Google today started the roll-out of a major new version of YouTube for Android. This update is one of the most significant for the service in a long time and introduces a cool in-app multitasking feature that lets you minimize the screen while you are browsing channels or performing searches.
Until now, this meant you had to stop the video. In this new version, the video will just move to the bottom-right corner of the screen and continue playing there. From there, you can always get back to full-screen mode or just swipe right or left to dismiss the video.
This new “picture-in-picture” feature is the highlight of today’s release, but the YouTube team also added a bunch of other new features. You can now, for example, more easily search for and browse channels for playlists to watch collections of videos back-to-back.
With the recent launch of the Chromecast, it’s no surprise that Google also added a deeper integration with the new YouTube app. This means you will now see a preview screen on your device while a video is playing on the Chromecast or other smart TV that supports this feature. This should make it easier to queue up the next video.
It’s not clear when this update will hit iOS, but as a Google spokesperson told me, “this update is coming soon to all platforms, and to stay tuned.”
The update should start rolling out to all devices soon. If you can’t wait, the good folks at Android Police have links to the APK for your downloading pleasure.
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