Four YouTube players square off for a spot on your iPad

Find out which app is the best for watching YouTube on your iPad and which app lets you download videos.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When iOS 6 was released two months ago, the native YouTube app went away. Google has since released a YouTube app for the iPhone, but it has yet to release a YouTube player optimized for the iPad.

I have taken a look at a number of third-party YouTube apps -- Jasmine, Video Tube, YouPlayer, and vTube -- for the iPad so you don't have to. Let's do a quick CNET Reviews breakdown for each to determine our winner.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The good: Jasmine lets you sign into your account and comment on videos, create playlists, and play audio in the background. And its most recent update greatly reduces the incidence of restricted videos not playing. Lastly, it's free and ad-free, the only app of the bunch here that can make that claim.

The bad: It's less efficient to browse one column of thumbnails instead of a grid of thumbnails, if that's how you like to peruse YouTube's offerings.

The bottom line: Jasmine boasts a slick interface and is packed with features, making it my pick for the best YouTube player for the iPad.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Video Tube
The good: Video Tube is the only YouTube app I've encountered that lets you download videos to your iPad to view offline.

The bad: Other than the ability to download videos, Video Tube does not offer any compelling features; it doesn't even let you sign in to your YouTube account. It also costs a relatively steep $2.99 to get rid of the ads.

The bottom line: If you have the need to download YouTube videos to your iPad, Video Tube is the only game in town (that I've found, anyway). If you are interested in only playing videos, Jasmine is the better option.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The good: YouPlayer lets you sign in to your account so you can access your subscriptions. You can also see a history of the videos you watched, mark videos as favorites, and subscribe to channels.

The bad: Although you can sign in to your account, you can't comment on videos (you can, however, read comments). You can't create playlists or listen to audio in the background. It costs 99 cents to remove the ads.

The bottom line: It's lacking in the features department, but if you are looking for a simple yet effective YouTube player for the iPad, YouPlayer might hold some appeal.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The good: [Crickets]

The bad: You can neither make a comment nor read other comments. You can't subscribe, add to favorites, or create playlists. It also costs 99 cents to get rid of the ads.

The bottom line: There are better YouTube players for the iPad than vTube.