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.


Reader comments

Big YouTube app update brings new UI features


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

Posted via Android Central App

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

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

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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.

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

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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!)

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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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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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?


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

Thats one thing I wish they'd add.

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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

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

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

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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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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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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.

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

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

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

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?

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)

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.

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.

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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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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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.

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.