YouTube already has an “Autoplay” feature that will automatically start suggested videos after the current one finishes. However, Google is now testing auto-playing in the main feed of the Android app.
Spotted by Android Central, “Play as you browse” works in the “Home” feed of the YouTube app:
“When enabled, videos will play as you browse your homepage”
Fortunately, the feature is not as invasive as it sounds due to the fact that audio does not automatically play. Rather, subtitles are overlaid in the live preview as the video plays from start to finish. The video currently at the top of your screen plays, with the next one starting as you scroll to it.
“Play as you browse” can be completely disabled by heading into Settings > General. Alternately, users are able to have it work “Only on WiFi” to save and conserve bandwidth. For the moment, it is not yet live on any of our devices.
While most will not welcome this feature, having used a similar functionality in YouTube TV that plays live previews of a channel, I am rather open to trying it out in the main YouTube app. In TV, it’s useful for finding out whether a channel is currently on a commercial break.
Earlier in the year, YouTube on the web tested a similar feature in the form of three-second video previews when users hovered their cursor over a video thumbnail.