YouTube today rolled out a refreshed version of its app for smart TVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles.
Most of YouTube’s TV-focused apps have made it a little difficult when it comes to browsing for videos as well as navigating through the service in general. It’s likely that YouTube didn’t really see the TV as a priority considering that parent company Google decided instead to make the YouTube mobile app act as the sole means of navigation for use with its Chromecast media streamer as well as other set-top boxes that supported screen mirroring functionality. (And that strategy seems to have worked pretty well for them until now.)
The refreshed YouTube TV apps offer a much slicker user interface featuring Google’s new “material” design language, while also attempting to mimic the navigation from YouTube’s website. It includes a sidebar of options for you to quickly check out things like playlists, channel subscriptions, new videos from subscribed channels, and more. YouTube still prompts you to “pair” your mobile device with your TV set so that you’re using the mobile app to navigate primarily, but its new search tool works pretty well too. Overall, it’s a far better experience than the previous version of YouTube apps built for TV screens.
For now, YouTube is only rolling out the refreshed design to Xbox One, but has plans to update apps for other set-top boxes and smart TVs in the future. For a closer look at the revamped TV app, check out the demo video from YouTube embedded below.