Google is rolling out an interesting update to the YouTube player on the desktop. Like mobile devices, the YouTube desktop player now adapts to the aspect ratios of the videos you are watching.
Previously, YouTube used to show black bars around videos that aren’t in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. This included vertical videos, 4:3 videos, and videos with other respect ratios. That wasn’t really much of a problem for many, but Google is changing the way the YouTube player treats these videos in the different aspect ratios (via Android Police).
Videos that aren’t in the 16:9 aspect ratio will no longer have a black bar around them — instead, the player will adapt to the video’s true size. This is mostly useful for vertical videos, especially when you are viewing YouTube on a narrow window since the videos are now capable of adapting to the aspect ratio instead of being locked within the 16:9 aspect ratio.
For other videos, like 4:3 videos, the player looks slightly weird since we are used to seeing black bars around them and the lack of those black bars make the player seem broken because of the alignment inconsistencies. Google is also making it so the standard 16:9 videos make use of your screen’s white space when available for a better viewing experience.
Either way, the updated YouTube player is rolling out gradually, so you will eventually get the new update for your player. Google is also enabling the new dark theme for YouTube on Android this week.