YouTube’s TV app now uses your phone as a second screen


If you watch YouTube on your TV, there’s a good chance you’re tracking down that video on your phone to leave a comment or drop a like. Now, though, you won’t have to go to such great lengths. The company is rolling out a feature that lets you use your Android phone or iPhone as a second screen for YouTube’s TV app. Tap “connect” in the mobile app and the video will be synced between the two devices — you can comment, donate, shop or otherwise interact with a video playing on the larger display.

You’ll need to sign into the same YouTube account on both devices. The second screen feature isn’t tied to specific TV platforms, though, so you shouldn’t have to worry about using the ‘wrong’ set or media box.

The upgrade is a recognition that you often want to do more with a video than just watch it, and that you probably have your phone in hand while you’re sitting on the couch. About 88 percent of people use a phone or tablet while they’re watching TV, according to Nielsen data. YouTube is relatively late in that regard, but this is still a useful upgrade.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.