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Getting started with the YouTube app in iOS 6

iOS 6 jettisoned the built-in YouTube app. You'll now need to venture to the App Store to get your free YouTube app, which has a new design and functionality. Find out how it works.

When you said hello to iOS 6, you said goodbye to your iPhone's preinstalled YouTube app. Earlier this month, Google released a YouTube app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that introduces a new design and functionality. Google says there are "tens of thousands more videos" available with this app than you had with the old, built-in app. The downside is now that Google and Apple have parted ways here, Google can start serving ads on its iPhone app. I've watched dozens of videos with the new app, and can happily report that I was served an ad before only a handful of videos (though I wouldn't be surprised to see the frequency increase as time goes on).

Let's take a quick spin through the app.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After installing the app, you'll notice that the old TV icon is gone, replaced by a less fun YouTube logo. The app, too, boasts a new look. Tap the button in the top-left corner to reveal a slide-out menu, where you can sign into your account, access settings, see the channels to which you subscribe, and view YouTube's categories. You can't swipe to delete a channel from this menu. Instead, you must open a channel and tap on the green checkmark button at the top of the channel to unsubscribe.

In the top-right corner is the search button. Aiding your searches is auto-complete functionality, making suggestions as you go.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You have two options for how your Home Feed works. In settings, you can choose either Highlights or Uploads Only. These are slightly vague and inaccurate terms. Choose Uploads Only and you'll see videos that have been uploaded only from your channels. Choose Highlights and Google adds recommendations based on your viewing activity to the mix.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When viewing a video, you need only to rotate your phone into landscape mode to view the video at full screen. Rotate back to portrait mode to see the video's details, comments, or suggested videos. When viewing in full screen, you can tap on the screen to access the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons along with the share button. The sharing options have increased. Here's the list:

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In addition to these options, you can also add it to watch later, add to favorites, add to a playlist, or flag as inappropriate. To find your uploads, playlists, watch later videos, open the slide-out menu and tap on your name at the top.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

While you can view your uploaded videos, you can't upload videos you have on your phone from within the app. That's not a huge deal since YouTube is still one of the sharing options when viewing a video in the Photos app. A bigger omission is the lack of iPad support. The YouTube app is not universal, but Google says an iPad version will be out in the coming months.