Google testing ‘Autoplay on Home’ feature in YouTube for Android app
We have said this several times before that Google has a habit of testing new features in its apps for Android like Maps, YouTube and even the Play Store. Well, talking about the YouTube for Android app, last month we told you that Google was testing Dark Mode in this app and also relocated the Autoplay settings by creating a whole new separate page for it which only had the ‘Autoplay next video’ option. Now, YouTube is rolling out a new feature called ‘Autoplay on Home’ that has been added to this newly created page.
As the name suggests, this ‘Autoplay on Home’ plays videos automatically on the homescreen of the YouTube app. The videos are played automatically as your browse through the feed. As you soon as you stop by a video, it will start playing, and, when you start scrolling past it, it will stop and the next video in the feed will play.
Having said that, this isn’t exactly a new feature. It was first spotted by Android Central back in October last year, but, at that time, it was called ‘Play as you browse’. According to Android Central, the videos were played automatically in the feed as a user scrolls through them. However, the audio is turned off by default, and instead, the video is played with captions (or subtitles as some of you may call) turned on.
Moreover, back then, the ‘Play as you browse’ option was tucked inside the Account > Settings > General menu. Now, the ‘Autoplay on Home’ is found under the Account > Settings > Autoplay menu. From there, you can enable or disable this feature. You get three options – Always on, Wi-Fi only, and Off – all of which are self-explanatory.
That said, as always, this is a server-side roll-out. We can see this option on all our devices running stock (or near stock) Android like the OnePlus 5, Pixel 2, Smartron t.Phone P and even the Xiaomi Mi A1. All of these phones (except the Pixel 2) are running YouTube app version 13.04.55.
We also tried checking this feature on other phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and Honor 8 Pro with the same app version, but, it hasn’t been rolled out yet on these phones. Hence, it looks like only those phones that are running stock Android are getting the ‘Autoplay on Home’ feature, irrespective of the version of YouTube app.
With that being said, this feature needs some more polishing as it seems broken and doesn’t work always. At least that’s what happened on our devices. Hence, it will be quite a while before ‘Autoplay on Home’ is rolled out officially to all the users. Until then, have fun if its pops up on your device.