YouTube Music updates tablet UI, plans to base future improvements on user feedback

Now you’ll be able to tell audiobooks from albums

Google continues to work on ensuring YouTube Music is a worthy successor to Google Play Music with added features and improvements. There is work to do, after all — despite its huge subscriber base, it’s still considered a blah alternative to some of its big-name competitors. Recent UI tweaks have focused on overall usability and surfacing new content. In an update to the app’s help page, the company also indicated more improvements are coming.

Tablet YouTube Music users (Android and iOS) now see margins bordering the screen and improved icon and thumbnail spacing in addition to reducing the size of cover images. This should make it easier to access carousel menus without additional scrolling. Another notable improvement is directed at making it easier to find good user-created playlists, as they now show up on the home screen in the “Similar to” playlist shelf recommendations. Google says changes like this and overlaying profile avatars on thumbnails for user-generated playlists are aimed at improving the way people interact when using YouTube Music.


Additionally, you should find it easier to tell the difference between audiobooks and music. Google added “Audiobooks” or “Shows” depending on the media, and they are organized together on artist home pages. Since books work differently from albums, YouTube Music’s Shuffle and Radio functions are turned off for audiobooks and dramas. Google also updated YouTube Music so parents can choose to let kids who are 13 or younger use it. This ability carries over to US citizens with accounts set up on Google-made smart displays and speakers.

Google is seeking user input to guide updates in the months to come, and states that the team behind YouTube Music’s design “may prioritize future changes based on your feedback.” Don’t be surprised if this results in an avalanche of complaints asking to bring back the 10,000 song user library feature.

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