YouTube rolling out some three-dozen new features this fall

The  YouTube channel, as seen on an iPhone and a TV in the background.
Phil Nickinson/

The world’s largest video offering keeps changing. Today YouTube is unveiling about three dozen (more or less) new features. This is a cross-platform announcement, with stuff available on phones and tablets as well as televisions and wherever you watch your YouTube.

Here’s what you have to wait for:

  • Viewers on smart TVs will find video descriptions in a new vertical menu, which YouTube says provides quick access to video descriptions and comments, subscribe buttons, and video chapters. (Similar improvements will impact web browsers and mobile devices.)
  • Better audio controls are coming to mobile devices. This is called “constant volume”, this will level things out so you aren’t affected by loud parts of any content.
  • To speed up playback to 2x speed you now have to press and hold the player, instead of searching through menus. It will work on mobile devices, tablets and web browsers.
  • You’ll now be able to lock the screen of your phone or tablet so you don’t accidentally tap a video.
  • The video will get larger thumbnails as you move around to find the good parts. And if you start searching and then change your mind, you don’t have to guess as hard to get back to where you were.
  • The Library tab and Accounts page are merging to become the “You” tab. This is where you’ll find previously watched videos (assuming you have watch history turned on), along with playlists, downloads, and purchases. You’ll also find account-related settings and channel information here. Google says it is growing rapidly on mobile devices and the web today.
  • Do you know how sometimes you know what a song will sound like but don’t know the name? You’ll be able to sing, hum or play and YouTube will use AI to figure it out. As long as your singing isn’t that bad, we agree.
  • Get ready for more animation when you’re asked to like and subscribe. And even more fireworks – literally, but on-screen, of course – when you actually press those buttons.
  • You will be able to see the number of real-time views and likes for the first 24 hours.

Like almost all Google-based improvements, most of these will be available to users around the world “in the coming weeks.” So if you don’t see them right away, hang in there. They are coming.

Oh, and be sure to like and subscribe.

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