YouTube is one of the most widely available video streaming apps out there, and one of the oldest, as well. Over a decade old at this point, you'll find YouTube on everything from brand new phones to cheap TV sticks these days. While the mobile version of the app is being left as is for now, a number of major changes have hit the big-screen version in the US with the latest update. The changes mostly apply to the app's categories, and make things much easier to navigate. Users on game consoles and other devices without keyboards will be glad to know that the updates are also aimed at reducing the need to type.
For starters, categories have been moved from their place in the sidebar. They now sit proudly up at the top of the app's main screen, reachable in a single keystroke or button press. The selection of categories has been revamped and refined, and a number of them have been removed. Rather than offering less choice for users, however, this change actually sets the stage for the other big new feature; sub-categories. Upon opening up a category, users will be presented with a listing of sub-categories and genres that can get rather specific and mostly depend on current trends and the user's own YouTube history, much like the My Mix function. There is also a "Top Stories" in each category that shows users the most trendy videos in that category at the moment. In total, there are now 14 categories to choose from when browsing content. Another big change is the addition of a function to seek out live content. Users can check out the new "Live" tab up top to see streams happening right that second in real time, some of which may be viewable by category.
Users of most living room devices that display YouTube should see the changes rolling out gradually within the next few weeks or so, but Apple TV users won't be getting this update; their version of the app is touted as "feature complete", so these changes should already be on board. The feature is only in the US for now, simply because curators in each country have to help with making the categories and sub-categories. For now, no timeline has been given for an international rollout.