YouTube App Upgraded to Pinch-to-Zoom in Videos for 18:9 Display Smartphones

This new feature will allow users to change the aspect ratio from the traditional 16:9 to 18:9.
November 19, 2017 youtube logo

In 2016, Xiaomi first started smartphone with 17:9 aspect ratio display of the Mi Mix, but popularity was started after Samsung launched its Galaxy S8 and S8+ with 18:9 display and LG G6 after.

The 18:9 display aspect ratio has been widely accepted by many smartphone manufacturers because 18:9 displays are narrower than 16:9 displays and it allows the width of the device to remain comfortable enough for one-handed use.

However, 18:9 aspect ratios also cause issues with some apps. At the starting, many apps did not look well with the 18:9 aspect ratio as it was designed pointing to 16:9, but since then, Google has changed to new guidelines for developers to specifically target the 18:9 aspect ratios, and then the app situation has been slowly improving. Although, still there was a bigger problem occurs for media content such as YouTube videos, which are shot for the widescreen and led black bars being visible on both sides.

Therefore, Google has recently has added the pinch-to-zoom option for smartphones for wider and bigger displays with 18:9 aspect ratio. This new feature will allow users to change the aspect ratio from the traditional 16:9 to 18:9, allowing users to fill the entire screen and remove the black bars. However, Samsung including a crop zoom option to Galaxy S8/S8+/Note 8 which enable users to watch YouTube and other videos on full screen without having black bars on the display. However, other manufacturers like LG did not include such an options.

But now YouTube has updated it’s Android App to v12.44 and this new feature is rolling out within it. The previous versions of the YouTube app on Android did not have this feature.

Early this month, YouTube had already updated its App for iOS for full-screen viewing for the iPhone X.