YouTube Adds Voice Commands on Web for a Smoother User Experience

YouTube has added a voice commands input feature that can be used to search queries or navigate through videos on the streaming platform. The voice commands can be used to look for videos on the platform, navigate through results or pages, and play content as well. As per a report, the feature also recognises natural language commands for easy operations. Last month, the video streaming platform added HDR support for live streams as well. Easy to use, the new UI feature is quite similar to the voice search feature found on Android or iOS.

To use the hands-free navigation commands, tap on the microphone icon on the right of the search bar. This opens up a box on the screen that shows the text, “listening.” You need to give your audio commands here. If you were playing a video, YouTube automatically pauses it for you to give your voice commands. There is also another microphone icon at the bottom of the new screen. You can use this to temporarily disable or enable speech-to-text.

Users can choose from a wide range of languages to execute the voice command. I tried searching my queries using English and Malayalam. A transcription of the queries is displayed on the box before the search results page opens up. To my surprise, the microphone caught even the Malayalam voice command accurately and displayed the desired results.

If you give a command saying “play Lynyrd Skynyrd” it immediately starts playing a random song by the band. But instead, if you just say “Lynyrd Skynyrd” in the voice command, it will open the official page of the band (related to the search query) and display the list of their albums and songs and you can choose which one to play.

According to a report by 9to5Google, the search is also smart enough to recognise natural language commands. For example, “show me videos of cute cats” will just search for “videos of cats.”

The audio commands feature on can also be used to navigate other areas of the website. You can input queries like “show me my subscriptions” or “what’s new from my subscriptions” and this takes you directly to your subscriptions page. You can also search “show me my library” or “show me my watch history” and the app takes you to the respective pages.

Last month, YouTube added HDR quality support for live stream videos thus enabling viewers to stream HDR content on any supported device.

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