By: Nick Gambino
YouTube has just added a plethora of new features, including the long-awaited pinch to zoom on iOS and Android phones. This capability was being tested with Premium users for the past couple of months, but now it’s getting a wide rollout.
Pinch to zoom is exactly what it sounds like. When watching a video on YouTube on your phone, you’ll be able to drill in to get a closer look at details. Until now, your best bet was going into the full-screen mode or watching the video on a bigger screen. Unlike videos on platforms like Instagram, once you zoom in and take your fingers off the display, it’ll stay zoomed in at that point. Of course, you can also zoom back out.
Google has also added precise seeking to make it easier for users to pull up the exact part of a video they’re looking for. This is a lot better than double tapping to rewind or fast forward 10 seconds over and over, hoping to get the right spot. Or worse, dragging across the video in an attempt to find what you’re looking for.
All you have to do now is drag or swipe up on the screen and you’ll get a row of video frames or thumbnails to choose from. Select the one you want and it’ll take you to that precise spot. It works on both mobile and desktop.
In addition to these convenient new features, YouTube is getting a facelift, a necessary part of staying fresh in a competitive social world. They’ve added ambient mode which makes everything look more vibrant thanks to the YouTube app adapting the color of the video you’re watching.
“Now, we’re making the watch page easier on the eyes: YouTube links in video descriptions will change to buttons, and frequent actions such as like, share and download, are now formatted to minimize distractions,” the YouTube blog announcement says about other design changes. The share button is also getting a tune-up, ditching its classic red design.
Now, if they can only fix those floating video boxes at the end of every video so they don’t cover up the last 10 seconds of something you’re trying to watch.