Plex refreshes app interface and adds more customization options

Plex is giving the interface in its app a slight refresh. The new “Modern Layout,” as Plex calls it, shifts the focus slightly away from a dull grid of poster art to a richer layout that better showcases artwork/screengrabs and is more immersive, thanks to changing backgrounds. The new interface also rethinks metadata by hiding some things, like movie titles since they already appear in poster art, and surfacing other things, like genres and ratings, for additional context. If you’re not a fan of the change, you’re in luck, because Plex has also added more layout customization options to tweak layout elements to your liking.

Top: New Plex Interface, Bottom: Old Plex Interface

As you can see in the before and after screenshots above, lists of movies in Plex now display metadata and artwork at the top of the screen for the highlighted title. This should be very familiar to Fire TV users since this very closely mimics the Fire TV’s interface for browsing movies. Also note that the movie title in the new interface is no longer displayed under the movie poster, since, more often than not, the title is already visible in the poster. This allowed Plex to keep a decent amount of the second row of content visible while dedicating so much space to the metadata displayed at the top of the screen.

The detail screen for content hasn’t changed much, but you can see the switch from movie poster to movie artwork. This allows you to see the row of cast names on the screen without needing to scroll down. You can also see the new more immersive background in the new interface, which extracts a common color from the artwork to use as the background color of the screen. This background color change also takes place as you scroll through movie posters on the main screen.

As mentioned, if you don’t like the changes, Plex has added new options to tweak the new interface or revert back to something that more closely resembles the old interface by selecting the “Classic Layout” setting. Above you can see two variations of the new interface with the new default options on top and a more minimalistic configuration on the bottom that has backgrounds turned off altogether.

The new interface options, as Plex explains them, are as follows:

  • Content Layout: This setting controls the layout used to display your content. Okay, so before you say “No, duh!”, this setting also controls whether “inline metadata” is displayed on the homescreen and the poster is displayed on detail pages.
    • Modern (the default): Displays artwork and “inline” details about the title on some screens when focused on a poster. This layout also prefers background artwork over posters on title detail pages.
    • Classic: No “inline” metadata is shown, displays title and additional information below posters, and prefers posters to artwork on detail pages.

     

  • App/Home Background: This setting allows the user to select the base background of the app (i.e.: the background used for the home screen, settings, etc…).
    • Artwork Colors (the default): Applies colors from the current title’s artwork to the background and gracefully (we hope!) transitions the colorfield as the title selection changes.
    • None: Displays the default background for the application (dark gradient).

     

  • Details Background: This setting controls the background displayed on the detail pages for items.
    • Artwork Colors (the default): Utilizes colors from the title’s artwork within the background on title detail pages.
    • Dimmed Art: Displays a full screen, dimmed version of the background artwork on detail pages.
    • None: The default background for the application is used for detail pages (dark gradient).

The new Plex interface is coming first to Apple TV and Roku devices. It will be coming to Fire TV and Android TV devices “shortly thereafter.” Once it arrives, you can find the new interface options under the Settings > Experience menu.

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