YouTube has returned to the Amazon Echo Show nearly two months after a Google and Amazon dispute saw the internet search giant pull support for its popular video service from Amazon’s hardware, according to a report from VoiceBot.ai.
Along with the return of YouTube, Amazon is also expanding video services on the Echo Show as well, with the company launching support forVimeo and Dailymotion. In a statement to The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson commented that “We’re excited to offer customers the capability to watch even more video content from sources such as Vimeo, YouTube, and Dailymotion on Echo Show. More video sources will be added over time.”
According to Google, Amazon’s original implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show “violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience.” It seems that Amazon and Google have been able to reconcile that problem, with a new version of YouTube that has a dramatically changed interface that much more closely resembles the desktop version of the site than Amazon’s own Echo-style integration. VoiceBot.ai has posted a video of the updated UI, which is embedded below, but if you’ve ever used YouTube on a computer or tablet, you’ve more or less already know what it’s like.
That updated version of YouTube on the Echo Show also means that features like subscriptions, next video recommendations, and autoplay — which my colleague Dieter Bohn pointed out as missing features in Amazon’s original app that Google might view as important for future growth — are now back in play on the Echo Show. But they come at the cost of the far more user-friendly and voice control-optimized software that Amazon had originally designed.
Based on a tweet from The Verge editor Dan Seifert, it seems that the new YouTube integration only halfheartedly supports voice controls at all, with the device loading the new interface slowly, and even then only loading a windowed version of the video. The Echo Show still does support full-screen YouTube video, but users will need to use a separate “Alexa, zoom in” command to display videos like that.
THIS IS INSANITY pic.twitter.com/dYbi5w7pdD— dan seifert of the house verge, first of his name (@dcseifert) November 21, 2017
Update November 21st, 4:25pm: Added updated information about how voice controls appear to work on the new update, and clarified language with how the app works now in regard to full screen video.