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Summary:

Bye-bye, crummy old iOS YouTube app: YouTube just launched a brand-new app on the iPhone and iPod touch that comes with a much-improved UI, social sharing and access to thousands of major label music videos. However, users of the new app also have to endure ads.

youtube iphone app featured

YouTube just went live with its own iOS app, bringing advanced features like social sharing, access to the site’s channel guide as well as tens of thousands of previously unavailable music videos to the iPhone. The application replaces a system app developed by Apple that won’t be part of iOS 6. It is optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch, but iPad fans won’t have to wait much longer: “We are working on the iPad app,” said YouTube’s head of mobile Andrey Doronichev when I asked him about tablet support last week.

You might also be interested in: YouTube for iPad: Here’s a great alternative app for iOS6

One of the app’s most notable new features, if you can call it that, are ads. Launching its own app means that YouTube can now monetize its videos on the iPhone. For YouTube, this means making more money with mobile: The site also announced Tuesday that it now clocks 1 billion mobile views every single day. For more on YouTube’s mobile strategy, check out my conversation with Youtube Director of Product Management Shiva Rajaraman at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco next week.

The flip side of having ads on the iPhone is that videos from major labels and other big publishers, which had opted out of the previous, ad-free app, are now available on iOS. Doronichev told me that this move unlocks “tens of thousands of pretty popular videos.”

Other features include easier sharing through Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as well as the ability to leave comments on a video while you’re still watching it. YouTube’s iOS app also supports AirPlay mirroring, and Doronichev said that there are plans to bring second-screen functionality for additional devices to the app as well.

The iPhone app doesn’t look exactly like YouTube’s Android app, but it includes most of its features, with a few notable exceptions: YouTube recently introduced pre-caching of videos on Android, making it possible to download HD versions of your video subscriptions which can then be watched on the go. The same thing is not possible on iOS because it requires the app to run in the background, explained Doronichev.

The Google-developed app will replace Apple’s own YouTube application, which won’t be included in iOS 6 anymore, and has received few updates over the years. Apple said last month that its licensing agreement with Google to build a YouTube app has run out. Taking over the development of the app will mean that users won’t have to wait all that long for updates anymore, said Doronichev. “We will be able to innovate and roll out new features more frequently,” he told me, adding: “It’s going to be a big change for users.”

Check out some pictures of the new app below:

 

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  1. Hi there, I’m confused by your statement “For more on YouTube’s mobile strategy, check out my conversation with Youtube Director of Product Management Shiva Rajaraman at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco next week.”. Did you already have the conversation next week or are you just promoting the event and that you will be talking with Shiva? If that is the case, then maybe “… check out by upcoming conversation with…” would make more sense. Thanks for a great article, I’m excited to see the new app. -Rick

  2. More money for YouTube. I did notice the YouTube apps did not have AirPlay. I thought they did. The App is much nicer. I think YouTube will generate a lot of revenue from this.

  3. David Røpke Driessen Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Really annoying that the player does not have “true” full screen when you evoke airplay on an apple tv

    1. I can not evoke airplay using my iPad and youtube in Internet, the app has been erased form my iPad, can you help me?

      1. The ‘old’ YouTube app has been deleted for ios6, and YouTube are bringing out a new one “soon”. You can use the web version m.youtube.com for now.

  4. No airplay of video is very annoying and makes it useless. I have to now keep one of my idevices on ios5 just to use built-in youtube app! :(

    1. Try this app called “Twonky Beam Browser”. It works just like a browser and it’ll let you AirPlay any content from youtube, vimeo, dailymotion etc to apple-tv.

  5. clarxartandmedia Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Hope you can play songs in the background like you can with the ios app

  6. Sparkle Beautiful Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    I’m SO excited for the iPad version – the pre-installed app is really helping me work on my patience :)

  7. Where is the built in volume control?

  8. HMM, Where is the built in volume control?

  9. Alejandro Lamothe Cervera Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    I can not use my apple TV with my iPad does any body know why?

  10. I actually liked the old, now extinct built-in YouTube browser. It was simper. The “official” one is way too cluttered for my liking. Also, Google had plenty of time and resources to design an app for iPad and they failed.

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