YouTube for iOS adds full vertical video playback

YouTube on iOS will soon be updated with full vertical video playback support, getting rid of the annoying black bars and instead filling the entire smartphone screen with vertically-recorded footage. Until now, trying to play these vertical videos on iOS devices resulted in big black bars due to the app's inability to adjust to the unique size. The new version, in comparison, features automatic adaption.

Vertical videos have been around for years, but they're no longer the frustrating orientation they once were. Most people watch videos on their mobile devices now, so videos recorded vertically simply fill the screen...if the app supports that. For YouTube's Android and iOS users, that wasn't the case, which meant having a video shrouded by big dark bars.

Via a tweet (above), YouTube announced that things have changed and now the iOS app adapts to accommodate the video if it was recorded vertically. The GIF demonstrates this, showing that it not only adapts to fit the video, but also automatically shrinks when the user scrolls down to read comments and view related videos.

YouTube had announced plans to add this improved vertical video support back in June. A look at the YouTube listing on iTunes shows the last update there happened on December 6, which didn't include the adaptive ability; when this new functionality will actually arrive for users is unclear, but should happen any time now considering YouTube's official announcement.