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

YouTube-for-Android

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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Oppo’s Find 7a UHD capabilities shown off in cinematic camera demo

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Oppo’s latest flagship smartphones are packing some serious specifications. Internally, the Find 7/Find 7a are not much different than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or the HTC One (M8), but Oppo has made an effort to beat the pricing of both devices. YouTube creator Danny Winget has put together a camera test demonstrating the exceptional UHD video recording capabilities of the Find 7/Find 7a’s camera. The results look incredible and it’s actually hard to believe that this footage came straight from a smartphone.

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Video: Hands-on with Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box

Amazon recently surprised us with its Fire TV set-top box, offering a native solution for customers to stream movies, music, and even play games. Fire TV will only set you back $99, and in my opinion, it’s just what Amazon needed. Instead of relying on third-party streaming solutions, Amazon now has the power to take its media services in a new direction. Take a look at our overview video above to see Fire TV in action.

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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

YouTube-for-Android

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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Android TV screenshots reportedly leak, show off simplified card-based interface

For years now companies have been claiming to that they make the perfect set-top box, with Amazon being the most recent to do so with its FireTV. Notably missing from this arm’s race, however, has been Google. The company was one of the first to offer a set-top box OS with Google TV, but the idea quickly failed and was never widely adopted. Over the past year, reports have started to emerge claiming that Google is plaining a reentrance into the set-top box market with an Android-powered set-top box. The Verge has now published an extensive report on Android TV, with screenshots of the actual interface and much more.

The report, which cites internal Google documents, claims that the idea is far along in development with major app providers already building for the platform as we speak. While Google TV was also based off of Android, this new revision is entirely rebuilt and is something very different. “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,” writes Google. “It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.” It will be “cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast.”

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