Recent years have seen the rise of smartphone videos shot in vertical orientation due to live streaming and other mediums. Back in June, YouTube announced that its mobile apps would better support these experiences. Now, this dynamically adapting video player is beginning to rollout on iOS.
Beyond vertical video viewing that is already common on smartphones thanks to the likes of Snapchat, other common video formats include square-shaped and those in other aspect ratios that differ from the traditional horizontal video.
In the past, the YouTube mobile apps stuck to the same horizontal video window no matter the content and added varying degrees of black bars to pad the space. This week, YouTube’s dynamic player that adapts to a video’s natural format is beginning to rollout for iOS (via Engadget).
Square and vertical video will fill up the screen, with whatever space remaining below containing the video description, actions, and watch suggestions. Tapping full-screen — which now has an icon that adjusts to the shape of the video — lets vertical video take up the entire display.
By scrolling down, users are able to shrink any window to the traditional horizontal shape so that they can browse other videos and read comments unimpeded by the video player.
This new player is rolling out as a server-side update and we have yet to spot it on our own devices.