When Android TV first launched back in 2014, there were many Apps that utilised the new Leanback design language, YouTube was one of the first Android TV Apps to use it to its advantage.
It was fairly straight forward, the sidebar housed all of your favourite YouTube Channels, settings and trending Topics.
It was all taken away when YouTube decided to unify the TV experience with other TV Platforms. This made sense, but users weren’t impressed, some wondered what direction Android TV was going.
The fact that most of the Android TV functions weren’t supported on launch for the YouTube redesign.
Personally I got used to it very quickly, I didn’t have much of a problem with it. If I decided to use YouTube on my LG Smart TV, I would have the exact same experience as the Android TV Version.
This is a similar approach that Plex has started taking recently with the UNO experience.
The latest redesign isn’t anything radical, more of a fresh coat of paint and rejig of some of the Menus. The background is a flat grey colour, Icons are now outlined like we’ve seen on Android 10 formerly known as Android Q.
The Player hasn’t changed at all, it’s possible that this will be updated in the future. As the the Icons no longer match the new design seen in the main Menus.
YouTube hasn’t pushed an update since the 19th of June 2019, this design change looks like its a Server-side update, check your YouTube App now to see if you’ve received it.