YouTube App Reviewed: Your Second Google41,311
Chances are you already have this app on your phone or tablet. As Android, like YouTube, is a part of Google Empire, YouTube for Android is usually preinstalled, along with the pack of other official Google apps.
But, well, there are always exceptions, like Chinese Android phones with Google services banned and removed, or Android-based OS revamped by manufacturers.
Meanwhile, iOS users are to decide whether they need this app, so since 2012 Apple doesn't provide preinstalled YouTube (OMG, an exception! Apple decided not to make a choice for its customers!) So is YouTube app worth installing?
YouTube is made for viewing videos, and that’s what most of us use this service for, and the app is really all about that. The search system allows you to find almost any video you wish, and besides that it shows the list of videos recommended to you along with what you found. As you search, you may set up parameters, like subtitles, desired quality and so on.
When watching videos, you can turn rotate your device easily, with a landscape mode for a full-screen view, and portrait mode for windowed. Portrait mode is recommended when you want to watch the video and read the comments or do some other work on your device simultaneously.
By the way, commenting and subscribing are done easily, with one touch. The social part of YouTube is not what we love it for, but still, it helps to get and give feedback.
If your Smart TV has a built-in YouTube app, you can find a video on your phone or tablet and then broadcast it on your TV via a special button in the upper right corner. It will take a little time if the app isn’t launched on your TV, but then the connection gets faster, up to real time. Of course, it requires having your devices paired. And yes, the app fully supports Google Cardboard and other VR and 3D devices. It just takes one button to switch into VR mode with the screen split in two.
Well, if you are a video blogger yourself, you can upload your videos directly from your device. You can select them from your gallery or record at once with a built-in camera module.
The YouTube app supports content exchange as well, so you can edit your video in any specialized app and then upload it to YouTube via the app. After that, you can manage your channel, edit comments or reply to them, edit descriptions and do other editor’s work.
The only thing not provided by this app is caching or downloading videos for offline watching. Yes, this mission is already done by numerous third-party downloaders, but officially Google does not allow this kind of usage for the official YouTube. Download your videos, though, through other apps, it’s not banned.
YouTube Mobile looks like an optimized version of YouTube on the web. Tablet and phone versions differ a bit. The interface conception is the same, but screen space on the tablet is used more efficiently.
The most common operations like liking or disliking a video, typing or posting comments are simplified down to one tap. As for watching videos, it’s intuitive. The menu is rather advanced and stuffed with options and features, but it all hides away as you watch the videos in full screen.
The tabbed interface lets you easily access the main page with your latest videos, with the hot videos page symbolized by a small fire, your subscriptions page or your own profile. It supports both tapping or swiping selection.
Being as international as can be, Google offers its apps in as many languages as can be. YouTube makes no exception. The app is available in any language available for Android at all.
Google official apps have almost no alternative, so you have to get used to its concept. And if you have already dealt enough with YouTube page, then the app will be easy for you to master.
The app works well both by itself or with companions like TV sets or VR devices. No matter if you use a rather small compact smartphone, a large tablet or a device like Chromecast or Apple TV. YouTube always has the best layout for your usage case.
The only factor it depends on is your connection quality. But if it’s poorer than you expected, you can select lower video quality and save your traffic to fit into that narrow bandwidth.
Some users claim there may be issues with cache overflowing. That results in slowdowns and audio and video desynchronization. But these issues are mostly reported after app gets an update on old smartphones.
Cross-platform use 9/10
YouTube for Android was inevitable, but, of course, there are versions for iOS and BlackBerry. The only platform left outside was Windows Phone, with no official Google apps at all since its launch. And there’s no reason to consider Google can change its mind now, with Lumia in the deep coma.
In 2015, October, YouTube launched its YouTube Red service that turns off the ads. It also includes Google Play Music subscription, caching videos for offline watching (that’s what it’s all for!) and some bonuses from other affiliated Google services. The monthly fee is $9.99. And yes, you can make this payment via YouTube app as well as via any other connected app. Of course, it applies only to the countries YouTube Red is launched in.
Anyway, you can enjoy YouTube free features, even if Red is not available in your country yet.
The official YouTube app may lack some features other apps offer, like saving videos. But let it go, heh. It’s official and it must be already on your phone. Nope? Then ni hao and buhaoyisi.
Anyway it covers all the needs a simple user, or even a video blogger, has. Watching, liking and commenting, finding and queueing, or uploading and editing videos – it’s all here. So if you have no special requirements for your YouTube experience, the official app is highly recommended.
If you're looking through your apps and can't find YouTube, install it faster, because it’s worth it and it has anything you may ever need from YouTube.
Pros : It’s official;
Supports all YouTube features;
Best suitable both for viewing videos and for video blogging;
You probably already have it.
Cons : The app doesn’t let you download videos.
Cross-platform use 4.5