YouTube has removed the large, default volume indicator from its iOS app, letting users effectively toggle sound controls up and down while in a full-screen video without having to worry about the translucent UI obscuring most of the content. The removal came in version 11.30 of the YouTube app, which began rolling out yesterday. Any time the app is in portrait mode, the regular indicator will still appear.
YouTube's new volume rocker can be located at the top of any full-screen video on iOS
The obtrusive volume indicator has been an annoyance for many iOS users over the years, since it usually blocks the most crucial aspects of a video when it pops up. The UI is system-wide, so it shows up most places a video is played on an iPhone or iPad -- Photos, for example -- and has been a mainstay in third-party apps as well. Still, many of Apple's first-party apps include a more inconspicuous volume toggle that appears in a widescreen menu along with play, pause, and video scrubbing controls, like in Trailers and Videos.
Thankfully, over the years, some of these third-party apps have managed to combat Apple's UI choice with volume toggles of their own. Snapchat began using its own alternative about a year ago, in the form of a line of thin rectangles at the top of the screen that grow bolder or lighter when users increase or decrease the volume. Instagram's version is more in line with YouTube's now, with a simple black line that indicates soft and loud volume from the left to the right.
The volume indicator for Snapchat (top) and Instagram (bottom)
In an earlier beta release of iOS 10, some users noticed that the volume UI was gone from the new version of iOS when watching videos, believing its complete removal could possibly be Apple's response to user frustration. However, in subsequent updates the square-shaped HUD has returned, so it appears that the company won't be moving to change this particular part of its mobile operating system when iOS 10 launches in the fall.
Along with the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements, the new update also introduces thumbnails when users scrub through videos on iOS so they can easily find specific scenes. YouTube is available to download for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]