The official app for viewing videos from the popular website
YouTube, a startup previously acquired by Google, is Google's flagship video sharing outlet. Their app by the same name aims to make playing YouTube videos easy and fast for every Android user.
YouTube originally required an app because their website's player used Flash, and most phones were not able to play Flash content. However, with the dawn of HTML5, they converted their website into HTML5 format, which mobile devices do support. Because of this, it's no longer absolutely necessary to use the app. Just visiting YouTube.com on an Android device will allow the user to access the same content that they would through the app.
The app version still holds some advantages over the website. Namely, the user interface is much easier to use. No matter how optimized the HTML5 website is, the user will always have to go through a browser and then through the website, making for a clunky and disjointed experience. Now, though, the app is responsive and very fast and easy to use. Unfortunately, the app does not allow offline video downloading. While there are many third-party tools and Android apps that do just this, Google refuses to officially support this function.
Other than a lack of support for video downloading, Google nailed it with the YouTube app. Recently updated with an even more modern and responsive interface, there's no reason to not download this small and powerful app today.
- Hands down fastest way to watch videos on Android
- Much more responsive than HTML5 website version
- Officially supported by Google
- No video downloading functionality built-in
- Not really necessary except to optimize the experience
For new features, look for in-product education & notifications sharing the feature and how to use it!