As you are all aware at this stage Apple not only pulled Google Maps from iOS 6 but they also pulled the native YouTube App. Google responded by adding a YouTube app to the App Store but sadly there was no iPad support at launch so your only option was to then use the very limited mobile version of the website or use a blown up version of the iPhone version, both terrible options in my opinion (for that reason I’ll concentrate on reviewing the iPad version of this app but it is also available on the other iOS devices).
While the Maps debacle has created all sorts of articles, YouTube has got much less coverage. Maybe it’s because we don’t live in a country where public transport and traffic updates are that important, but I can live without the Google Maps app but not having a decent YouTube app makes me lose sleep!
Now with that said, the previous native app and the mobile version of YouTube on iOS 5 were pretty terrible so I wasn’t that sorry to see them go.
Seeing the obvious gap in the market, an opportunistic developer called Jason Morrissey has managed to get his YouTube client approved and up on the App Store. No conflicts with native apps anymore as reason to reject.
The app is at Version 1.0 and there are some creases to iron out, which I’ll get to later, but overall this is a pretty fantastic app.
The UI for the app uses horizontally sliding panels for navigation with the initial screen offering a slim menu tab down the left hand side for settings , changing the brightness and changing between light and dark mode. The first of the sliding panels then has options such as searching, viewing your subscriptions, playlists, favourites, and recently played.
As you search or navigate through the different options another panel opens offering up your results. For each of the videos, if you slide from left to right on them it reveals an additional menu underneath which allows you to favourite it, share it or add it to a playlist.
As you select a video the next panel appears with details of the video and of course the option to play it! You can also then slide the search panel to the left to hide it and you are left with just your results and the video details.
You can change the settings so it picks the best quality for your connection or so it asks you which quality you want before it plays and yes all resolutions are available here including “Hi Res” which is for videos that exceed 1080p in quality, if available. Airplay is also supported so if you have a compliant device you’ll be able to stream to it.
As I mentioned above, there are some little issues I have encountered while using it. If you put your device to sleep while still in the app and you then return directly to it from the unlock, the app closes. The option for hi res videos while supported also crashes the app once you hit play but these are very minor issues I’m sure will be sorted out in future updates.
There is also a Pro version incoming which will offer parental controls and of course a way to make a contribution to the developer . The app is Ad free so making a contribution to developers for apps as good as this is something I would always recommend.
All in all this is an excellent app and comes highly recommended for anyone with an iOS device that loves using YouTube without restrictions.