More than other services, Google’s latest streaming service heavily leverages A/B tests when introducing new features. YouTube Music today is widely rolling out the revamped Now Playing UI and Explore tab.
Update: There are some issues with Now Playing right now, including how the Up Next queue and Lyrics do not appear. Song info has also disappeared entirely, you cannot skip tracks, and can only play one song at a time. A workaround is playing media from your offline library. Google is aware of the issue and working to fix it.
Update 2: This issue has been resolved, with Explore now fully rolled out.
The Now Playing screen’s redesign puts key controls on the same page. Notably, shuffle and repeat — no longer hidden in the queue — are right next to rewind/forward. Thumbs down/up get moved next to the track title, while the song/video switcher is always visible up top as album artwork no longer spans the entire screen.
Tapping on cover art provides options to share, Cast, and fullscreen, while you can pull up from the bottom panel to see your queue and lyrics are in the bottom-right corner.
The mini-player that’s always available is ever so slightly taller and sees the close button replaced by a forward button. Instead of a close button in the bottom-right, you can clear your queue by swiping down.
Meanwhile, Google is also widely making available the new Explore tab. Replacing Hotlist, it’s focused on new playlists and music, instead of videos. There are two primary sections:
- New Releases will feature the latest popular albums, tracks and music videos, as well as brand new content suggested based on your listening history.
- Moods & Genres will help users find the perfect playlist or genre for any moment, whether you are relaxing, working out, or in the mood for some feel-good music.
Google tells us that “all global”YouTuber Music users on Android should see the revamped Now Playing UI today, while Explore will be similarly “100%” available to Android and iOS. That said, the two new features have yet to hit our devices as of this morning.
More about YouTube Music:
- Google Search now links to albums, artists in YouTube Music
- YouTube Music revamps Library tab to work like Play Music
- YouTube Music adds user channel profiles to share, browse playlists
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