YouTube gets revamped interface, complete with pinch-to-zoom and other new features

Until now, YouTube only allowed full-screen mode to switch between black stripe display (vertical or horizontal) and the zoom-to-fill alternative that crops the image to fill the screen, simply cutting out the parts that don’t fit.

From now on, users will be able to use pinch-to-zoom controls to zoom in on any portion of the video being watched. Especially useful for videos uploaded at high resolution (e.g. 4K or 8K), the pinch-to-zoom feature would allow you to see hard-to-read writing on a random object captured in the frame, or any details that might go unnoticed at a cursory glance. Another advantage is that you’ll only be able to zoom into the image as much as you think is necessary, for example, keeping the displayed text visible.

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But pinch-to-zoom isn’t the only new feature, with YouTube switching to a new design inspired by the Android 13 theme, with rounded buttons and more colour.

Ambiend Mode is a feature responsible for automatically matching the background colour to the shades of the playing clip. Inspired by the ambient light function available on some TV models, Ambiend Mode is designed to reduce the contrast between the displayed image and the black background of the YouTube interface displayed in Dark mode, resulting in a slightly more pleasant viewing experience.

Other changes have been made to playlists. These now use the same colour scheme and can display more information about saved clips.

The YouTube playback interface has also undergone significant changes. From now on, YouTube links will no longer appear in the raw clip description, but will be replaced by buttons. In addition, the “like,” “share,” and “download” have been restyled to give the interface a less cluttered look. Even though the subscribe button is no longer red, the tweaked design for more contrast makes it easier to find.

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Another important change is to the search bar, now doubled with thumbnails showing the content of the clip at the selected position.

The new YouTube experience goes live globally today, but it could take a few weeks for the server-level changes to become visible to everyone.

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