YouTube has begun rolling out a redesigned TV app, based on the concept of categories, across Smart TVs, streamer boxes, game consoles and Chromecast. Apple TV, however, will not receive the new app.
Refreshed YouTube TV app
In the past, manufacturers of TVs and media streamers were allowed to tap into a developer API and create a custom YouTube app. In 2013, the company shut down the API in an effort to being a consistent and streamlined YouTube experience to the TV screen.
The next step is a revamped TV app that uses category tabs for navigation. These category tabs are placed front and center, and lets you choose from "Recommended", "Trending", "Entertainment", "News" and more. There is also a separate category for 4K content that you will see if you own an Ultra HD TV capable of streaming YouTube in 4K (requires built-in VP9 decoder).
The company explains that while most users of phones and PCs come to YouTube via a shared link or to type in searches, viewers in the living room use the service in a different way, preferring content that falls into specific categories. The new TV user interface is therefore based on this insight.
The use of YouTube in the living room is already growing briskly. It more than doubled in 2015, says the company.
The YouTube TV app was removed from older Smart TVs and Apple TV2 in April 2015. The company has also started offered streams in both 4K and 8K resolution, and will add HDR streaming sometime in 2016.
The refreshed app is rolling out to users in the US now across Smart TVs, game consoles, media streamers, and Chromecast. The only exception is Apple TV, which has a custom-built YouTube app that integrates with Apple-specific functions such as Siri. The app will roll out in Europe later as YouTube updates the recommendations engine for each region.