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Posts tagged with "youtube"

YouTube Launches ‘Uptime’ App for Social Video Watching

Today YouTube launched a new iPhone-only app called Uptime. Uptime adopts many of the social features commonly found in social video streaming apps like Periscope – live comments, reactions, etc. – and applies them to YouTube videos.

Inside the app, you browse videos in a feed consisting of content shared by people you follow in Uptime. You can also tap the search box at the bottom to search for videos or pick from a list of videos based on your YouTube subscriptions and viewing history.

When viewing a video in Uptime, what you're watching will be publicly available to your followers in their Uptime feed, so they can join in and watch alongside you. You also have the option to directly share a video with others, whether by sending them a link using the iOS share sheet or by inviting them inside the app.

As a video is being watched, all current viewers are represented by their profile pictures on a track that covers the borders of the screen. As the video moves closer to its end, you'll be further along the track, and you can manually drag and drop your avatar to navigate through the video. During playback, you can type comments, use one of six built-in reaction emoji, or move your finger around the screen to create a sparkle effect. Videos can be viewed in both portrait and landscape, but currently there is no way to type comments while in landscape.

Uptime is available in the App Store, but it requires an invitation code to setup your account. The code PIZZA is currently working.


YouTube TV Streaming Service Coming This Spring

Yesterday YouTube announced a forthcoming TV offering called YouTube TV. The streaming service consists of a bundle of over 40 networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN. YouTube Red Originals are thrown in too. When it launches this spring, the service will cost $35/month with no contracts or other commitments.

Upon launch, YouTube TV will be available as a new app, separate from the standard YouTube app. Yesterday's blog post mentions an iOS app, but there is no reference to an Apple TV app.

You can watch YouTube TV on any screen—mobile, tablet or computer—and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS.

While this could be a simple oversight, it appears that watching on the big screen will require a Chromecast device. We'll have to wait until launch to see for sure. Similarly, it's unknown at this point if the iOS app will support Picture in Picture or Split View on iPad. The lack of an Apple TV app or iPad-specific features would make the service much less appealing to someone who watches most video on those devices.

The full channel lineup for YouTube TV.

The full channel lineup for YouTube TV.

One of the biggest selling points for YouTube TV is that it includes a cloud DVR with unlimited storage. The freedom to record anything and never worry about storage space is nice. Especially since, unlike many traditional cable or satellite services today, I would expect YouTube's DVR to work flawlessly regardless of whether you're watching on a mobile device or your TV. One small string attached to the DVR is that content gets erased nine months after it's been recorded.

YouTube TV is the latest in a series of TV streaming offerings that bundles together big-name networks in a package resembling a traditional cable bundle. Sling TV was the first major player to dip its toes into the market, followed by PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now, and Hulu has announced they'll have their own offering available soon. One advantage YouTube TV may have over its current competition is the experience gained from serving a billion hours of video content every day. YouTube should have no trouble scaling the service to reach large numbers of users for things like major sporting events.

Recently I shared in a Club MacStories newsletter how I had cut the cord and ended my satellite service. Because of that, streaming services like YouTube TV are more appealing to me than ever. Though the potential lack of iPad features or an Apple TV app are concerning, YouTube's credentials make its service more appealing in my mind than any of its competition. YouTube knows what it's doing with streaming video, so I'm looking forward to checking this service out.


YouTube Enables Live Streaming for Broader Base of Creators

Last summer YouTube announced its plans to put live streaming tools into the hands of its users. Today marks the first step toward making that happen, as mobile live streaming is now rolling out to all users with 10,000 or more followers. YouTube promises the feature will be available to all users soon, regardless of follower count.

Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you’re live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use.

Options when beginning a live stream.

Options when beginning a live stream.

Paired with its live streaming rollout, YouTube is also launching its previously announced Super Chat tool. Super Chat is a live stream feature that enables special monetization opportunities for creators. In a way it's a digital tip jar. When watching a live stream, users can pay a fee to have a message they write receive special highlighting that makes it more noticeable to the video's creator. Any highlighted message not only stands out visually, but also remains on screen longer than a normal message. The examples shown by YouTube so far involve a $5.00 fee to receive a highlighted message, though that number may vary based on the creator's choice.

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YouTube Updated with Chromecast Control Features

If you own a Google Chromecast or Chromecast-compatible device, you now have more options for controlling it from an iOS device. The YouTube app received an update that lets you play, pause, skip forward and back, and control the volume of streaming video from the Lock screen and Control Center of an iOS device, or from an Apple Watch. This functionality has been available on Android for a long time, so it’s nice to see it extended to iOS users who have a Chromecast too.


ProTube Review

I'm writing this as I listen to Frank Turner play a live show at Wembley Arena. That would be unremarkable if the show were available in Apple's Music app (it's not). Instead, I'm listening to the audio portion of a YouTube video with Ulysses full screen on my iPad. In a little while, I'll take a break for dinner and AirPlay the rest of the concert audio while I eat. That's not possible with the YouTube app unless you pay for a YouTube Red subscription, but it is with ProTube, a highly-customizable YouTube client by indie developer Jonas Gessner that lets you enjoy YouTube on your own terms.

The YouTube app isn't bad, it's just made with an average user in mind. There aren't many ways to customize it. You watch videos the way YouTube decided they should be watched. ProTube takes the opposite approach putting users in control, which makes it perfect for YouTube power users and anyone who has ever been frustrated by the one-size-fits-all approach of the YouTube app.

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YouTube Adds Support for Split View, Slide Over

After causing many fans to lose hope, YouTube today released Version 11.10 with support for Slide Over and Split View.

By selecting YouTube from the slide over menu, YouTube will now play videos in a small window in Slide Over, while increasing in size when used in Split View.

All in all, it works about as expected – you can browse, visit channels, and watch videos from either option. Although it may have taken too long to get here, YouTube's latest update is finally updated to support iOS 9's features.


TechTube for Apple TV

Like many others, I've developed a habit of binge-browsing YouTube videos and spending a few hours each week on YouTube channels that match my interests. Whether they're Let's Plays, music videos, educational stuff, documentaries, or interviews, the variety of content on YouTube provides a constant source of information and entertainment that I find superior to traditional television – or at least more engaging for me.

I haven't been watching much YouTube on my new Apple TV, though, because I don't like searching and browsing with the Siri Remote or Remote app; I'd rather use the YouTube app on my iPhone and beam videos to my Chromecast if I find something I want to watch on the big screen. Perhaps dictation will speed up the search process in tvOS 9.2.

TechTube, released earlier this week, is a new tvOS app that brings a curated stream of YouTube videos to the Apple TV with a minimal UI optimized for binge-watching. Once you open TechTube, you're presented with a swipeable gallery of videos; swipe left, and the thumbnail preview starts playing without having to open the video in full screen; if you're interested, swipe again, go to the next video, and so forth. Titles are displayed at the top of each preview and there are basic controls once you've opened a video in full screen, but that's about it. There's no complexity involved – you can't subscribe to channels, search, or add videos to playlists. TechTube is a lean-back experience created to open the app a couple of times each day, see what's new, and watch some videos from the selection of available picks.

And that's the aspect of TechTube I like: I don't have to find videos to watch. I can just open the app whenever I'm bored and relax for a bit with videos I wouldn't normally seek out. The team behind TechTube wants to pick videos for "techies, nerds, gadget lovers, and thinkers" on a daily basis, and, so far, the app offers an interesting mix of typical tech content (roundups, gadgets, what's new in software updates, hands-on, etc.) as well as educational videos and interviews. Scrolling through videos is fun; I don't have to think about browsing my YouTube subscriptions; and the app is a good showcase of tvOS and simple interactions with the Siri Remote.

I wouldn't mind having an iOS version of TechTube for those times when I want to sit down with my iPad and take my brain off work for a few minutes. TechTube is available for free on the tvOS App Store.



PipTube Brings Picture in Picture for Any YouTube Video on iOS 9

When iOS 9 launched in September, it was easy to understand the potential of Picture in Picture: for the first time, iPad users could continue watching a video in the background through a floating media player capable of coexisting with other apps – it could even stay on screen during Split View.

As I cautioned in my review, however, it was also obvious to see how big media companies wouldn't like Picture in Picture: by stripping them of control over player customization, Picture in Picture would provide a universal way to watch videos across iOS with the system video player, which comes with specific restrictions and media limitations. This is the reason why the likes of YouTube and Netflix haven't implemented Picture in Picture yet: relying on Apple's Picture in Picture player would force them to relinquish control of custom player buttons, ads, or other content overlaid on top of videos that can't be shown in the Picture in Picture box.

Four months later, the lack of iPad Pro and Picture in Picture support in the official YouTube app is a daily annoyance that has only been partly remedied by third-party YouTube clients like YouPlayer or ProTube. Today, those wishing for a simpler way to watch YouTube videos in Picture in Picture without having to use a separate client will find a solid solution in PipTube, released on the App Store at $1.99.

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