Smartphone brands like Google, Apple, Samsung and more have been following the trend of launching smartphones with an 18:9 aspect ratio displays. This aspect ratio is still fairly new and majority of the HD video content on YouTube is still in 16:9 format. That causes video apps like YouTube and MX Player to add black bands on either side of videos shot in 16:9 aspect ratio. Some manufacturers have added a feature into their UI to remove the black bands on the side, however, for those who haven’t, YouTube 12.44 update brings a neat little change.
Today, YouTube launched their version 12.44 of the app, which allows users to utilise the pinch-to-zoom gesture to fit the video in the 18:9 aspect ratio. This feature was previously only made available on the Pixel 2 through the 12.40 version of the app. Now the company has added this feature to various other devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8+ and the LG V30. Just a word of caution, this feature uses crop-zooming, which means that the videos when zoomed in will have a part of them cropped from the top.
We tested this out on the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and the OnePlus 5T and found the feature to be working fine on both the devices. So if you want to take advantage of this feature on your full-screen display smartphone, just head to the Google Play Store and update the YouTube app. After the update, you can open the YouTube app and watch videos without the black bars hindering your experience.