YouTube App on Android getting variable playback speed, while also allowing comments in full-screen

Google YouTube
New features for YouTube on Android TV and smartphones Pic credit: Rego Korosi/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Google is offering some important features that were lacking in the YouTube app on Android smartphones and smart TVs. While the Android TV YouTube app is getting variable playback speed settings, smartphone users will be able to see comments while using the app in full-screen mode.

The YouTube platform is receiving a few important features which were missing on Android smartphones and smart TVs but were available on the desktop and web iteration.

YouTube on Android smartphone may soon let users see comments in full-screen view:

The YouTube app on Android might soon let smartphone users see comments while in full-screen view. The new comments section layout is gradually rolling out to some users. The section appears on the right half of the display when users are watching a video in full-screen view.

Until recently, the comments section appeared below the video in portrait orientation. Hence, it is not clear how the new comments section will appear on videos that go full-screen in portrait orientation.

The new comments section appears as a sliding panel next to a minimized version of the video. It not like the chat on a YouTube live stream. Instead of appearing over the video towards the left edge of the display, the new comments section layout takes up a significant chunk of space on the screen.

It is not clear why, but the comments section is not translucent. In other words, the section takes up a lot of space on the screen. Users can, however, quickly minimize the new comments section by swiping down from the top of the section. Doing so also restores the video to the full-screen view.

YouTube app for Smart TVs get variable playback speed setting:

For reasons unknown, Google never allowed Android TV owners to change the speed of playback on the official YouTube app. However, several users are now reporting the setting has arrived, albeit with some missing aspects.

Speed controls had reportedly shown up a few months ago on the YouTube app on smart TVs. However, only a few pre-installed apps on select Android TVs offered the same.

As expected, the Speed Control feature is available in the overflow menu when playing a video. It is sandwiched between the ‘add to the playlist’ and ‘thumbs up’ buttons.

Android TV users who receive the feature can choose from 0.25x, 0.5x, normal, 1.25x, 1.5x, and 2x. It is not immediately clear why, but 0.75x and 1.75x speed options are missing.

Interestingly, the speed settings appear to remain permanent unless users change the same. In other words, the selected speed carries through to the next video. Android TV users need to manually change the setting back if they need to play the next video at normal speed.

Google is actively adding features to the YouTube platform. Recently the company started rolling out the ability to play videos on a loop.

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