YouTube for Android review: The best way to watch YouTube on the go

With the YouTube's picture-in-picture mode, you can browse other content while watching. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Without question, one of the best things about the YouTube app is its new picture-in-picture feature. With this, you can shrink a video down to the corner of your screen (in either landscape or portrait mode), then go ahead and search for other videos or browse through categories while it's still playing. To use the feature, just swipe down on the video, hit the arrow key on the top left, or hit the back button on your device (any of the three options will work). From there, you can simply swipe up to make the video big again or swipe left or right to close it.

My only gripe about the picture-in-picture is that it doesn't continue playing a video when you leave the app. Since I like listening to music through YouTube, I would've especially appreciated the ability to, say, send a text message with at least the audio persisting in the background.

With it's card-inspired theme, YouTube matches other Google-made products like Google+ and Google Now. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Saving, sharing, and uploading
Conveniently, YouTube for Android offers a few ways to save, share, and keep track of videos. First, while you're watching, you can use the "+" to add a video to a playlist, your Watch later list, or your Favorites. These lists are synced to your account, so you can access them from any of your devices. Alternatively, you can use Android's share protocol to share any video via other installed apps on your device. And lastly, the app lets you see your viewing history (across all of your devices), which is convenient in case you want to watch a video that you forgot to mark or add to a list.

And of course, the YouTube app also lets you upload video directly to your YouTube account. When doing so, you can add a video title, description and tags, and you can set the video to Public, Unlisted, or Private.

When you're on the go, there are a few options for watching YouTube videos. You can try some of the third-party clients, none of which has gained any significant traction on Google Play as of yet, or you can go to YouTube's mobile Web site, which probably wouldn't make much sense. As it is now, the official YouTube for Android app should be your go-to method for watching YouTube videos because, quite frankly, it's stable and packed with features. Before the recent redesign, the app was already solid. But now, with its card-inspired visual design, access to playlists, and incredibly convenient picture-in-picture feature, the app is even better.

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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Category Social networking
      Video and screencasting
    • Compatibility Android