YouTube is finally back on the Amazon Echo Show following a roughly two-month absence after Google disabled access, citing violations of terms of service.
At the time, Google claimed the device created a “broken user experience,” which appears to be shorthand for the way the Show originally didn’t let you engage in secondary YouTube activities such as sharing playlists.
Oh, and it originally disabled ads. Feel free to put the pieces together.
So, yes, it’s back. Unfortunately, as VoiceBot shows, it’s a decidedly less … pretty experience, and one that’s not as good for voice commands.
Essentially, it looks as though Amazon complied with Google’s terms of service by merely replacing the Show’s custom YouTube interface for individual videos with a display showing the standard YouTube homepage as you see it on a desktop browser. Keep in mind that the Show’s screen is 7 inches, which is the size of most small tablets.
The user experience has apparently taken a few hits, too. You can still use Alexa to stop and start a video, but you can’t use voice commands to make a video go full-screen. For that matter, touching the screen for full-screen mode only makes the other interface elements disappear. The actual video stays the same size.
On the bright side, the old interface remains in some form when you’re merely searching for new videos, and you can still use voice command ‘scroll right’ to see additional videos. But, once you actually open your video, you might as well be watching content on a tiny laptop that doesn’t support a true full-screen mode.
And they brought friends
Amazon released a statement to VoiceBot announcing that the return of YouTube also brings support for some other video services as well.
“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.”
Which means they’ll also likely be displayed in the same way. On the bright side, the return of YouTube once again makes the Echo Show an appealing prospect for a Black Friday buy.
We predict that Amazon will eventually offer the device as part of its Black Friday deals, so be sure to watch TechRadar for updates.