In December, Google made official a YouTube app on the Cast-powered Chromecast that can be controlled by a remote on your phone, but a bug is forcing desktop Chrome users to see the new UI as well.
This bug, which was first noticed in January, affects Chrome desktop users (Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) who have a Cast-powered Chromecast (versus Google TV). While on the YouTube website, streaming a video to the streaming dongle will load the YouTube “app” rather than immediately playing a video.
You are taken directly to the home screen with an intro banner explaining how you can now “use your phone to choose a video”. The problem is that the UI requires a phone (or TV remote) to control, which you might not have immediate access to when you’re on a desktop computer.
This clearly appears to be a bug where Cast session origins are misidentified or at the very least default to the new mobile experience.
Click play in your browser to skip this screen, or close the casting session and try casting again. This will start normal video playback which can be controlled from your browser. Although simple to fix, this bug is annoying and adds an unnecessary extra step.
Even then, the UI you get and interact with is clearly still the new app for phones, as the video player has various controls that desktop users can’t interact with. Casting from a computer to the Chromecast with Google TV is no problem and loads the experience you want.
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