Search fields in many mobile Google apps feature the ability to lookup queries by voice. On Android, a standard voice input UI is leveraged across most applications, but some choose to customize the interface. YouTube for Android is now rolling out an updated voice search that’s both better themed and more powerful.

When the new YouTube voice search is rolled out to your device, a prompt will note “New ways to search with your voice!” the next time you start a query. Tapping the microphone icon in the top-right corner will load a fullscreen interface that respects YouTube’s dark mode.

A big red button at the bottom pulsates as you speak to YouTube, with listening timing out after a few seconds. A close button is in the top-left corner or users can just return with system navigation.

Your query will briefly appear as a transcription before the app completes your action. The previous voice search interface just took advantage of the standard dialogue available to all other apps on Android.

Meanwhile, the new YouTube voice search is much more powerful as it lets you navigate to different parts of the app directly. “Show me trending videos” will navigate users to the Trending tab. In the past, that same command would just perform a search with that phrase verbatim.

This “show me” command also works for Subscriptions, Watch History, and several other sections. However, others — like “Show me time watched” — do not work. Voice search still functions as a way to lookup videos without typing, but is now especially useful for navigating into parts of the YouTube app that are deeply buried in menus. One useful aspect allows already in-progress videos to continue playing when issuing a voice command.

The new YouTube voice search is rolling out with version 13.50.52 on Android.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: