Notch support is still an issue, because most apps don’t know what to do with a notch. Usually apps just cut off below the notch and leave a black bar. Some people don’t want a notch in the way of their apps, while others want to use the entire screen as it was meant to be used.
YouTube is one of the issues that has plagued the Essential Phone‘s notch support. Past builds of Oreo had per-app notch settings in the developer settings, but those were removed with Android Pie to make room for Google’s official notch support. However, notch support isn’t there yet.
Thankfully a server-side change now allows you to pinch-to-zoom in the YouTube app, just like with devices that have 18:9 displays with notches. It cuts off the top and bottom and uses the entire display. For some videos it removes too much, but for some it looks absolutely stunning. It’s even better if the video is shot in 18:9.
A lot of Essential Phone users (including me) are really happy to have this option finally available to them. If you want to check it out, update the YouTube app! If you still don’t see the feature, you may need to clear the data on the YouTube app.