Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Screensaver competition from YouTube app on Apple TV

Apple TV is known for its stunning screensaver videos, which are activated by tvOS when it remains inactive in your living room. But YouTube thinks users will prefer to see random image slideshows and video thumbnails. This is especially notable when the YouTube app replaces the Apple TV's screen saver with its own “screen saver” version.

Joe Rosensteel explains this well in his blog post. He was busy doing other work in his office with the YouTube app open on the Apple TV, and when he returned, he noticed that the screensaver had changed to a slideshow of compressed still images from YouTube instead of the impressive landscapes of the Apple TV. An old version of the YouTube application did not make such a change on the Apple TV in his living room.

YouTube's screensaver approach

The YouTube application offers two different contents as screen savers. If you haven't paused the video, you'll typically see a slideshow of generic still images from the videos. If you pause while watching a video, the YouTube app's screensaver kicks in and presents a slideshow that restarts with YouTube thumbnail art constantly enlarging and darkening.

This isn't ideal compared to Apple's aesthetically pleasing screen protectors. Currently, YouTube does not display ads or other promotional content on these screensavers. However, this is likely to change soon and YouTube is expected to display at least some promotional messages on the screensaver.

A simple solution to Apple TV screen saver clutter

There is a simple way to avoid this situation. You can access the 'Screensaver' settings from the 'General' option by going to the settings of your Apple TV. From here, setting the 'Launch Time' to '2 minutes' will ensure that Apple TV's default high-resolution screen savers start before YouTube's screen saver kicks in. This setting can prevent YouTube from taking over your screen, at least for now.

Such technological struggles are among the factors that directly affect user experience. Users should be vigilant and follow technological developments closely to protect their preferred content and settings. The decisions of technology giants such as Apple and YouTube shape the daily experiences of large user bases. Therefore, it is of great importance for users to adapt to such changes and produce alternative solutions.

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Danish Kapoor