YouTube App for Apple TV Receives Major Redesign

The YouTube app for the Apple TV received a complete design overhaul today, introducing a new interface that's similar in design to the YouTube app for iOS, YouTube on the desktop, and the YouTube app for other television platforms.


Rather than a single navigation bar at the top that links to sections like Search, Home, and Subscriptions, there's a new universal search bar that's easier to access along with dedicated categories like Recommended, Entertainment, Food, Music, Gaming, Technology, Comedy, and more, which makes it easier to find new content relevant to your interests.


A navigation bar on the left side of the screen provides access to your subscriptions, library, and viewing history, and there's a new, more detailed settings section.


While today's update lists 4K videos as "4K" in the video app, it does not appear that YouTube is supporting 4K content on the Apple TV at this time. When viewing details about a video, maximum available resolution is still listed as 1920 x 1080.


Today's revamped YouTube Apple TV app comes just a few days after YouTube officially introduced its separate YouTube TV app for the Apple TV, allowing YouTube TV subscribers to access live content.

The new YouTube app for Apple TV is available now, and it can be installed by going to the YouTube app in the App Store and choosing "update" if it does not update automatically.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: YouTube
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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15 weeks ago

More like Apple still hasn't enabled 4k for YouTube since they refuse to support the royalty free VP9 codec, supporting only HEVC since they make money liscening it out to streaming services. Yet another example of the Apple Tax hard at work.


It's actually more a case of Google insisting on using VP9, when pretty much every other platform supports and uses h.264 (including Apple).

Google is expecting Apple to support an entirely new codec that doesn't have hardware decoding support in many chipsets. (VP9)

Apple is just expecting Google to use a codec that everybody else uses and has support on pretty much all hardware out there. (h.26x)

Google is the stubborn one here.
Rating: 19 Votes
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15 weeks ago
And once again, Google shafts us with the fugly Material Design BS!!! If I wanted that garbage interface, I'd have gotten an Android smartphone or streamer box!!! FFS

Well Google does own YouTube. Apple didn’t make this app.


And yet, when Apple designs it's apps for the Android platform, it's respectful enough to port their designs and use the platform's native UI/UX, and not force iOS UI/UX on Android. And most reputable app developers will make their apps use the UI/UX native to the target app platform.

Stop defending Google's arrogance, it's sickening.
Rating: 15 Votes
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15 weeks ago
This design looks like an Android app by Google.
Rating: 11 Votes
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15 weeks ago
that’s horrible
Rating: 11 Votes
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15 weeks ago
Anything's got to be an improvement!
Rating: 10 Votes
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15 weeks ago

While the screen might "spread out" to the same size as the 8+, the usable space for things like video or apps are not as large as the 8+, which many reviewers seem to be missing the point of. Since you can't show video partially obscured by the camera bump, the actual screen size is less then. It is nice that its overall a smaller size which is the one true benefit of near bezel free designs, but the belief that you are getting the same usable space is not true.

Anyways, I would like to read about real people use this thing in the real world in the near future.


Awesome! It definitely needed some love. Can't wait to check it out.


Anything's got to be an improvement!


What was so bad with the previous YouTube-app for tvOS? I have the youtube.com/tv "app" in WebOS on my LG OLED and I have previously used the NVIDIA Shield TV which features the same YouTube-app and its worse compared to the tvOS app in pretty much any sensible way. Its way more cluttered, it doesn't follow any kind of UX-guidelines from the OS it runs on, the list of videos you can browse through is very limited as you can't even see half the amount of videos at once on my 65-inch TV compared to the tvOS app so browsing for content is less efficient. Now if you want to browse through your list of subscribed YouTube-channels you get a endless list of vertical icons with just one channel on each row so unless you subscribe to only a very few people you get this endless list you have to scroll through... On the tvOS-app you got a list with channels spread over the entire screen both vertically and horizontally so you could access like 6x the amount of channels from one view compared to this version...


The previous tvOS YouTube-app was superior in every single aspect that had to do with minimalistic, efficient and user-friendly UX-design and it actually somewhat looked like a app that belonged in tvOS.

The only thing that was awkward with the previous app was the lack of management. You couldn't subscribe, unsubscribe, read or write comments using the app. I didn't find this to be a problem as I would never write comments on my TV. For that I would use my laptop, desktop, phone or tablet. But not being able to subscribe to new channels and access the comments was a weird oversight.

But I would much rather not have access to those features, instead of getting this really horrid UX-design that makes the app look and behave far worse.


All the people who constantly complain about the YouTube-app for tvOS, have you ever tried using the YouTube.com/tv app experience using WebOS, Android TV etc..? What exactly do you find better with this cluttered experience?



That UI looks very .... dated? Like something you would find on an old Nokia Symbian player but maybe its also the dark content in those samples distracting


Great, now it looks like the YouTube app on every Smart TV and my PlayStation 4 lol, much needed.


Kinda like the cheap barely-functional Smart TV counterpart.



Exactly. Its really out-of-date. Its cluttered, ugly, confusing and its so horribly optimised in terms of using the space on a large TV. When browsing for subscribed channels and videos you get limited to a view that shows you so few options that it becomes silly. On a 65-inch TV you can still only see about 4-5 channels and videos listed at once, while on the previous tvOS-app you could see about 3-4x the amount of channels and videos displayed at once. Browsing for content is just so bad on this YouTube.com/tv experience.

And the player and everything doesn't follow the UX-guidelines, not at all. And they seem to have removed the auto-switching display mode support? So the have actually removed essential tvOS 11.1 features in the new app? Why?


YouTube.com/tv is really due for a overhaul. But you can bet that once its get a overhaul it will still take about 2-3 years before Google gives the tvOS-app the same updates....


Ok, but no 4K means I will never use it


How relevant is 4K support for YouTube? Most content are 720P-1440P and half the 4K content is hobby project using equipment making it barley look any better than 1080P and somewhat its actually worse.

One could argue that 1080P@60 actually looks sharper due to the increase in motion resolution compared to 4K@30 so why insist on having 4K support for YouTube in order for you to even consider using it? Seems like a rather foolish demand if you ask me.


Netflix needs to be next.


Why exactly? Whats wrong with the Netflix-app? It seems to be doing exactly what its supposed to do and compared to every other streaming service app it doesn't seem to offer a UX-design and experience that is any worse than it competitors? A update could possibly make sit worse.. Just like this new YouTube-app update..


More like Apple still hasn't enabled 4k for YouTube since they refuse to support the royalty free VP9 codec, supporting only HEVC since they make money liscening it out to streaming services. Yet another example of the Apple Tax hard at work.


Google don't need VP9 Profile 1 and Profile 2 support in the native video player. Why would they? With this new YouTube-app they don't even use the native video player for playback.. They use their own from YouTube.com/TV.

When the people behind Infuse are perfectly capable of making their own video player for tvOS that supports acceleration of pretty much every video codec in existence and makes all video files play perfectly on the tvOS, even YouTube Original/Red 4K HDR VP9-Profile 2 videos one would believe that Google would be capable of doing the same thing?

I bet the reason why Google doesn't want to is in order to push Apple into making a agreement with Google for licensing the VP9-codec. They hope that the lack of 4K/HDR YouTube will give enough backlash that Apple will re-consider the inclusion of VP9 in the future.

And even-though VP9 is royalty free doesn't mean it comes without a license. Google has some rather stupid requirements for companies that want to utilise the codec, like you agree to never engage in patent infringement lawsuits with Google and various other things. Its pretty obvious that agreeing to such terms is not in Apple's interest at all.


It's actually more a case of Google insisting on using VP9, when pretty much every other platform supports and uses h.264 (including Apple).

Google is expecting Apple to support an entirely new codec that doesn't have hardware decoding support in many chipsets. (VP9)

Apple is just expecting Google to use a codec that everybody else uses and has support on pretty much all hardware out there. (h.26x)

Google is the stubborn one here.


Barley anyone uses h.264 for 4K content due to file size and the bandwidth required to stream it without apply way too heavy compression. YouTube recommends 8-12 mbps for 1080P@h.264 that would mean 32-48 mbps for 4K@h.264 which is simply too much bandwidth to make it sensible for most users. They actually recommend you to use 35-68 mbps if you insists on using h.264 for 4K uploads.

As HEVC/h.265 and VP-9 Profile 1 and Profile 2 are much more efficient you can in theory cut the bandwidth in half and get about the same video quality. So instead of requiring 35-68 mbps you would be looking at 17.5-34 mbps. Still a lot but much better. This is the sole reason why Netflix requires HEVC-supported hardware in order to give you 4K HDR content as they only make it available using HEVC encoding.


VP9 has been around longer than HEVC. Chromecast, Roku and Fire TV all support VP9, along with almost every 4K Smart TV. But sure, Google is being stubborn.


They are stubborn in the essence that they require the use of their own home-brewed codec that barely anyone else uses. The market has settled on HEVC/h.265, that's just how it is. And Google has brought this upon themselves by seriously limiting the appeal of VP9 by having some really stupid licensing requirements. Its great that they made it royalty-free but what good is that when they apply all kinds of nonsense that companies have to comply with in order to use it?


Wow. Does this app suck. The old version was barebones but you could actually navigate around with ease and speed. The only issue being the subscription update problem.

The new one, the navigation is horrid and unusable. massive delays when you try to do something, then it skips 6 videos as you try to scroll. The latency is an absolute joke.

Hulu used to have the worst UX, then PrimeVideo came out and took the crown. YouTube’s response? “hold my beer”. This app makes the other two look inspired.

Unbelievably bad.



I fully agree. The previous app was minimalistic, efficient and straightforward UX-design. You had a great overview of all relevant content. You could easily and efficiently browse through your subscribed channels, videos etc with ease and get a bunch of content displayed at once with no fuzz.

This new experience is the same cluttered mess that every other platform features. Its a carbon 1:1 copy of the YouTube.com/TV experience. It looks and feels out-dated and you can only view 1/3 of the amount of video content and subscribed channels at once on 65-inch TV's compared to the previous tvOS-app.

They don't follow UX-guidelines at all.. They have moved away from using the native tvOS video player over to using Google's very own with UX-design and playback controls that don't feel natural for tvOS at all and it doesn't even support the automatic display mode switching like the previous app did....


The only good thing with this app is the capability of handling subscribed channels and viewing comments which for some reason was missing in the previous app. Everything else is simply worse in pretty much every way.. And even when going with their own video player they have still not added support for 4K/HDR/VP9... Why switch video players if you don't even bother with adding this? There is no benefit of using this video player at all, we just loose support for automatic display mode switching... Great job, Google.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
15 weeks ago
That UI looks very .... dated? Like something you would find on an old Nokia Symbian player but maybe its also the dark content in those samples distracting
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
15 weeks ago

That UI looks very .... dated? Like something you would find on an old Nokia Symbian player but maybe its also the dark content in those samples distracting

Kinda like the cheap barely-functional Smart TV counterpart.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
15 weeks ago
Wow. Does this app suck. The old version was barebones but you could actually navigate around with ease and speed. The only issue being the subscription update problem.

The new one, the navigation is horrid and unusable. massive delays when you try to do something, then it skips 6 videos as you try to scroll. The latency is an absolute joke.

Hulu used to have the worst UX, then PrimeVideo came out and took the crown. YouTube’s response? “hold my beer”. This app makes the other two look inspired.

Unbelievably bad.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
15 weeks ago
Omg, what have they done. They implement the subpar big picture mode. It’s no longer following tvOS ui standards. It feels out of place and is a subpar experience with the atv remote. Good luck getting to a subscribers channel with the single massive horizontal scroll line of horror.

Yes, the prior app lacked features, but they should have built on that instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water and giving us this lazy junk.

1 atv4 for sale....1 YouTube red sub cancelled
Rating: 8 Votes
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