Headlines: YouTube weakens Chromecast app, Android 13 beta

In this week’s top stories: YouTube is removing features from its Chromecast app, the likely final release of Android 13 betas, Chromecast with Google TV is getting an update, and more.

Last year, YouTube got an app-like experience on early Chromecast devices, complete with signing in and browsing, all navigated using a remote control on your phone. Surprisingly, YouTube’s Chromecast experience has been downgraded to its former state, with Google confirming the change is “by design”.

In a June 16 tweet, YouTube casually confirmed that signing in on older Chromecast devices is no longer supported. Users can still watch videos and control the session with their phone, but the “app” experience on Chromecast doesn’t allow signing in.

[A Google] Specialist also explained that YouTube Premium subscribers got to Use the older experience, not the newer app, if you want to watch videos without ads, as you pay monthly for the privilege.

According to Google, we’re “just a few weeks” away from the Android 13 release, and as part of a last-ditch bug-fixing effort, the company released Android 13 Beta 4 for Pixel phones this week. The build is also intended for Android developers to ensure their apps will continue to work as expected when Android 13 is generally available.

Unlike Pixel phones, Google has been far more conservative when it comes to updating the Chromecast with Google TV for 2020. After it was last updated in December 2021, a new update for Chromecast with Google TV brought the dongle’s Android security patch from October 2021 to May 2022.

It’s not the Android 12 update owners have been clamoring for for the past few months, but it’s better than nothing. Updates to the underlying firmware improve device performance, but on top of that, a handful of user-focused features have recently been introduced.

In a new Google Support article, the company has officially explained what the previously vague “Settings Services” app does for Pixel phones. The app works behind the scenes to enable a variety of Pixel features, including the battery widget, smarter notification handling, and location-based “rules.”

In terms of privacy, Google says that “Settings services may collect phone or other IDs, app interactions, crash logs, and diagnostics” if “Usage and diagnostics” collection is turned on – under Settings > Privacy.

After testing YouTube in April, it’s making picture-in-picture features generally available on iOS 15+ devices. In most parts of the world, the feature remains exclusive to premium subscribers, while those in the United States can enjoy picture-in-picture for free on “non-music content.”

Once rolled out on your phone or tablet, you’ll see a “Picture-in-Picture” toggle under Settings > General, while YouTube Premium still offers background playback where you only hear audio with no video.

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

Apps & Updates |

Chrome/OS |

Made by Google |

Samsung |

Videos |

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