How to Use YouTube’s New App Gestures

How to Use YouTube’s New App Gestures

YouTube’s app on Android and iOS is getting some big updates to its video controls, including new gestures and rearranged overlay menus with shortcuts for toggling full-screen mode on and off, as well as other features. Once they’re available for you, here’s how you to find and take full advantage of them.

Swipe to enter full-screen mode

You can now swipe up while watching a video to enter full-screen mode, and swipe down to jump out of full-screen mode and back into YouTube’s “regular” view.

You can still tap the full-screen button to jump in and out, per usual, but the option to swipe makes the transition easier and more seamless.

You’ll have to swipe over the video itself for these gestures to register, which should help reduce interference with your system-level swiping.

YouTube’s new overlay shortcuts and playback controls

Google’s update also rearranges YouTube’s video player’s overlay menu and adds new buttons that let you:

  • Toggle closed-captions on and off.
  • Toggle autoplay of the next video on and off.
  • Swap between displaying the elapsed time and the remaining time (tap the video’s timestamp in the lower left).

To access these new buttons, tap a video to bring up the playback control overlay, and then tap the button you want to use.

Google’s changes also include one not-so-great update: You can no longer tap a video’s timeline to skip around. You now have to tap and drag your finger across the timeline if you want to scrub to a specific part of the video, or double-tap the sides of the screen to fast forward or rewind a few seconds.

YouTube’s new video chapters menu

YouTube’s video chapter menu is also getting an overhaul. YouTube introduced chapters earlier this year, providing a way for creators to section off different segments of their videos and even add titles so users can find exactly the section they want.

Once the latest update hits your device, there will be a new list view that displays a video’s chapters, with corresponding thumbnails. Tapping one of the chapter titles opens the list view, and from there you can select the chapter you want to jump to.

This should make selecting a specific chapter much easier on smartphones, since mobile users previously had to use their finger to tap or scrub through the video’s timeline to skip chapters.

Other YouTube app changes

The new swipe controls, overlay toggles, and upgraded chapter select menu will arguably have the most immediate impact on YouTube’s mobile experience, but those aren’t the only changes the update introduces. The app will now offer “suggested actions” that can enhance the viewing experience on certain videos.

For example, you might be prompted to watch certain videos in full-screen mode, or even using a VR headset. The app might also prompt you to set up bedtime reminders to help stop those late-night YouTube binges from interfering with your sleep.

Everything covered here will show up once you’ve installed the new YouTube update. The update is available today, but as with all Google rollouts, the patch will show up at different times depending on your device — though Android users might be able to get these new features early by opting into YouTube’s beta program on Google Play.

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