YouTube mobile

YouTube recently updated its mobile site to be even friendlier towards iPhones and other mobile devices. In fact, it’s better than the full browser experience. After playing with it for a few days, I’ve found some good and bad. Here’s what I like, what I don’t how it compares to Apple’s YouTube app.

The first time visit m.youtube.com from an iPhone, you’re prompted to add a button to your home screen. The resulting icon looks great, even on a retina display.

Tapping a video brings up its information, is which organized differently that Apple’s. You can rate the video, mark it as a favorite, add it to a playlist (or create a new one) or share it via email. You can also toggle high quality on and off and show/hide the clip’s details. Finally, related videos and user comments are listed below the description.

It’s all presented on a single layout, which I like. Apple’s app spreads this information across two screens; sharing, favorites and playlists are on one screen while the description, comments and related clips are on another. I realize that complaining because I have to touch my expensive cell phone’s sleek surface twice instead of once is what some call a first world problem and others call obnoxious, but there it is. Having everything on one screen is convenient and YouTube has presented it in a tidy, usable way.

I love YouTube’s large, no-nonsense icons for Home, Browse, Favorites, Playlists, Subscriptions, My Videos and Settings. It’s clear what each is for and badges indicate how many favorites you’ve collected and videos you’ve published. Yes, they’re a whole extra tap away when compared to Apple’s placement, but I’ll buck up and deal with the hardship.

You may have noticed the “HQ” button. It’s easily toggled on and off, and provides a noticeable difference in video quality. YouTube claims that they’ve achieved quality better than some native apps, but I didn’t notice a huge difference between the web app and Apple’s iPhone app.

It’s a nice mobile solution that demonstrates YouTube’s commitment to the platform. As I said, it looks much better than the full browser version of YouTube, and is easily on par with Apple’s app.