With the world having been forewarned of the fact that Apple was ditching its languishing YouTube app from iOS 6.0 onwards, and with many having discovered that “m.youtube.com” delivered a far superior mobile YouTube experience, it’s no surprise to see that Google’s long-awaited official YouTube app for iOS has finally arrived.
Apple’s YouTube app has little changed (if at all) since it first debuted back in 2007, and with the whatever software license Apple had with Google to make such an app having expired, likely due to Apple and Google’s fraught post-Android relationship, the only question left was when Google’s own YouTube app would arrive.
Naturally, the app is free, but Google has been a bit slack – the app is designated as one for the iPhone (and by extension, the iPod Touch), meaning there’s no iPad enhanced universal version.
That said, Google says its “YouTube engineers” are hard at work on a “made for iPad experience” due “in the coming months”.
The new app also brings, according to Google, “lots of new features to improve finding and sharing awesome videos and channels” to give “iPhone users the best mobile experience”.
Some other new features include:
- the ability to watch “movies and TV shows from Google Play”
- a new YouTube channel guide that lets you “swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to reveal a guide with your subscribed channels on YouTube”
- new search tools that give Google’s search suggestions while you type
- the ability to search by voice
- the ability to “flip through related videos, comments and more info, all while watching a video”
- and the ability to share videos via Google+, Facebook, text messages, Twitter and email – amongst more features contained within the new app.
However, Google has left some features out, with the most prominent being noted by at least one end-user review in the app store: the glaring lack of the AirPlay feature which allows you to send video and audio wirelessly to AirPlay compatible devices, forcing you to use “mirroring” instead.
There’s also no “HD” button when in 3G mode to force YouTube videos to display at a higher resolution – despite such a button being a mainstay of the Android app for eons.
Still, with Google boasting of “1 billion mobile views a day” by mobile users on various platforms, and with Google now firmly in control of its iOS YouTube app destiny, televisually amazing software updates are hopefully on the way sooner rather than later.
In short, it’s an app worth getting and especially so if you’re upgrading to iOS 6.0 given the fact Apple is removing its YouTube app from the new OS, meaning Google’s YouTube app will be the only official native app available to watch YouTube videos – unless you want to stick to the mobile web version instead.