Google hasn't released an official app for the iPad. Here are five alternatives that may be just as good, if not better.
Google hasn't released an official app for the iPad. Here are five alternatives that may be just as good — if not better.
Although the YouTube app got an upgrade for iOS 6, when Apple removed it from the list of pre-installed apps, it was only made available for the iPhone. This move, naturally, has left many iPad users feeling frustrated, and wondering when Google is going to get around to releasing a version for the bigger screen.
The bad news is, we don't know. We expected it long before now. The good news is that there are plenty of good alternatives available, both paid and free, that are much better than the current option of opening YouTube in Safari — maybe even better than the official app itself.
Jasmine really stands out from the crowd. Its name aside — which does not contain any variant on "You", "Tube" or "Play" — it looks amazing, with support for Retina on both iPhone 5 and iPad. It also has features that we wish YouTube itself had: a night mode, which dims the screen in low-light conditions so that you don't hurt your eyes; remembering where you left off watching a long video when you return to it; and a very low tolerance for comment shenanigans.
For a basic YouTube player, YouPlayer is a decent option. It can play any YouTube video that has embedding enabled (so most of them, probably — certainly more than the old YouTube app). And it has the most basic functions there — viewing and posting comments; signing in to access your account, including subscriptions and playlists; and then it has VoiceOver support on top.
McTube is, quite simply, great. Not only does it have a really simple, well-built interface, it also has some fantastic functions. There are the usual suspects, of course: signing in to comment, access subscriptions and playlists; view history; watching videos in full screen; a large array of search options; and so on. But its other features are superb. Firstly, you can narrow your search by region. Secondly — and this is awesome — you can cache videos for offline viewing. Thirdly, the app also operates as an MP3 player with a background mode. This is one fantastic app.
If you're looking for a bit more playlist functionality, Play Tube is probably worth a look, too. Like McTube, it allows you to cache videos for offline YouTubin' (yay!). You can also create and manage playlists, which you can then play continuously either once, on repeat or shuffled, and it continues even when the screen is locked. Like Jasmine, it also saves your position, and it supports AirPlay, TV out and background play. And if you're looking for a new way to browse YouTube, you can watch video playlists of iTunes top 100 songs from over 60 countries. That should be good for some entertainment, right?
Now, if none of the preceding free apps float your YouTube boat, you could try a paid app. YouPlay is pretty decent, with a nice interface, but it's also very basic in terms of functionality. Maybe you don't actually want extra functions, which is cool; nobody's judging anyone here. What you're paying for with YouPlay is probably the design, which is rather elegant and easy to use, but its lack of other features and price tag mean we'd probably download it only as a very last resort. Your mileage, however, may vary.
Have you found a really great YouTube app for the iPad? Tell us about it in the comments below!