There are times you just want to skip to the good bit of something, whether that's ordering dessert before your entrée or skipping the intro sequence of a show Netflix hasn't cancelled; Google recognizes this desire and has made it easy to see the “most replayed” parts of YouTube videos.
This comes in the form of a graph that has been integrated into a video’s progress bar, whereby watchers can see the peaks and troughs of a video’s most and least replayed parts. Where the graph is at its peak, that’s the part of the video which has been replayed the most, and thus likely the most interesting part of it.
As such, if you’re looking to skip to a popular part of a video, say you’re looking for the exact moment an iconic line is uttered in a movie — we’re thinking “I’ll be back” from The Terminator — or maybe an exact instruction in a tutorial video, this new most replayed feature should help you narrow down such moments.
The most replied graph was in a beta test for YouTube Premium subscribers, but is now being rolled out to desktop and mobile users. It’ll be enabled by default, so you won’t have to tweak any settings in YouTube.
This update comes as part of other tweaks Google is doing to YouTube. One of these is an upcoming test for YouTube Premium users which lets them “seek to the exact moment in a video that you want to watch.” How exactly that will work, wasn't made clear by Google, but it all plays into the idea of making it easier to segment long videos into easily consumed parts.
Another feature is the ability to loop certain parts of a video, say a relaxing soundtrack or a clip of running water. This could be handy for people who like background sound when working or trying to sleep.
You can finally stream YouTube Music on Wear OS smartwatches
“We’re excited to share that the YouTube Music app on your Wear OS watch is rolling out two new features. First, starting this week you will be able to stream music over LTE or Wi-Fi, so you can listen to your favorite playlists wherever you go, even when your phone isn't nearby,” Google said on its Wear OS community page. “Second, you can now add a new YouTube Music tile to your watch that allows quick access to your recently played playlist or to the browse page of the YouTube Music app.”
This is good news for Wear OS smartwatch users, as before this the option for music streaming in Wear OS was rather limited. Google has used Play Music, but it shut down the service in 2020 and required users to migrate their playlists to YouTube Music; a simple task but one that was limited on Wear OS. While YouTube Music was made available on Google’s smartwatch operating system last year, it was initially constrained to Wear OS 3 and was limited in streaming functionality.
But with this update, the app has become a more fleshed-out streaming service, supporting both music streaming and music downloads for offline listening. The catch is you’ll need to be a YouTube Music Premium subscriber. And if you’re using a Wear OS device with iOS, then you’ll not be able to access music streaming either.
Nevertheless, it's good to see Google build out the functionality of Wear OS, not least because we’re due to see the full launch of the Google Pixel Watch this fall.