YouTube is testing its queuing system for its iPhone and Android apps

YouTube is beginning to test its queuing system on iOS and Android. The feature has been available around the web for years and will show up in the YouTube apps under certain circumstances – users controlling their Chromecast with their phones may recognize it, as may those using the YouTube Music apps – but now YouTube Premium -User By signing up for the test, you can add videos to a batch, which behaves like a volatile playlist.

After enabling the feature (we’ll explain how to do that in a moment), you’ll have access to a new “Play last in queue” button in the three vertical dots menu that appears on the video thumbnails. Tapping it will add the video to the end of your queue—or create a new queue if you’re not currently watching a video. Once the video you are watching ends, the app will start playing the next video in the queue and continue until you run out of video. You can also reorder or remove videos in the queue. Closing the player, either by exiting the app entirely or by tapping the “x” button in the bottom bar, will clear your queue (although the app may warn you about this).

When I opened the app on December 24th, I was greeted with a screen telling me the feature is now available for testing and a button to turn it on. (YouTube started rolling out the feature earlier this month Android Police and 9to5Googlebut I haven’t seen the pop-up till date.) If you didn’t get this screen and you are a premium subscriber, you can activate it manually by tapping on your profile picture in the upper right corner. Go to Settings > Try new features, then scroll to Queue and tap the Try button.

According to this settings screen, the test will be available until January 28th.

The test isn’t necessarily a sign that non-paying users will be able to queue videos anytime soon — YouTube’s picture-in-picture test for iOS ended months before the feature began rolling out. I also noticed that the feature isn’t very polished at the moment – the app failed to add a video to the queue at one point, apparently because I tried to add another one too soon. Still, I’m happy to have this feature on my phone. It’s something I use almost every day on desktop, and the fact that it made it into the YouTube Premium testbed gives me hope that one day I can rely on it on the app too.

Update from Dec 24 5:56pm ET: Added context that the YouTube Music app already has a queuing system.

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