YouTube Music's new player finally arrives for all with Explore tab in tow
It's easier to shuffle and repeat, lyrics are finally here and easy to use. Please don't make me wait three weeks to get this update on my phone. Please.
What you need to know
YouTube Music is beginning a roll out of a new playback screen on its Android app.
The new UI puts the repeat and shuffle buttons on the playback screen rather than a queue screen.
It also features the addition of lyrics to supported songs and a bigger, easier to edit queue screen.
The update will roll out to Android over the next few weeks, with the iOS update planned "in the near future".
The YouTube Music interface tweaks that we've seen testing in the last few months are finally beginning to roll out to the general public! This update includes the sharper, more useful playback screen, the rollout of a lyrics tab in the playback menu, and seamless switching between the album and video version of a song is now always visible rather than having to tap the album art to bring it up. You can also access the options to download, share, or add a song to a playlist by single-tapping the album art, which I'm interested to see if that interferes with the double-tap seeking.
Lyrics is something that even the Google Play Music app never really got, and I'm pleased as punch that I'll be able to pull up lyrics without having to double back to Google Search for them. The re-positioning of the shuffle and repeat buttons and like/dislike buttons is another welcome change, though I'm sure it's going to take a little getting used to. The playback bar for seeking is a bit smaller, but with double-tap seeking I'm not too bummed about that. What I am bummed about is the cast icon being missing from all of the screenshots in the screenshots YouTube shared today.
For the most part, though, this is a great change and one I've been waiting on for the better part of six months. It comes not even two weeks after YouTube Music finally rolling out the music locker function , and I'm hopeful that this ramp-up of feature updates ahead of Google I/O might mean that the Google Play Music migration might finally be on the horizon. We're getting closer and closer to feature parity between the two apps — though there are certainly still problems in genre browsing, discovery and casting that need to be addressed — and migration of GPM libraries is something we've been waiting on for almost two full years now. My library has been fractured for so long, it's going to be weird and amazing to actually get it back together in one place.
Update: Finally rolling out
It took Google over a month to finish A/B testing this, but reports indicate that it's finally rolling out to a wide range of users. It's a server-side update so you don't need to update your app. It'll probably hit you within the next few hours to days.
Update 2: And it's broken
The YouTube Music update is now...