YouTube took to its official Twitter page to announce at least one new feature for its Android app that should make watching videos on the platform much more enjoyable. Namely, viewing videos that are shot in the vertical orientation or with a square aspect ratio will now result in the app's player adapting to offer the best playback experience possible. The change is most obvious with regard to vertical videos. For years, users and professionals have decried the use of portrait mode as a way to shoot and share video. With the new changes in place, that's no longer a problem since those will now fill the screen instead of playing in a boxed presentation – and without the frustrating problem of video's playing in a sideways orientation. Square shaped videos undergo a similar transformation when those are played, with a slightly different result. Those can't necessarily be resized to fill the entire screen without losing content at the edges. Instead, they'll just fill up more of the screen with less empty space to annoy users and disrupt the experience.
Interestingly enough, iOS has actually had this feature for a while and the GIF shared alongside the announcement seems to have been running on that platform, as well. That's because at least one observant Twitter user also noted that YouTube's example appeared to be shown with the app in the long-expected "dark mode." When that was subtly brought to YouTube's attention, the company responded to say that feature will be coming to Android "soon." That's not really saying much but it is reassuring that the Google-owned company hasn't forgotten about its parent company's own mobile operating system.
In the meantime, there don't appear to be any special steps required for the feature to be enabled and the change appears to have been implemented on the server side. That means there shouldn't be any app update required either and the rollout should happen much more quickly. Since the company actually announced the change on March 26, that should mean that most users are already seeing it. However, nobody should be too concerned if it hasn't quite hit their device just yet since that doesn't equate to any kind of guarantee that the rollout has finished.