Jasmine for iOS review: A sleeker way to view YouTube videos

If you're a regular browser of YouTube videos, Jasmine is an excellent option with great navigation and added features to make your video viewing even more enjoyable.

Jason Parker

Jason Parker

Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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Jasmine is an iOS Universal YouTube client app with a clean interface and tons of features that make it a worthy YouTube app replacement, but it runs into some problems with YouTube's rules.

Jasmine (iOS)

Jasmine for iOS

The Good

The app <b>Jasmine</b> gives you an intuitive interface and extra features for searching, browsing, and watching videos on YouTube.

The Bad

As a YouTube client, Jasmine has to play by its rules, so some features get pulled to fit in with YouTube's guidelines.

The Bottom Line

If you're a regular browser of YouTube videos, Jasmine is an excellent option with great navigation and added features to make your video viewing even better.

The YouTube app for iOS is not bad on its own, but with Jasmine you get a really stylish interface with both day and night (low-light) themes. Touching buttons produces neat, simple animations, which -- while not necessary -- add to the elegant feel of the app.

When you launch Jasmine, a navigation pane lets you perform common actions like search by keyword or browse top videos, get access to your favorites, playlists, and subscriptions, or simply view your recently played videos. But touching one of these headings gives you more options with a slide-in menu from the right. For example, under the Browse menu, you can look at featured, top-rated, top favorites, and trending videos, among others. Touching one of these will slide in another menu with a list of your results with thumbnails. On the iPad you'll be able to view more than one menu at once and you also can swipe horizontally to move back and forth between the various menus. On the iPhone you'll hit a button in the top left to go the previous menu.

Jasmine lets you browse YouTube in style (pictures)

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When you pick a video, you get the option to watch it (obviously), but you also have buttons for related videos, to add to favorites or a playlist, and to view comments. Keeping the comments on a separate page is particularly nice, because often on YouTube you'll find distracting or offensive comments and being able to bypass them entirely makes for a better video-viewing experience. But if you want to get in on the discussion, it's still only a tap away.

What makes Jasmine a joy to use, even above the original YouTube app, are the extra features and the overall feel of the interface, but it's worth noting that the app is constrained by YouTube's policies. In the most recent update, for example, Jasmine had to remove customizable skip and rewind controls and automatic background audio playback, and had to add 2 seconds of video load time to make regular playback YouTube-compliant.

Jasmine added several new features in the same update. You can set a preferred playback quality in the settings, make Watch Later lists in the playlists section, and view a new My Videos section for those who create videos regularly. Even with the constraints from YouTube, the active development of the app promises even more features in future updates, so I think the positives of this app outweigh the negatives.

Overall, Jasmine makes it very enjoyable to browse, search for, and watch videos on YouTube. It has customization options, a great-looking and logical user interface, and plenty of more features promised on the horizon. If you like watching YouTube videos, Jasmine is one of the best ways to do it on an iOS device.

Jasmine (iOS)

Jasmine for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 9Interface 9Performance 9