Google constantly tinkers with the design of its applications on Android, but Android TV apps don’t tend to change a lot. The YouTube application on Android TV has seen a number of refreshes in the last year, but its last major upgrade was way back in July. But it’s finally been redesigned again, and the new app adds a video quality adjustment setting.
It may come as a surprise that the YouTube application on Android TV didn’t previously allow you to change video quality manually. Instead, the resolution was determined by network conditions. Now, there’s a video quality selector that lets you specify the stream’s resolution.
That’s the biggest improvement in the update. From what we can tell, the rest are small UI changes that make the YouTube app for Android TV look less like a web app and more like a full-blown application. The subscription page has a grid layout now, for example, and the search page got a slight refresh.
Check out the video below to see it in action.
The new UI and quality switcher appear to have been enabled via server-side switch, so it’s possible that the update is currently undergoing a staged rollout phase. If you’re eager to try it out, make sure your YouTube Android TV app is updated to the latest version.
The updated YouTube app for Android TV comes days after the rollout of a Google Assistant feature for Chromecast-enabled TVs. When you ask the Google Assistant to show a list of videos on a Cast-enabled device, it displays five videos and asks which you’d like to view, and lets you move to the next five videos in the list with a voice command.
The updates, taken together, might be a sign that Google’s focusing on improving the YouTube experience for set-top boxes. Time will tell.