Back in June, YouTube Music for Android got a redesigned Now Playing UI that did a great deal to help modernize the streaming service, and it’s now finally coming to iPhones.

Update 8/20: Google has re-rolled out YouTube Music’s Now Playing redesign on iPhone. End the current tune you’re playing (by closing the mini-player), swipe away YouTube Music in multitasking, and start another song to load the new experience. Also make sure you’ve installed the latest update. Hopefully, all issues have been addressed.

Update 8/11: After wide availability last week, the revamped Now Playing UI has oddly disappeared on iOS. This is happening after updating to version 4.40 of YouTube Music on Monday. It’s unclear why Google pulled the redesign, especially since it was working quite well for most users. A handful of people did report visual bugs in the bottom Up Next / Lyrics / Related panel, but there was no impact to usability.

Update 8/4: Since the weekend, more and more users have encountered the revamped player. We’re not seeing this UI on iPad right now because Google does not appear to have created a portrait variant of this interface.

Update 7/31: In March, the Now Playing redesign appeared for very few YouTube Music users with iPhones. As of yesterday, a wider rollout seems to be underway. There are a handful of reports in the past 24 hours, but it’s still not widely available for all. It’s unclear why the launch took this long as it fully appeared on Android in June of 2020.

This redesign has not been seen yet on the iPad, but it’s available for both phones with home buttons and gestures. Meanwhile, a slight difference between the Android and iOS version is how the latter uses a curved sheet with rounded corners for Up Next, Lyrics, and Related.

Original 3/3: With this revamp, YouTube Music puts all key controls on the same screen so that repeat and shuffle no longer require swiping up for the queue. As a result, thumbs up/down is moved next to the song name.

The song/video switcher is now always visible at the top above cover art that no longer spans the full width of your screen. More of the background is themed following this shrink. Meanwhile, tapping artwork will give you the ability to share, download, share, start radio (which was recently added), and Cast. This makes for a cleaner approach, but some consider it too hidden.

The bottom edge lets users access Up Next — though they no longer get a preview, Lyrics, and Related, while everything else is located in the overflow menu. Google has tweaked the mini-player when browsing so that it shows a forward button rather than close, which can be done by swiping down.

The Now Playing redesign for YouTube Music is not yet widely rolled out for iPhone owners. It’s being introduced via a server-side update and, the latest version (4.17) of the app does not guarantee that you’ll see it.

It’s quite strange that it took the YouTube Music team over eight months to debut this visual change on iOS. Features usually come to both mobile platforms simultaneously.

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Abner Li

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