Last year, YouTube removed the ability to tap anywhere on the seek bar to jump to that specific point in a video. Instead, the new method now requires the user to hold and slide their finger over the seek bar to move forward or backward. Building upon this change, YouTube is testing a nifty gesture in the Android app for faster and easier video scrubbing.
As first spotted by Reddit user u/FragmentedChicken, YouTube for Android is rolling out a new slide to seek gesture that makes scrubbing through videos a lot more convenient.
To use it, simply long-press anywhere on the video and then drag your finger across the screen to start scrubbing. This is better than the two-step process we have right now, requiring you to first tap on the screen to reveal the seek bar and then aiming and sliding your thumb/finger along the line.
When the gesture is activated, a pop message appears on the screen that reads, “Slide left or right to seek.”
Gesture controls are nothing new to YouTube. Users can already double-tap in quick succession to rewind or skip 10 seconds, swipe to enter full screen and down to exit, and double-tap with two fingers to skip video chapters.
The new slide to seek gesture seems to be rolling out as a server-side switch. It wasn’t available on any of my phones running YouTube version 16.30.34. I even tried sideloading the latest beta from APKMirror, but it didn’t trigger it either.
Google routinely A/B tests a lot of features across its apps and services that don’t always make it to the final product. But there’s a good chance the slide to seek gesture will see a wider rollout on Android considering it’s already live on the iOS version of YouTube.
Have you received this new gesture in your YouTube app? Let us know in the comments below.