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Google Tests New Look for Android YouTube App

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Introduction

Some Android users who use the YouTube app may have noticed a recent change in the progress bar on the video player when in Dark mode. This is the line below the video that appears when watching streaming content in portrait orientation. While the progress bar is typically red, some Android users, including myself, now see a white progress bar instead. This change was first spotted by the tech news website 9to5Google.

A Different Progress Bar

With the new white progress bar, you will no longer see the part of the line that indicates how much of the video has been loaded on the app. However, you can still interact with the progress bar by touching it to skip forward or backward (a process called scrubbing). When you perform this action, the progress bar will temporarily turn red, and tapping on the video will bring back the controls. Once the progress bar returns to its original red color, it will once again display the amount of the currently selected video that has been loaded.

The YouTube progress bar in Dark mode is now white on some Android phones

Landscape Orientation

When watching videos in landscape orientation, the progress bar is not visible until you tap the screen. In this instance, it will appear briefly in red. It’s important to note that the change to the color of the progress bar in portrait mode is only observed when using YouTube in Dark mode. In Light mode, the progress bar remains red to ensure visibility. The decision to use a white progress bar in Dark mode makes sense as it stands out against the dark background.

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A/B Testing

If you haven’t noticed this change in your YouTube app, there’s no need to worry. It’s possible that this is just one of Google’s usual A/B tests. These tests involve rolling out different versions of a feature to different groups of users to gather feedback and determine the most effective design. As for me, I can confirm that my Pixel 6 Pro, running Android 13 QPR2 Beta 1, does have the white progress bar.

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