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YouTube Android app update gets the big picture

by Ian Black

YouTube wasn't the first video-sharing site on the web, but it quickly assumed the top slot with its friendly interface, sharing and comment capability. Google acquired YouTube in 2006, and has offered a YouTube Android app for a while. Google just released a free version 2.0 update to the YouTube app, and it's well worth the download.

What's new? A major UI redesign. Now, in portrait mode, you can read and scroll through the comments while a video plays. Rotate your phone to go into landscape mode. The video blows up to full-screen and you have a large disc to grab and slide with your finger to advance or rewind the video. The home screen of the app appears personalized with new videos from YouTube channels to which you've subscribed.

How is it? Great! In my testing, video playback was smooth, navigating within a video was easy, and scrolling through comments while videos played was interesting and helpful.

You can also search and upload easily. The Search button, right on the home screen, allows you to quickly bring up videos you want. Or, with one tap, the app launches your phone video recorder and allows you to title and upload it as soon as you finish recording. The update will create a new wave of interest in YouTube.