Hate black bars? Google's got your back.

This year, we've seen the rise of the 2:1/18:9 aspect ratio smartphone. While this direction shift that the smartphone industry made has had a significant advantage in terms of reducing bezel and packing more phone into a smaller footprint, the odd aspect ratio has had an impact on content and media consumption. The majority of content these days has been made for 16:9 displays, as that's the aspect ratio of our TVs, monitors, and – for the longest time – our phones. However, since piloting this new aspect ratio, manufacturers have been coming up with solutions to get rid of the ugly black bars that appear during content consumption, and it seems Google has joined the fray with "Zoom-to-fill" mode in the YouTube app on the Pixel 2 XL.

Thanks to an in-built solution that Google has prepared for the Pixel 2 XL, you can now pinch and zoom to adjust the video fit on the display. By default, the video fits inside the screen with some hideous black bars on the sides, but you can perform a quick pinch-to-zoom gesture to make it fill the entire screen. If you want to go back to the original fit, simply pinch to zoom out again! It's an interesting solution that many users will undoubtedly prefer to LG and Samsung's implementations. Unfortunately for those who do, the feature is currently exclusive to the Pixel 2 XL, so if you're using a Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6, you're still stuck with your OEM's solution. However, as it is built into the app, we can reasonably expect to see a hack to allow it to function on all phones within the near future.

What do you guys think? Do you run from black bezel bard with disgust? Do you think content should be produced in 18:9 for mobile now? Let us know what you think in the comments, or post over in the forums.

via AP