Google upgraded the iOS YouTube application with a number of enhancements, including pinch to zoom in videos and a new way of showing thumbnails while rewinding will make it easier to find an exact location.
There are other changes too, and some of the enhancements are coming to the desktop version.
YouTube gets better for DIYers
YouTube is a hugely popular service for watching crowd-sourced videos for free with ads. Google (who acquired the service in 2006) regularly updates the iPhone and iPad apps.
The latest version adds pinch to zoom, which allows users to zoom in and out of a video while it’s playing with a single gesture. And the video will stay zoomed in. The feature is for iOS and Android phones… which probably means iPad, too.
Another new YouTube feature likely to help the DIY crowd is precise seeking. “Simply drag or swipe up while seeking to display a row of thumbnails in the video player and you’ll be able to make fine-tuned adjustments to get to the exact part in each video,” notes Nate Koechley, UX Director, YouTube. It’s for desktop and mobile.
A previous update already added the ability to long press on the player to scrub forward our backward. Or double tap with two fingers to skip chapters.
A more colorful UI
The new YouTube version also adds ambient mode. This subtly changes the app’s background color to match the video. The feature is for web and mobile while in dark mode. Speaking which, dark mode has been made even darker.
And there are other UI tweaks, too. “YouTube links in video descriptions will change to buttons, and frequent actions such as like, share and download, are now formatted to minimize distractions,” noted Koechley.
The YouTube executive promised that these changes will gradually roll out to all users over the next few weeks.