YouTube is on Your Actual Tube, and Your Android Device is the Controller
YouTube is doing a lot to make itself a media service platform that rivals the traditional television you're used to. Original channels are getting a major push, creators are being given some big perks as incentive, and shooting/uploading elegance now trumps native video-sharing options on rival mobile devices. There's still plenty of things that need to be ironed out before all of us may seriously consider YouTube as a hub for our own content -- but Google is still looking toward the future and forging ahead. The ability to watch YouTube on your home TV set is already proliferating, but now, Google has announced an app update that allows you to control browsing and viewing directly with your Android phone or tablet.
Firstly, be aware that the app/service branding going on here can get a little convoluted -- we're talking about an update from Google for its YouTube app (available on Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market -- I told you, confusing) on those mobile devices running its mobile OS Android, which uses the device to implement Google TV, in a function that is either called YouTube SendToTV, YouTube on Android, or YouTube TV. If that sounds a bit less than clear, don't worry -- it's safe to assume Google will consolidate or otherwise simplify branding and integration schemes as things progress. With thanks to NMR for their coverage, here's the primary video from YouTube illustrating how the app update turns your Android mobile device into an advanced (though seemingly pretty intuitive) media controller:
And here is the meat of things, from a post today on YouTube's official blog:
This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we’re bringing that mobile/TV pairing feature to devices from our friends including Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic and Sony. In 2013, you’ll see this feature come to even more devices like those from Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and others.
These new devices will also have the latest look and feel for YouTube on TV, letting you watch HD videos and channels on the big screen with everyone at home. Catch the latest videos from your subscriptions, watch playlists full of 1080p videos and find the next great video faster with search suggestions.
Whether you’re at CES or at home, you can now watch YouTube on 400 million devices: from tablets to TVs, smartphones to streaming boxes, and consoles to cable providers. When you sign in and subscribe on any of these devices, you’ll always have something great to watch next.
As stated above, YouTube is already watchable on your TV via various devices in much the way Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, and the like are watchable sans-PC. But the real story here is the controllerism going on with your phone. In general, there's a variety of apps out there that integrate some manner of control over your TV with a mobile device -- but here, Google/YouTube/Android is bridging several key spheres of tech, interactivity, and media in a way that you can bet will be the norm in the future -- and not just the near, foreseeable future (though this distinction is blurring every day), but in that "the future," the brave new one great science fiction thinkers have been writing about for a while now.
What I'm basically seeing is this: you're at work, procrastinating away the last ten minutes of your shift by watching something on YouTube, then as you clock-out hit 'cloud-continue' to resume the clip directly on your phone, which you use to continue watching the same material as you walk to the bus stop and later get off the subway, and finally finish watching right on your TV (which you engage while you walk through the door), from the comfort of your own couch. The integration of wifi with personal accounts and permissions across each of these devices will make you a mobile media hub -- a walking receiver antennae, which you can dial-in at will with that really nifty touchscreen thing in your pocket. It sounds like speculation, but you'll be able to do this in just a few short years, if you're not doing it already -- and you can safely assume that YouTube and Google (especially with Android's heavy stake in the mobile market) will be at the forefront of making it happen.
- Turning your phone and tablet into the best remote control for YouTube -- Official YouTube Blog
- YouTube Apps for Android on Google Play