Back in the beginning of July, word got out that Google was prepping up a massive feature update to YouTube for Android, and at long last that major update is rolling out to Android devices around the world, bringing some awesome new features and a brand new UI.
Previously rumored in-app multitasking is present, and will allow you to turn any video you’re watching into a small window that drops to the lower right corner of the screen and continue navigating through the app. On phones the floating video works only in portrait orientation (tablets support both orientations), and sliding the floating window sideways will close the video, while nicely fading out the audio. It all works amazingly well, and there’s nary a hiccup or stutter.
There are other changes as well. The UI has received a major makeover – gone are the red texts and accents, and the sliding navigation drawer is in line with other apps, such as Maps and Google+, and allows quick access to history, favorites, playlists, uploads, and watch later. The app icon has changed, the Google+ +1 button is gone, and the HD/HQ and CC options have been moved to the overflow (aka three-dot) menu on the top right (something I didn’t personally like as it takes an extra step to change quality of the video now).
However, one feature we were looking forward to is still missing, and that is background audio support. YouTube will still stop playing the video and sound when you go back to the homescreen or another app, but hopefully a future update will add background audio as well, something which third-party apps on other platforms do quite well.
As always, the update’s rollout is gradual and won’t be showing up on most people’s devices for a few days, but thanks to the folks over at Android Police, the APK of version 5.0 is available for manually updating right away (don’t worry, you’ll get future updates from Play Store even after sideloading the new version).
Feel free to hit the download links below to grab the APK, and use our installation guide if you need help with manually installing the update. Android 2.2 and above are supported.
- Download the APK file using the download link above. If you are using a download manager, the file may have downloaded as a zip file. In that case, rename it to .APK from .zip after downloading.
- Transfer the APK to your device.
- You’ll need a file manager to access your storage and the APK files. ES File Explorer is a good free option.
- Enable manual installation of apps by checking the Unknown sources option in Settings » Security on your device. On Android 2.3 and below, this can be found in Settings » Applications.
- Open the file manager, browse to where you copied the APK.
- Tap on the file to start installation, keep clicking Next and then Install to install the app.
- That’s it, you now have the updated YouTube app, version number 5.0.21.