Downloaded it and love the new update. Glad you can easily add videos to watch later.

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Woah... What an awesome update. It's just miles better than the previous version. Love the multitasking bit. Google just FTW.

anthonok says:

Looks fantastic but everything is so huge on the N7. I think it needs to be scaled back just a bit. Especially in portrait.

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Eduardo06sp says:

Are there any changes to the Watch Later feature?
I was not impressed when I noticed that the videos you've watched aren't marked accordingly.

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Chris Nacca says:

Very polished. Nice animations. Good job google

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Ed 115 says:

Hey chris, you think this app outputs 1080p on new nexus 7 or other fhd devices?

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Deke218 says:

Downloaded it on my Nexus 7 this morning and yes it does do 1080 playback or as close to it as possible. It gives you different levels of playback depending on your connection. On my N7 tethered to my N2 with full LTE you get HQ playback. In 4G you get HD playback. Both are stunning on the N7.

Ed 115 says:

Cool thanks!

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still1 says:

nice update!!! the new UI now caught up with all other apps.

prissysox says:

Matias Duarte rocks. We can see his influence in all the new UI elements.

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jwyche007 says:



Love it, awesome job.

Anyone have the .apk to post yet?

Rehzonance says:

Check for the apk

N4 - AC App

Rehzonance says:

Great update love it, love it. Check for the apk

N4 - AC App

KwietStorm says:

Is there a dedicated reply function yet?

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outlooker says:

The update isn't available yet for me. I'm always the LAST one to get app updates on the Google Play Store.

Posted via a naked Nexus 4 running 4.3 (No cover for me!)

Deke218 says:

Why wait? Here's a link to the APK:

S0All says:

If buffering is slow like the current one, this new update is still useless to me.

gheedsgreed says:

The multitasking isn't working for me =(. Dismissing the small window causes the app to freeze up.

jona619 says:

I got this link from DroidLife

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Sweet, thanks!

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It's pretty friggin sweet

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TrinNY says:

Nice update great UI didn't try it for very long but it's got me interested on Android 5.0

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carraser891 says:

How about add ability to reply to comments and messages.... Thought the app would have that kind of functionality by now..

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Ryan Sellman says:

They obviously never paid attention to that. It's pretty lame until they add that feature.

icebike says:

I've learned to be wary of New Google releases lately, as things go missing and capabilities are reduced. What is missing? What did they break?


Why don't you check it out and see for yourself lol.

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chowdog13 says:

Cool, YouTube was in need of a visual overhaul.

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OmahaPlaya says:

Love the new look. Also loving the improvements especially when using it with Chromecast.


Can you thumbs up comments and view the most liked comments?

Thats one thing I wish they'd add.

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artlu629 says:

That's why I still use the mobile site. The app still can't load a video for me.

Posted from my Nexus 4 via Android Central App

This pretty much the best app I have on my phone now

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What's the version #?

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T72018 says:

Google never disappoints on the app design. They have been on a roll lately!!! Go Google

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pajjap says:

Kinda off-topic but anyone here getting an updated ui in their facebook beta app?

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pajjap says:

My bad. It was merely a glitch. -_-

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Tremendous update on an app that was pretty solid to start with....PLEASE get these people working an overhaul of the Play Music app stat! It's a tremendous service but once that $7.99 a month buzz wore off you realize the app is pretty clunky.

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The waterfall widget still kinda sucks...but I don't care for that design on any app.

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tompro53 says:

My only problem with the app is every time I hit the back button the video I was watching goes to the multi window, so now after hitting back I have to swipe away the window an extra step I shouldn't have to take.

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Irish1842 says:

I agree completely, and I'm surprised more people haven't raised this point. You can already minimize the video by swiping down on the video or hitting the down arrow, so I don't see the logic behind applying that functionality to the back button as well. So now we have three ways to make the video smaller, but no way to simply go back to the previous screen.

Exactly. I like the ability to minimize, but the back button makes it impossible to go back to what you actually want and the page and video views is impossible to find what you want quickly. Poor.

lucas710 says:

Wow this is such an so flawless on my GS4!

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Adam Durden says:

I might be late but...

Did anyone notice on, videos now have an embedded Chromecast button as opposed to tab casting the window?

Google's calling it "Optimized Playback":

stvo says:

Beautiful! The animations are a pleasant surprise

cm_richards says:


Slick looking *and* very usable, very much unlike the new Google Maps app which is a mess.

Wow very nice update! Very fast and fluid. Love the option to watch while I browse! Great job:-)

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mzanette says:

This is way better than the Windows phone version!

kolyan2k says:

BUG on GS4.....used to be "black bar" bug now its "white bar"

this is the issue

anthonok says:

Video lags for a second upon touching the screen (brining up the nav bar) on the new N7. Stock.

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osolo88 says:

Is it me or is the chromecast button no longer there??

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anthonok says:

Correction. The lag is on both N4 and N7

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aledelcastle says:

Why the navigation bar is not showing in landscape mode? This is annoying. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S3

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urbster1 says:

I'm with you, why the hell would they take away the progress bar? Yet another reduction of functionality from a Google update. Fail!

Jeff Bandera says:

Same here. Annoying to not be able to scrub video in full screen mode. I also have Galaxy S3. Are others seeing this issue on other devices?

mathematiker says:

It's fast, new UI looks much better, and gesture controls are good.

However, I cannot believe that no one caught the terrible pixel jumble the new app has. I feel like the videos don't play exactly at 1080p, but more like 1078p or something so that the app is shrinking the image a little misaligning all the pixels.

Here's a comparison:
Nexus 7:
Desktop Detail:
Nexus 7 Detail:

I can easily say that YouTube looked as sharp as the desktop image in the old version. This is a problem with the new version, not the fact that I'm accessing it from a mobile device.

I used the intro text on this video to make the comparison: (expletive language on the video)

AMDman18 says:

I checked out that video on my droid dna and it looks fine. doesn't exhibit the jumble showcased in the pics you uploaded. This update seems to bring many different issues dependent upon device. That jumble issue is probably an issue with certain devices in the same way that the updated app doesn't show the scrub bar in landscape mode on my girlfriend's GS3. I'm lucky that I'm not having any problems but Google definitely has some work to do on this one.

Evo Longoria says:

Yes, I'm having the same problem with the missing landscape scrub bar on the GS3. I hope it's addressed soon. Also, the window can't be resized at all, though I got the impression it could be. Otherwise, the window feature is very nice, indeed.

fuzzylumpkin says:

Nice update, find it strange that auto rotate is gone (though I am using the blacked out version) and slightly frustrating that the HDD toggle isn't on the main screen anymore. But yeah, in general very nice.

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dante501 says:

Where is the damn search option when first starting the app? It is gone. Major flaw.

Looking good

Posted via Android Central App onboard a despicable Nexus 4

jersryboy186 says:

Love the new version! Would be nice if you can scroll through anything on your phone while the video is still being played

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Jeff Bandera says:

Glad to see other GS3 owners reporting the scrubber control missing in full screen mode. For awhile I thought I was crazy or doing something wrong.

Matt Deezy says:

Status bar gone in fullscreen mode on the note 2 also. Wtf. Also finicky in vertical mode too. Bad update. The small window that keeps playing when you want it to stop is a stupid feature too.