This week, Google released a revamped mobile version of YouTube. It’s located at http://m.youtube.com and it’s HTML5-compatible. Prior to this update, iPhone users browsing to the web address were automatically sent to the YouTube app that’s part of iOS. Everything is now self-contained inside the web browser.
The first time you visit the site, it will ask you to add a link to your Home Screen. I suggest you do so, since this update suggests that YouTube’s native app is starting its slow march towards death.
Since YouTube has largely consisted of Adobe Flash content, consider this a huge step forward for mobile computing. Flash, of course, is a no-no on Apple devices. Therefore, the shift to HTML5 for the YouTube mobile site is great news for iPhone, iPad and other mobile platforms users.
I found the mobile YouTube site quicker and cleaner than the native app, plus it has some added functionality. The library is easier to navigate and as you type in the search box, some recommended links are shown. Also, since everything here is directly tied to the YouTube website, Google can now add and remove features as it likes without waiting for Apple to approve an updated app.
During a presentation at YouTube headquarters on July 7, product manager Andrey Doronichev made it clear that the new web-based application was its future for mobile video, concluding that:
“As the world continues to go mobile, we think this is a great improvement for users who want a more consistent YouTube across many devices, no matter where they are.”
The site also allows bookmarking of favorites and the use of YouTube’s “like” (or “dislike”) ratings feature. Visit from your mobile web browser to start viewing HTML5 videos today.