Friends don’t let friends take vertical videos. Our brains and eyes are wired for widescreen. And yet, in this age of ubiquitous smartphone screens, it happens all the time. There’s good news today if you’re one of those people. Android will now allow videos shot vertically to be viewed in full screen.
Previously Android would only display YouTube videos in landscape mode, meaning that if the video was filmed vertically you would end up with a lot of blank space on either side of the frame and a really small video, making it painful to watch. With the new update to the app, version 10.28, videos will be viewable vertically, so at least now they’ll take up the entire frame.
Bias aside, vertical videos are actually becoming more prevalent thanks to services like Periscope, or SnapChat which are designed to only shoot video that way. As the number of vertical videos increases it only makes sense for Android to make it easier for viewers to watch them. In all honesty, this change has been a long time coming. While Google themselves are obviously in the “vertical videos are bad” camp (why else would they have held out so long on this?), there’s little we can do as a culture to overcome it entirely. If you’re going to watch a vertical video, it’s best to watch it vertically.
So vertical video makers rejoice. In fact, we should all celebrate. Although the orientation will still be annoying for people watching on laptops, monitors, and TVs, at least Android smartphone users won’t have to suffer innecesarily. There’s no word yet on when or if the update is coming to iOS.