YouTube Leanback
New services offer simpler searching and browsing, whether at home or on the move

YouTube is aiming to move its appeal beyond rollerskating cats and You've Been Framed style clips with the launch of a new service designed to make accessing content simpler. And it's improving its mobile service, too.

The new service, still in beta, is called Leanback, and it allows fast searching, browsing and access to favourites using nothing more than your computer's 'direction' and return keys.

Fire it up and favourite videos start instantly, while related content and feeds can be accessed from a browser bar called up using the keyboard 'down' key. Press 'up' and you call up a search window.

The service can also be integrated with Facebook, allowing friends to share videos.

YouTube says that "Just as its name implies, YouTube Leanback is all about letting you sit back, relax and be entertained. Videos tailored to your interests play as soon as you visit the site and they play in full screen and high definition, continuously.

More after the break

"There's no need to click, search, or browse, unless you want to, of course. Watching YouTube becomes as easy as watching TV."

Meanwhile the YouTube Mobile service has also been upgraded, acknowledging the fact that mobile devices now access more than 100m videos a day – about the same as the whole of YouTube was serving just four years ago.

The company says it's made the service faster, incorporated larger, more touch-friendly operating elements, and built-in features familiar from the 'static' site, "'like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists, [and] the ability to designate 'favourite,' 'like' or 'unlike' videos directly from your device."

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