YouTube 2.9 for iOS (app icon, small)

Google is doubling down on its mobile YouTube client. The most recent update, for instance, has at last brought push notifications to YouTube for iOS and support for fullscreen playback of vertical videos.

Prior updates have brought out such enhancements as the Cards feature and more perks and we also know that Google’s been testing a major YouTube redesign with a subset of its users since May.

Moreover, at the beginning of this year Google finally ditched Adobe’s Flash Player and switched to an HTML5-based player for YouTube’s desktop interface.

But the fine folks at Google aren’t standing still: yet another redesign effort is about to adorn YouTube’s iOS app and with it come a few major feature additions to make it easier than ever to find videos and create them, too.

Feature #1: Material Design revamp

Material Design, a set of Google-drafted guidelines guiding software development across mobile, desktop and the web, is at long last coming to YouTube’s iOS client following its Android debut back in December 2014.

The first thing you’ll notice is a more prominent YouTube branding with the red header across the top and a menu alongside the bottom providing quick access to three new tabs: Home, Subscriptions and Account.

YouTube iOS Material Design iPhone screenshot 001

Not only does the redesign fit naturally with iOS 8’s overall design style, it matches up a recent YouTube revamp on the Apple TV, smart TVs and set-top boxes, too.

Feature #2: Home tab

This is where you’ll find videos that YouTube thinks you may like, based on your past watch history. Personalized recommendations include playlists as well, making it easy to explore and discover new videos in one place.

YouTube redesign Home Android screenshot 001

Feature #3: Subscriptions tab

Your subscriptions now have a new home in the Subscriptions tab. This is where you’ll find the latest videos from your favorite channels and creators.

YouTube redesign Subscriptions Android screenshot 001

The old Subscriptions section was both downright confusing and short on features.

The new Subscriptions tab strives to elevate your experience with enhancements like the ability to tap the bell icon on any channel to enable notifications. As soon as a new video is posted in your preferred channel, a push notification will hit your device.

For instance, you could set up notifications to receive alerts each time we post a new video on iDownloadBlog’s YouTube channel.

Feature #4: Account tab

The new Account tab brings your playlists, watch history and the videos you’ve uploaded all in one spot. In addition, it provides access to the Notifications feature where you can individually manage push notifications for the channels you follow.

YouTube redesign Account Android screenshot 001

Feature #5: Video creation tools

For the first time ever in YouTube’s iOS app, you’ll be able to not only upload footage but actually edit videos using a brand new set of video creation tools. Though basic, these tools will allow you to perform quick video touch ups on the go.

YouTube redesign Video Editing Android screenshot 001

For instance, you’ll be able to trim your clips, add music from YouTube’s library of licensed songs, tint the image with filters and more. As mentioned before, the upload functionality is supported, too, potentially canceling the need for YouTube’s dedicated Creator Studio app for iPhone that released a year ago, and another one focused on uploading and editing called YouTube Capture.

When’s this update due?

There’s no telling when this update might hit iOS.

Google says the new-look YouTube app with the aforesaid improvements is available now on Android and mobile web, and coming “soon” to iOS, so it shouldn’t be too long of a wait until it hits the App Store.

Some users have reported having the new design for about a week now, though Google actually began testing new features with a subset of its iOS user base back in May. For those wondering, they’re using a system similar to Facebook’s which allows beta testing of work-in-progress code with a small portion of users without them being aware they’re part of a beta program.

Watch this space as we’ll be makin sure to give you a heads-up as soon as the new YouTube experience becomes available to everyone.

Should you care?

You definitely should.

YouTube is central to Google’s presence on the Apple platform and most people would agree that the current design of the iOS app isn’t the best exercise of good mobile design practices. Worse, the app isn’t 100 percent consistent with the web or its Android counterpart and that’s just unfortunate from a user experience standpoint.

By making the design and the feature set of the upcoming refresh consistent across platforms, Google will simplify future feature deployment and make its users happy—and that’s always a good thing.

Wrapping up

It’s high time Google streamlined the development and design of YouTube on mobile and desktop. Giving YouTube a Material Design coating across iOS, Android and the web will ensure consistent user experience across platform.

Personalized video and playlist recommendations in the Home tab will expose you to new content you may like easier than before. The old system of managing video subscriptions was poorly implemented and the much improved Subscriptions tab should fix that.

Accessing playlists, watch history and uploaded videos through the new Account tab will simplify managing your own content and the ability to upload and edit your own clips without using YouTube Creator should prove a great time-saver.

Indeed, what’s there not to like about the new YouTube experience?

YouTube for iPhone and iPad is available free of charge in the App Store.

  • Elias

    Can’t wait!

  • Redha Hassan

    Already have it on my iPhone running ios 9 beta 3 🙂

    • How?! 🙁

      • Redha Hassan

        I do not know .. I suddenly saw it like this.

        Nice new design 🙂

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Do you get an update in the app store or does it just randomly appear?

      • Redha Hassan

        I cannot remember because i use auto update 🙂

      • Jailbreak Guru

        I think the YouTube app automatically recognizes if you are on iOS 9 and then gives you that design.

      • ericesque

        Nope. I’m on the latest beta of 9 and have the old look.

      • Jeffrey

        Google sends the update to some lucky random iOS users, it’s totally random and it has already been a few months since this test update has gone out.

    • i have this on my iphone 6 Plus running 8.4 Jailbrea..

    • Gabriel Rodriguez

      Can you share the ipa file with us?

      • Cesar D

        It would be completely useless, all the people already have the update but they appear randomly. So if you’re not lucky you just can’t unless a developer finds a way to get it before which is unlikely

      • Gabriel Rodriguez

        Thanks so much for you answer ;D

    • Ionut Tomulescu

      Can you play it in the background now?

      • coLin

        It was possible since iOS 8. just play a video, exit with Home button, drag from bottom ControlCenter, hit Play. Done!

    • al7oot

      I already have it on my iPhone 5s running iOS 8.4

  • I can’t wait for this update! I watch YouTube on my iPhone but not all the time. I wish we could get this update earlier though.

  • dnice

    how about native background playback!?

    • NOPE

    • haerondir

      I believe that’s against Youtube’s ToS, so don’t expect this feature coming soon.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Its on ProTube though which uses that, right?

      • haerondir

        Yes, and that app has been around for a while now so I don’t think they care that much.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Its been around less than a year. Last November.

      • haerondir

        Let’s not forget Protube was first a Cydia tweak, which was released on late 2011. So yeah, it’s been a while.

      • Tony Trenkle Jr.

        Well Cydia tweaks can use violate terms of service all the time. Thats why we jailbreak, to get around shit like that.

  • therealjjohnson

    i Have it, don’t really like it though. Guess it’ll take some time to get used to.

  • Manor

    I think it would have been better if the article was written like this:
    3 new features coming to YouTube for iOS:
    1.Material design
    2.Tabs view
    3. Video creation tools


    How about landscape support.

  • I thinks youtube on android is alot more visually appealing than IOS youtube app why can’t iPhone steal that darker status bar and status bar icons ?

  • ericesque

    Let’s be honest, the one feature everybody is truly waiting on is the app icon to remove the shadow effect along the bottom.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    Turning off automatic updates and keeping old IPA

  • BuBubbi

    No thanks, I’ll stick with ProTube..

    • ericesque

      How’s the stability of ProTube? I’ve been so close to pulling the trigger on that app for so long…

      • BuBubbi

        It’s great. Definitely worth every penny.
        Has a lot of very cool features that squashes the original YouTube app.

      • Cesar D

        I bought protube and don’t regret it, the only feature of playing videos on the background is great, it has many more as great as that

  • Mattoligy

    So basically they’re going to ruin it even more than they already have… because shoving ads down my throat left right and center and even mid video wasn’t enough, because forcing me to use Google Plus if I want to comment or even have my name show on my account wasn’t enough, because stopping us being able to minimize the app or lock the device while listening to music thus killing the battery five times quicker wasn’t enough…

  • Robert Trance

    Oh, lovely update coming.

  • Smeltn

    I wonder when we will get to see Youtube Gaming they have been talking about

  • Well said. Now I can’t wait to have that updated look. Wish it not long enough

  • Damian

    Correct me i I am wrong. This update brings nothing really new, it is just a design overhaul, which might not even be better looking than the present one.

  • Guilherme Schneider

    I’m using it since July 10th, and IMO it’s terrible. I would love so much to use the old design.

    • Guilherme Schneider

      I don’t know if it counts, but I’m using a Brazilian account in the app store.

  • iPhoneWINS

    just don’t break my intube downloader

  • Blip dude

    Give us Landscape support for iPhone 6 Plus please!!! I use the tubex app as that will let me play in the background, but no scrolling.

  • khmi

    I use mikoto for background playing, ad blocking, and best quality on cellular. The tweak is free too, check it out.

    • Nesly Lacroix

      Do you also have problems playing the next track in background? For me, It only plays the current track and doesn’t go to the next one.

      • khmi

        I don’t use it for playlist. But just tried it out and it doesn’t skip for me either

  • Li Chak Ho

    I can’t wait for this, I can’t say the current YouTube iOS app is a great app, but I am satisfied for it, it’s smooth, it’s clean, it do the job.
    I only have one complain on the current version, unfortunately I think it’s a killing mistake to me, it’s the subscription! Coz I am a heavy YouTube user, I watch YouTube every night on my iPad/iPhone, if you have subscribed over 200 channels like me, you’ll know what I am talking about, the current YouTube app can’t show you whole subscription if yours are over 100 or something, it’s very inconvenient, I hope they fix that on the new version.

  • Pogixvirus

    Did anyone else notice that this is an article about iOS app and the pic are android haha

    • Nesly Lacroix

      I think they are there for comparison. I was also confused that.