Holy cow, there’s an update to the YouTube for Android TV app! It has been a long time–fourteen months, to be precise–and judging by a major bump to the version number, this isn’t just a bug fixer. In fact, it carries an entirely redesigned interface, not to mention a few functional changes, as well. This update probably doesn’t address many of the requests users have had over the last year, but it’s a great step forward and solves at least one major issue: Auto-play.
Left: v1 interface. Right: v2 interface.
From the first moment you look at the new YouTube for Android TV, it’s immediately clear things have changed. The basic structure still remains to conform to the design guidelines for Android TV, but many things have been added or moved around. The navigation drawer on the left side is much lighter with the removal of the entire list of channel subscriptions and several other options, most of which have moved to the Library screen. It also shows the signed-in account at the very top, so users don’t have to deduce it from the recommendations or look in settings to figure it out.
The color theme features darker shades in the background and uses white backgrounds to highlight selected elements. When the side drawer is collapsed, it shrinks to a column of icons on a transparent background and continues to show cards as they slide by. I’m not really a fan of the way the cards remain highly visible under the sidebar icons.
Across the top of the Home screen resides a row of topical areas, starting with your recommendations and YouTube Red Originals, then following with a short list of broad topics like Food, Beauty, and Gaming.
Similar changes have been made to the search interface. It remains essentially the same functionally,