Apple recently caused an outrage by announcing that the stock YouTube app in iOS won’t be making its way to the next version of their mobile platform. Everyone knows that the reason behind this pointed omission is the fierce competition and the slew of lawsuits going on between Apple and Google. However, not even Apple can deny the importance of the world’s largest video streaming service, even if it is owned by Google. That is why Apple hinted that a standalone YouTube is expected to be released in the App Store before the launch of iOS 6, and the app has arrived just a day before Apple’s Fall event in Cupertino. The app appears to be a bit slower than the stock YouTube app for iOS, but apart from that, almost everything else about it has improved. The video player provides options that are more convenient, you can subscribe to channels with a single tap and the search bar now comes up with autosuggestions and voice search options.
The thing that has undergone the most drastic changes in the app is its interface. The new YouTube app for iPhone is closer to its Android counterpart than the stock iOS one. Instead of the buttons in the bottom bar, you now get a sidebar menu, listing all the options and categories you will ever need while using YouTube. On the main page of the app, you get an indicator that directs you to the app’s login menu. The login screen is shown as a popup, and once you have signed in to your account, you can change the way the main page of the appears. By default, it is set to Popular videos, but you can configure it to display your own uploads or other information from your channel.
The search option in the YouTube app is a lot better than the search in the stock YouTube app for iOS. Not only does it offer autosuggestions, you can also speak your queries to the app with complete ease, by hitting the microphone icon next to the text box. To make life easier for you, the YouTube app lets its users sort the search results pretty comprehensively. You can sort by upload date, rating, relevance and many other criteria. The YouTube app allows its users to subscribe to channels very easily. The subscribe button is visible beneath each video, and you just have to tap it once to add that channel to your feeds.
Previously, it was not possible to play any video from YouTube within the iPhone app’s own interface, and everything was always played in full screen mode. The app from Google, however, offers a huge improvement over that. The app comes with both full screen and in-app playing options. If you are viewing a video within the app, you get a neat, tabbed interface, allowing you to see comments, suggestions and information regarding the current video, without interrupting the play. Tapping the player’s screen once brings up the extra options associated with each video. The options let you like or dislike a video, play it in full screen mode or you can hit the share button to bring up more detailed options. From the arrow button, users get to add videos to their favorites, playlists or watch later list. The sharing menu lets you post videos to Google+, Twitter and Facebook, or you can choose to send the video’s link to anyone via email or SMS.
For now, the YouTube app is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch only, but the Google team has promised that an iPad version is in the works and will be released in the App Store pretty soon. So, if you own an iPhone, enjoy the new and improved YouTube app right now on your device, it won’t cost you anything and brings a lot of new features to the table.