Earlier today, YouTube Music rolled out fast, seamless switching between audio and music videos. The Android app is now A/B testing an elevation of search to the bottom bar.

Instead of having search in the app bar next to the profile avatar, one user has spotted it in the bottom bar. As the second tab, lookup is between Home and Hotlist, with Library rounding out the main parts of YouTube Music. A generic magnifying icon and “Search” label are leveraged.

This elevation makes a lot of sense as YouTube Music’s search capability is actually quite powerful. One of the streaming service’s best features, lyrics and descriptions often work to find the song you’re looking for.

Given larger and larger devices, the new bottom bar placement makes search easier to access. In terms of visibility, the functionality now appears in slightly more places as scrolling would previously hide the app bar.

At four tabs, this is likely the optimal number of menu items for the client. One minor annoyance is a changed back behavior after entering and scrolling through search results. Instead of returning to the previous screen, the system back button now exits you from the app. A tap of the bottom bar is required to navigate elsewhere.

The new YouTube Music search experience is currently being A/B tested. It has appeared on one reader’s YouTube account across multiple phones. Spotted on the current release (3.23.52), it’s not rolled out on other devices we checked this evening.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com