When Amazon started marketing their Echo Show earlier this year, one of the selling points was that it had video support, including YouTube, which obviously is the top platform to watch videos. So when Google suddenly pulled out YouTube support for the smart speaker, and supposedly without warning, Amazon and its users were obviously annoyed. There was a back and forth between the two tech giants, but it looks like they were able to settle their differences as you can once again watch YouTube videos on the Echo Show.
However, how the YouTube videos are displayed and accessed is slightly different from when it originally launched. You can still ask Alexa to search for specific videos or topical videos on YouTube and it will give you results like before, in thumbnails and titles arranged horizontally so you can swipe through them. You can choose which one to play by saying out loud which numbered clip to play. You can also tell Alexa to play the video or pause it.
But when you ask Alexa to open the YouTube page itself and then search for videos in its own layout, you can only choose which video to play by touch. You can still scroll up and down through voice, but playing it has to be manual by touching the screen. If you want to play the video on full-screen, you’ll also have to do it manually, unlike before when playing a video would automatically go to full-screen mode.
There is no explanation for the changes, but we can settle for that as opposed to not having YouTube videos on the Echo Show. Let’s see if there will be improvements on this eventually.