| 27 Nov 2021
YouTube Music introduced new record-shaped widget, now available in Android 12

MUMBAI: Android 12 might have everyone’s attention focused on Material You, but it’s far from the only change coming to phones this fall. Perhaps thanks to some renewed competition, widgets are getting a modern look and feel. We’d previously seen YouTube Music’s retro-inspired widget show up in a recent APK, but with a new update, you can try it out for yourself — provided you’re on Android 12, of course.

While YouTube Music’s current Now Playing widget is pretty standard fare, this new design is far more unique, especially compared to other streaming services (via 9to5Google). With a round, record-shaped widget to show off album art, it’s certainly eye-catching. That said, it’s not as useful as the classic control panel, missing options for moving between queued songs. Also, the album art doesn’t spin — a real missed opportunity, if you ask me.

Just as we saw in an earlier test iteration, this widget’s grid is 3x2 by default, with the ability to expand it to a massive 5x5. If you’re looking for a smaller, more manageable option, the classic playback bar is likely the way to go.
Thankfully, it’s not the only widget YouTube Music is testing. Mishaal Rahman at XDA Developers managed to enable a 4x2 panel that shows the album art of any currently playing song, alongside recently played tracks below it. For now, it remains unavailable, but it seems like YouTube Music isn’t done adding new tools into the mix just yet. You have to wonder if that mysterious plus-shaped playback widget could make an appearance sometime in the future.

If you’re running Android 12 — which was technically released yesterday, even if no one has the latest stable version just yet — you can try out the record-shaped widget in YouTube Music 4.48.51. Grab it from the Play store link below or download the latest APK from APK Mirror.