YouTube for Android updated with UI tweaks, ability to Cast live streams to Chromecast

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Google’s Update Wednesday continues today with an update to YouTube for Android. The update bumps the app to version 5.6.31 from 5.5.27 and includes a couple of significant changes. The biggest new feature is the ability to cast live videos from the YouTube app to your Chromecast. The process works just as it does on the desktop and the quality is fantastic. Of course, this would have been very useful during the live streams from the Coachella music festival last weekend, but there’s still the second weekend with which to use it. This will also be incredibly useful for watching live streams from Google I/O on the big screen.

The Watch Later interface has also been updated to fit in with the rest of the app’s interface, as opposed to the image-heavy interface in the previous version. You can now see at least four videos without scrolling, while you were previously limited to two on the same screen.

The update is rolling out now, albeit very slowly. If you’d like to bypass Google’s staged rollout, head over to Android Police where they have the APK available for download.  If not, keep an eye on the Play Store for it to hit your device.

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Google to launch TV and outdoor ads for YouTube featuring popular video creators

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Google is in the process of launching an all-new advertising campaign to promote YouTube, according to two reports from Ad Age. The campaign focuses on three specific video creators—Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino, and Bethany Mota—and will consist of several TV spots as well as some outdoor advertising (yes, that probably means there will be YouTube billboards).

Each ad will feature a different tagline that plays on the “You” in the YouTube logo to start a sentence related to the video creator in the ad, such as “You make confience THE must-have accessory,” as seen above at the end of one of Phan’s TV spots, or “You give cupcakes superpowers,” as appears on one of Pansino’s billboards. (Apparently super-powered cupcakes are a thing.) Read more

Google taking legal action against Turkish government over YouTube ban

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After first blocking Twitter across the nation, Turkey officials began blocking YouTube last week as well, after Google failed to comply with the prime minister’s request to delete all videos that it deemed critical of government officials. According to a report from the Hurriyet Daily News, YouTube is now taking legal action against the country. The company has reportedly filed a complaint with Turkey’s Constitutional Court protesting the block. Google is also appealing the reinstatement of the ban and is suing to cancel the decision all together.

In a statement to Engadget, YouTube acknowledged that it was taking legal action to restore access to its service in the country and said that it is “obviously very disappointing” that censorship is still taking place in the world today. It didn’t have any further details to share about the court battles, though. Seeing that Twitter successfully won its battle with Turkish officials, however, it seems likely that YouTube will be able to do the same.

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Report: YouTube’s music streaming service delayed until later this year

youtube-logoLast October, Billboard reported that YouTube was planning to launch a music streaming service in late 2013 or early 2014. This evening, however, Billboard has published another report claiming that YouTube’s music streaming platform has been delayed until the second quarter of this year or beyond. According to the report, which cites “an executive briefed on YouTube’s plans”, YouTube is approaching this service with a “get it right” attitude.

The company wants to launch the first version of the service in an incredibly polished form that will help it stand out against competitors like Spotify and Rdio, which have been around for a while and have had several iterations of improvements. “They feel that there’s just too much scrutiny of this product, and that they need to get it right out of the gate,” said a senior label executive speaking to Billboard. This, of course, contradicts the strategy of YouTube’s parent company, Google, which launches services left and right in beta form, many of which get shut down relatively quickly.

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Report: Yahoo trying to poach YouTube stars for new video service

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According to a report from Recode, Yahoo is toying with the idea of creating its own YouTube-like video service and in the process thinking of ways it could attract some YouTube’s biggest content creators. Recode claims that Yahoo’s strategy for the service will revolve specifically around catering to YouTube creators frustrated with the amount of revenue the service generates.

Yahoo has apparently already been approaching certain YouTube creators about the opportunity: Read more

Turkish government blocking YouTube in Turkey

Following the block of Twitter in Turkey by the nation’s prime minister earlier this month, Turkey’s telecommunications authority is now taking steps to block YouTube in the nation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The move came just hours after a leaked recording published on YouTube purporting to show a conversation where Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios which could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria.

This comes just days after Turkey requested that Google remove videos from YouTube that criticize the Turkish government. Google responded by refusing to accommodate the government of Turkey’s request.

Yesterday, a Turkish court ruled that the ban against Twitter should be lifted within 30 days while many users were already using DNS workarounds to access the service. Read more