YouTube begins testing its queue system on iOS and Android. The feature has been available on the web for years and shows up in YouTube apps under certain circumstances — users who control their Chromecast with their phones might recognize it, as can those who use the YouTube Music apps — but now YouTube Premium users, which include in the test will be able to add videos to a stack that acts as a non-persistent playlist.
Once you’ve turned on the feature (which we’ll cover how to do in just a second), you’ll have access to a new Play Last in Queue button in the three vertical dot menu that appears on 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’re watching ends, the app will start playing the next video in the queue and continue until you’re done. You can also reorder videos in the queue or remove them. If you close the player, either by exiting the app completely or by tapping the “x” button in the bottom bar, your queue will be deleted (although the app may warn you before this happens).
When I opened the app on December 24th, I was greeted with a screen telling me that the feature was now available for testing and a button to turn it on. (YouTube began rolling out the feature earlier this month, according to Android Police and 9to5Google(but the popup didn’t appear for me until today.) If you didn’t get this screen and you’re a Premium subscriber, you can manually enable it by tapping your profile picture in the top right corner, going to Settings > Try New Features, then which scroll to “Queue” and tap the “Try It Out” 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 soon be able to queue videos — YouTube’s picture-in-picture test for iOS ended months before the feature rolled out. I also noticed that the feature isn’t exactly polished right now — the app failed to add a video to the queue at one point, apparently because I tried to add another too soon after. I’m excited to have this feature on my phone though; it’s something I use almost every day on desktop, and the fact that it made it to the YouTube Premium testing platform makes me hopeful that one day I’ll be able to rely on it in the app as well.
Update Dec. 24 5:56 PM ET: Added context that the YouTube Music app now has a queue system.