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YouTube rolling out fresh interface for Android TV

YouTube's new Android TV interface is now rolling out, hopefully solving some of the issues people have reported that have led to a pretty horrid rating for the app in the Play Store (opens in new tab). The new interface makes it a bit easier to browse on a big screen with some larger interface elements and new tabs running across the main home screen. That's all roughly the same, though, with the core of big tiles showing off videos sitting on top of a grey background remaining intact.

The video player interface is probably the biggest change that everyone will experience. Bringing up the UI over the top of a video is far less intrusive, letting you see more of the video when you bring up the scrubber and previous/play+pause/next buttons.

YouTube surely hasn't addressed every complaint, but there are lots of improvements here.

The seek bar is activated with a press up on your remote, where you'll now see a sequence of thumbnails from the video as you scrub through. When you highlight the previous or next buttons instead, you get a lineup of videos below the scrubber that will be coming up next when you press the button — far better than a list of suggestions. At the end of a video, you get a few second buffer to see what's coming up next (if you have auto play turned on) rather than immediately jumping to the next video in the lineup.

The update obviously can't address everything people were asking for with YouTube on Android TV, but getting our first major update in a year shows Google isn't completely forgetting about the platform. Grab the update on your Android TV box and enjoy the latest interface.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

16 Comments
  • I've had this layout on Roku for years. How is this just arriving now on Android TV?
  • Can you change the resolution. On the older version you can change the resolution.
  • Still no multiple users. There is most likely going to be more than one user in a Household. Why do they have to share accounts. I don't want to be updated on things my kids subscribe to. This should be an easy fix. The have this option with YouTube TV...
  • Agree. I use a generic account for the TV to avoid conflicts. Also, I always try to remember that Youtube is tagged as for Teens and above.
  • You have to be running Nougat to get that feature.
  • This seems to be similar to Samsung TV version which not sure very friendly.. And on the same topic - where is Youtube for Kids for Shield ?
  • Yep. Looks like Roku. I actually liked the old version.
  • I had no problem with the old interface. This looks like ****.
  • Yeah the old one was better, but it was still missing a lot of features.
  • If it had access to to the comments section, video info and add to watch later capability would be nice.
  • Hmm. The APK wont install on my shield. i get a 'app isnt compatible with your phone' error.
  • Same issue here, trying to sideload the app gave me "App isn't compatible" error. Has anyone else seen the update hit Nvidia Shield or Mibox through the playstore. Still waiting :(
  • Autoplay can now be turned off? FINALLY!
  • Still haven't seen this update. Where the hell is it??
  • No more most relevant and most recent list of your subscriptions? Just a generic page with massive round icons in alphabetical order. Do the people that come up with this even use the app?
  • When I stream 4K videos direct from my sony 4K TV the videos are not in 4K. 2K at best. But when I stream through my 4K bluray player the videos are in 4K including HDR. Any ideas. This is all with version 2. How do you change the resolution in v2.