If you've ever watched Back to the Future Part II and wondered why we're in 2022 and not everyone is watching multiple screens at the same time yet, Google's YouTube TV is about to make that dream come true. An update to the YouTube TV app for Android and Google TVs will reportedly include Mosaic Mode, which will show viewers multiple feeds at once. FuboTV is currently the only live streamer offering a similar feature, and it is exclusive to its Apple TV app.
The YouTube TV Mosaic Mode feature will allow users to watch up to four live feeds at the same time, reports Protocol. This is reportedly one of the many updates coming to the Android TV and Google TV app, alongside the ability to browse playlists and albums and add them to a library directly from the TV app. Stability and performance improvements are also coming soon.
Of course, watching multiple pictures at once isn't something Google invented. After being seen in dozens of science-fiction movies, Playstation Vue included a feature allowing users to stream four channels at once, notes The Streamable. The service was launched on PS4 and later expanded to Apple TV before Playstation Vue shuttered. FuboTV is the only live streamer offering the feature, which it calls "Multi-View." It is only available on Apple TV as of this writing.
Mosaic Mode isn't the only new feature coming to YouTube TV. Sources told Protocol that YouTube Shorts may soon be supported on the platform. YouTube Shorts is similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels, but there had been little support to bring these videos to the YouTube TV apps. A mock-up slide for Google's partner event, obtained by Protocol, appears to show a vertical video in the center of the screen, with the title and name of the song used in the clip. There was also easy access to up-and-down thumbs on the side.
TikTok itself has tried to break into the smart TV world with its own app, available on smart TVs from LG and Samsung. In November, the app became available for devices using Google and Amazon platforms. However, YouTube TV has a huge advantage over TikTok's app. YouTube TV apps come pre-installed on almost every smart TV on the market, but TikTok fans have to seek out the app. Publicly-available Google Play data shows the TikTok Android TV app has been downloaded less than 5 million times.