Since its inception in 2015 (and the 2018 relaunch), YouTube Music has only ever offered a dark theme, but the Android and iOS apps are now adding a splash of color to liven things up.

This splash appears at the top of the mobile apps (including the system status bar) and appears behind the app bar (YouTube Music logo, Cast button, search, and your profile avatar). It extends down to the Workout, Energize, Relax, Commute, and Focus carousel — with the pill containers getting particularly emphasized, as well as parts (i.e., the top half) of that first shelf suggestion.

It’s a blurred multi-color background that is not overly vibrant and fits in with the dark YouTube Music design/theme. These hues notably update every time you refresh the Home feed (or open the app after some time away). This theming disappears and fades to black as you scroll through Home, while there’s no colorful background in the Explore or Library tabs.

In the past, Google has shown background images when users are on the default Home tab. Still photography was primarily used, which is what the moods carousel does today. In our experience, this was often the case if you were on the free plan, but did not really occur for paying subscribers. Other times, the cover image was related to the first shelf.

That’s not the case today as YouTube Music is just using generic colors to liven up the app. It’s a small tweak, but it does make mobile clients fresher and less static.

We first encountered the colorful background this afternoon on YouTube Music (version 5.04.51) for Android and iOS. Close the streaming app and/or refresh the Home feed to check for this new look. We’re not seeing this server-side change on the web, but it’s live on iPad and Android tablets. On large screens, colors are particularly pronounced and brighten up the app a great deal.

Meanwhile, YouTube Music in recent days has been tweaking how many items appear in the Listen again grid. Over the weekend, we encountered 20 songs/albums/playlists/artists, but it’s been hovering around 10 (for me anyways) in recent days.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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