YouTube Enhances Its Ambient Mode, an Ambilight-like Feature That Will Make Us Think Twice Before Zooming in on Videos

YouTube Enhances Its Ambient Mode, an Ambilight-like Feature That Will Make Us Think Twice Before Zooming in on Videos

Constant Updates on YouTube

While it might seem that YouTube rarely undergoes changes, the reality is that Google frequently adds a plethora of new features. Additionally, there’s a testing program in place allowing Premium users to access new features months before they are officially launched. YouTube also offers a beta version, where all changes are first implemented and observed.

The New and Improved YouTube Ambient Mode

The recent version 18.49 of YouTube introduces an updated and more prominent version of YouTube’s ambient mode. Initially, this feature was akin to an Ambilight that has been around for a few months; however, it was so subtle that many users likely overlooked it. Now, with its increased visibility, it could be highly beneficial in certain situations. Let’s explore what YouTube’s ambient mode is and how you can disable it if it’s not to your liking.

A More Noticeable Ambient Mode, But Optional

YouTube’s ambient mode was introduced over a year ago with the intention of enriching the visual experience. It aimed to reduce eye strain by providing a “peripheral lighting” effect similar to Philips’ Ambilight system, specifically around the black spaces present when a video is played in full-screen mode (the lateral bars), or around the video when viewed in a minimised player on a vertical screen.

The Ambient Effect: Subtle to Striking

The ambient effect, although present, was previously incredibly subtle, boasting not so vibrant colors and expansions that were limited to the top part of the screen with a minimized player. According to 9to5Google, the latest evolution of YouTube’s Ambilight has become more noticeable—especially when the player is in fullscreen mode and doesn’t completely fill the panel due to the video’s aspect ratio not matching our screens.

Improvements in Video Viewing Experience

This enhancement eliminates the need to zoom into a video when in horizontal orientation in an attempt to fill the entire screen. Consequently, content is still visible on the sides, and by avoiding zoom, no information from the top or bottom of the video is lost.

Disabling Ambient Mode

Not a fan of the ambient mode? You can turn it off easily. Simply go to the video settings in the upper right corner, click on ‘Additional settings’, and disable the ambient mode.

Cover photo by Alejandro Alcolea

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