This is a Guest post by Amy Nielson, an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Nielson_Amy.
Your upgrade to iOS 6 means you’ve noticed that Apple has eliminated the built-in YouTube app. Google was quick to offer a downloadable app for iPhone and IPod Touch with a new design and comparable functionality – but you can’t upload videos, there are now ads, AirPlay is reduced to audio, and there’s no iPad version whatsoever. As an alternative, you might have to stick to YouTube’s mobile site, which doesn’t offer the same experience as an app. There is even a YouPad app for iPads which costs $2, but the reviews have been dismal and you’re much better off finding an alternative video app altogether. In the wake of these issues, many smaller apps to watch, share, and download YouTube videos have popped up, with features that the YouTube app doesn’t offer. These are just a few of your options.
Squrl calls itself a video discovery app – dedicated to helping you sift through the large amount of online video and find exactly what you want. The feature that makes it stand out could be the universal search function. When you type something in the search bar, you get results from many different sites, both free and premium, like Netflix, Hulu, Vimeo, AOL, and of course, YouTube. You can save videos for later, make playlists, copy and paste video urls, share on Twitter, and even message other users. And of course, it works great on your iPad.
Another video discovery app, Showyou provides you with a collection of videos shared by your social circle on Twitter and Facebook, as well as celebrity and professional video providers like websites and outside companies. It also has the newfound ability to rank videos in terms of popularity – you see the videos that have been shared the most at the top of your search results. You might also like how easy it is to share videos with one tap, and how there’s a feature to say thank you to video creators. If your main focus in video downloading is sharing and interacting, this could be a perfect app for you.
Jasmine is gaining a real following as an alternative to the YouTube app because of its sleek and minimalistic design. It does virtually the same thing as the Google app, but it looks great and has no ads. You can switch between day and night mode, queue videos, and customize the forward and rewind buttons. If you upgrade to the pro version, it also offers parental controls. The big draw for Jasmine fans is definitely the smooth interface, but it also has all the basic YouTube functions that you need.
FoxTube is growing in popularity due to its reputation for fast loading and the ability to select video quality. It also has a mini player – where you can leave something playing in the corner of the screen while you browse something else. Unfortunately, unlike the other apps, FoxTube isn’t free – it costs $2.99 for iOS and &4.99 for the iPad version. Many of the app’s biggest fans find it worth the price for the quality and functionality, but it’s possible you can find everything you need without paying any money.
Many of the free video apps that work on iPads are pretty comparable when it comes to quality, but they each have a slightly different focus. Choosing the video app you want will depend on how often you watch videos, what kind of material you typically look for, and what you want to do with the videos. Some people love sharing and need an app that connects them easily with their social circle on Twitter and Facebook. Others are more concerned with being able to find exactly which video they’re looking for. And universal apps – accessible on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad – are becoming increasingly more desirable. Whatever your video viewing preferences, it’s good to know that the options are growing – Apple’s shortcomings leave the door open for smaller companies to impress you with their innovation and user-friendly features. Pretty soon, there will be something for everybody.