YouTube app for Nokia and Windows Mobile phones: Refreshed and reviewed

Google has updated its YouTube app for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile phones to include user account support and search suggestions. We went hands-on

Our appetite for YouTube knows now bounds, whether it be an afternoon of demolition fails or merely a little taste of rocket-powered trucks. So we're always glad to hear about an improvement to the YouTube app that can slake our autotune addiction.

Google has released a new version of the YouTube app for Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 phones -- that's most Nokia smart phones. The new app adds support for your YouTube account, so you can access your favourites, subscriptions and playlists.

"Let's say you have recently found an amazing basketball shot video and favourited it on your desktop PC," Google says on its mobile blog. "When you're at the basketball court with your friends all you need to do is launch the YouTube app and go to your Favourites to show it to them."

We took the new app for a spin on a Nokia X6 . We appreciated how easy Google makes it to download the app, which is often a faff on Nokia phones. We just had to visit m.youtube.com/app in our phone's browser and the download started automatically. The page also offered tips as to where we could find the app in our phone's convoluted menu system once we installed it.

Getting online in the app wasn't straightforward -- although we had active 3G and Wi-Fi connections going, the app still made us pick between some baffling options. Still, that might be a phone problem the app can't control.

Another flaw was the size of some of the menu options. Although the main buttons are big enough, menus such as the one to choose your country are way too small -- we accidentally poked Sweden three times before we managed to nail the UK.

Google says the app also gives you suggestions when you start typing in the search box, but this feature works poorly on many touchscreen Nokias. That's because when you use a text box, the phone chucks you out of the app's interface into a dedicated typing screen. You have to type something, click to say you're done, and then you're sent back to the YouTube app to see your search suggestions. It's not much of a time-saver.

On the other hand, logging into our account was fast and easy, and all of our videos seemed to be present and correct. 

Overall, YouTube on Nokia still struggles to compete with the experience you'd get on an iPhone or Android phone. But it's much better than nothing, and it's free, so we'd still recommend you give the new YouTube app a try.

 

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