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YouTube has a ‘zoom-to-fill’ mode for the Google Pixel 2 XL’s 18:9 display

google pixel 2 xl youtube zoom feature

Most “bezel-light” devices on the market make their much larger displays more manageable by adopting a thinner, more one-hand friendly 18:9 aspect ratio. In some cases, that doesn’t play well, especially with 16:9 video.

YouTube has a native way to adapt to that ratio for Google’s new flagship.

A good example of this problem is YouTube and how it doesn’t natively punch into the video to fill the screen based on the specifications of your display. Google also seems to be applying its own customization for its Pixel 2 XL, as there is a new mode in the YouTube app for the phone.

According to some users, this is one of those cases where the taller screen—meant for enhanced multimedia consumption—actually feels more like a gimmick over the regular, standard 16:9 display. Google, however, wants users to be able to take full advantage of the extra screen real estate in the Pixel 2 XL even when watching a 16:9 video.

It was reported on the /r/GooglePixel subreddit that a YouTube update was pushed out recently on Google Play that lets you pinch to zoom to fill the entire screen during YouTube video playback.

google pixel 2 xl youtube zoom feature

This means that, instead of having black bars on the sides while watching a video on the Pixel 2 XL, you will be able to pinch on the video and have it cover your entire screen. If you want to adjust it, you are free to do so by zooming in or out.

This should be a welcome feature for those that don’t want to experience videos cropped on both the left and right edges. However, by using the zooming capability, you do instead end up cropping the top and bottom of the video.

Pinch to zoom was confirmed to work with the Google Pixel 2 XL, but it’s not clear yet whether it’ll work on other tall-screened devices like the Galaxy S8, the LG G6, the Galaxy Note 8, or the LG V30.

If you have a Pixel 2 XL and this isn’t working for you, make sure you’re on YouTube v12.40 and try force-closing the app.

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