What you need to know
- YouTube is experimenting with its UI on the Android, web, and TV apps.
- The Android experiment adds a more prominent search bar to the top of the app.
- Web and TV users, meanwhile, may see sign-in prompts if they're accessing YouTube without their Google account.
In the name of science — or perhaps profits, who knows? — YouTube is running a few UI experiments on its apps across different platforms. As Android Police reports, the company has made some changes to the Android, TV, and web apps, though only a small number of people are being tapped for these tests, so you likely won't see them on your end.
The first of these is a new search bar in the YouTube app on Android. In the app's current UI, the search icon in the top right expands into a full-fledged search bar when you click on it. In the new design, an already-expanded search bar is featured prominently in the top left of the app, replacing the now-obsolete magnifying glass icon and, interestingly, even the YouTube logo itself.
In addition to this, YouTube is also encouraging people to sign in to their Google account when using the service by "including a new sign in prompt that shows up on desktop, mobile web and/or TV for a small percentage of people." If you don't want to sign in, you can, of course, dismiss the prompt. The company's feedback page for the feature currently has three upvotes, but perhaps more telling are the three comments, none of which take kindly to the change.
As with all experiments, these changes may never see the light of day — and for the latter of the two, at least, that would be just as well.
YouTube is getting worse in some ways. Especially the ridiculous number of adds you now have to get through while watching even relatively short videos. Nevermind that the rising level of censorship and content restrictions is getting out of hand.
The already-expanded search bar would be welcome. One less action to perform a common function.
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