YouTube’s mobile app gets new gestures and playback controls

YouTube is updating its mobile apps with a few new features that should make viewing and controlling videos a bit easier, with new gestures, updated player controls, and additional features.

The biggest update is a new gesture to enable or disable full-screen video: instead of tapping the button (or rotating your phone), you’ll now be able to swipe up on the video window to enter full-screen and swipe down to return back to the standard player page. (Those gestures will only work when swiping on the playback window itself — so you don’t have to worry about getting it confused with the swipe gestures to exit applications on both iOS and Android.)

The new autoplay toggle and closed captioning buttons on YouTube.

There are also a few new buttons on the video player: there’s now a new closed-caption toggle that appears directly on the overlay menu, along with the toggle to turn on or off autoplay video. You can also tap on the timestamp of a video to switch between viewing how much time has elapsed in a video and how much time there is left.

The updated apps also feature an expanded version of the video chapters feature that YouTube has been developing over the past few months. Now, there’s a new list view that shows all the chapters for the video, including a preview thumbnail (sort of like a DVD menu).

YouTube’s new suggested actions feature.

Lastly, YouTube is adding a new set of “suggested actions” — small prompts that will recommend that users rotate their phones (perhaps using that new full-screen gesture mentioned earlier) or use a VR headset for a better experience watching a video. YouTube says that it’ll be working on adding more suggested actions in the future, too.

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