YouTube is getting 2 big upgrades to make your life easier — what you need to know

YouTube logo on an iPhone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

YouTube may be getting a pair of new features that could be serious upgrades, especially for those who use the popular video streaming app regularly.

First up, YouTube Premium subscribers are getting early access to yet another feature — 2x playback speed. According to YouTube, this feature will allow Premium users to watch videos at twice the normal speed just by long pressing anywhere on the video player while a video is playing. Do that, and the playback speed will automatically increase by 100%. You’ll know you’ve successfully executed the experimental gesture when a “Playing at 2x speed” message pops up at the top of the video. 

YouTube 2x playback

(Image credit: YouTube)

While the term “long press” is explicitly used, the feature also works on web browsers with a long click, in addition to the YouTube app on Android and iOS. But, unfortunately for web users, 9to5Google found that while videos will keep playing once you lift your finger on Android and iOS, they automatically pause on the web when you lift your finger off your mouse or trackpad.

This feature will be available until August 13 for now and is exclusively for YouTube Premium members. It joins bigger thumbnail previews while seeking — also available until August 13 — and a new screen locking feature to avoid accidental taps. The latter is limited to Android and iOS devices only and will disappear on August 5. 

YouTube might secretly be fixing my biggest pet peeve

The other upgrade from YouTube isn’t official — yet. According to Redditor u/OwenTheHugger (h/t TechCrunch), YouTube may be quietly rolling out a Stable Volume feature for at least some videos. Twitter user M. Brandon Lee also reported spotting the feature in the wild. 

YouTube Stable Volume feature

(Image credit: OwenTheHugger/Reddit)

It’s unclear exactly what this feature will do, and I was unable to find it on my Android YouTube app. But the general consensus is that it will even out the volume between videos or parts of videos, making it so you’re not having to change the volume constantly due to spikes or drops in decibels. 

If that’s the case, that’s a huge win for people like me that listen to podcasts or similar dialogue-heavy content. Nothing is more frustrating than going from one show to another and having them produced at totally different levels. Ditto for a super loud commercial dropped right in the middle of a more mild-mannered segment. So hopefully this feature goes a long way to making those moments a thing of the past.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.

  • jobijobi
    I really hope they add profiles for premium subscribers soon so my recommendations won’t get messed up by other people using the YouTube app on my TV.
  • sycoreaper
    I'll pay for Premium the day that they either allow 3rd party apps (without the fear of getting banned) or natively integrate a "Skip Sponsor" button.

    The whole point of paying for Premium is to have a seamless ad-free experience. And when D-Bag channels like LTT constantly mention sponsors and merch, it's annoying. I'm picking on them but many other channels do it too.

    jobijobi said:
    I really hope they add profiles for premium subscribers soon so my recommendations won’t get messed up by other people using the YouTube app on my TV.
    They do but each person needs a Gmail/Google account. You add them as family in the Play Store.