Swiping left and right in a mobile app may forever be associated with Tinder, but its not the only tech company that wants to play in the gesture sandbox. The YouTube app for Android is testing a feature to let you swipe right to view the next video in your Up Next queue and to swipe left to go back to your previous video.
By default, swiping right in the video window of the current Android version of YouTube does nothing, and swiping left enables picture-in-picture mode.
Our Pixel didn't get selected for this test, but Google+ user Joe Kelly posted a short clip of the feature in action. In this version of YouTube, swiping right navigates you from one whole video page to another in portrait mode, and the next video will begin autoplaying as soon as your swipe completes. Gestures will presumably work this way in landscape mode as well.
Kelly says that this feature currently only works with videos listed on your Home tab. But it's not clear if this new functionality can be toggle on or off, so we don't know yet how it will impact the picture-in-picture swipe.
The video also doesn't indicate what part of the screen Kelly is touching when starting the swipe. Different elements of the video page could be made to respond differently to a swipe gesture, as we see in many third-party apps for Reddit.
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When watching YouTube videos in portrait mode, you can see your Up Next queue anyway, and you can just tap any of those videos to start playing. It's arguably a better way to navigate your queue, because you can pick and choose, whereas swiping would go through the list sequentially. The Android app also enables autoplaying your next video by default, so swiping isn't necessary to keep watching.
However, being able to swipe left to your previous video may be more handy, if you've lost track of the last thing you watched and would like to see it again. You can always retrace your steps by tapping Library in the bottom right, then History, but swiping would be more immediate, and it may be more intuitive for some users.
As with all app testing, this feature isn't guaranteed to make it to the version of YouTube that's available to the public, or it may get pushed back to a later release. And its behavior may get substantially altered. If it appears, we look forward to trying it ourselves, and we hope to see some testing on the iOS version of YouTube as well.
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- YouTube is testing a feature on Android that will let you swipe right to see the next video in your Up Next queue, and swipe left to see the last video you watched.
- Currently, this feature only works on videos that appear in your Home tab.
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