YouTube Leanback: Slacking off just got a whole lot lazier

YouTube has made the impossible possible with Leanback -- the lazy man's version of the hyper-popular video streaming site requires only a keyboard to use, meaning you can leeeeeean back

Altogether now... ready? "Aaaaaaaaaaah." That contented lazyman sigh is courtesy of YouTube Leanback, an incredible new service from YouTube that replicates all the functionality of the full video-streaming site, but doesn't require a single cursor click to navigate.

Yes, the entire YouTube video catalogue can be browsed using only a keyboard, which -- as we all know -- can be luxuriantly tugged down on to your lap for a lovely big recline. No more hunching over. The chains of mousepad oppression are shattered.

Seriously though, we're impressed with how this new feature has been implemented. All you really need are the arrow and enter keys to browse -- hitting the 'down' key will cycle through your viewing options, either a carousel of related videos or broader categories such as comedy, education and so on.

Tapping up a few times will bring up a search bar, allowing you to find the particular video you need, and hitting enter calls up a playback menu, allowing you to pause, skip or even rewind and fast-forward video playback.

This simple five-button interface would lend itself very well to a TV remote, which typically have four direction keys and an OK button. This could make it very easy for manufacturers to add YouTube to their goggleboxes -- perhaps in concert with its parent company's Google TV initiative.

We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but it does seem as if this leanback service might be superior to the ordinary YouTube service in every conceivable way -- automatically fullscreened, no banner ads slowing down the page, no using the mouse and most importantly -- no comments!

The only things we can see that are missing are a quality control toggle and a way to quickly get a video's URL on to your clipboard so you can share the link with your friends in a hurry. We hope to see these features added soon.

Watch the explanatory video we've embedded below, or try out Leanback for yourself by clicking this link. Right -- we're way too lazy to write any more, and it's time to watch endless clips from The Day Today while picking bits of Pringle out of our navels. Aw yeah.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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