Auto-playing videos are never a great idea. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are in no doubt guilty of auto-playing videos but Instagram and Twitter still mute them while they play. While Facebook, on the other hand, plays videos with sound by default and to stop this you need to turn it off. This is somewhat annoying but given these are generally social apps, it’s normal. A social app pushes content onto the users and this is only one of the ways to do it. For Google to opt for a similar strategy is what’s concerning. The Google Search app on Android and even Google on your desktops are adapting to auto-play videos in search results. For the time being, it appears you can only turn off auto-play for videos in Google Search on Android. There’s no given option available presently for the desktop version.
Auto-playing videos are beginning to show up for some users in search results. It does not matter if you’re searching for a video or not. If there is a relevant related video that matches your search it will still show up in the results. It will likewise play automatically. This occurs on both desktop and mobile although, it’s, even more, an issue on a mobile device because the video consumes lots of mobile data.
The good news is, there’s actually a way to turn off auto-play for videos in the Google Search app. Open the app and tap the hamburger button at the upper left. Tap “Settings” in the navigation drawer. On the Settings screen, tap ‘Video’. Now, Turn off the “Auto-play” toggle and you’re done setting it.
Surprisingly, the Google Search app does not auto-play videos if you are making use of your mobile data. There is an option that allows you keep auto-play for videos on but always disable it for when you’re on a mobile network.
The Google Search for the iOS app does not have this setting. And it appears that the auto-playing videos are yet to be rolled out to the iOS version. iOS won’t be seeing this “feature” anytime soon. If at all, the Chrome for iOS app may start auto-playing videos before the Google Search app for iOS does. This is because the Google Search is a feature on Android whereas, on iOS, it’s only an app that many people can do without. There is no need to install the Google Search app if you are already using Chrome for iOS. You can’t force Siri to use it, and in like manner, it can’t replace Siri on an iOS device. Not even the custom feeds are sufficiently enough to make users install the app. Let’s just hope that when auto-playing videos start to show up in Chrome, there’s an off switch for them.