YouTube has recently launched a revamped version of its YouTube Mobile website, designed especially for HTML5 compatible browsers such as Safari on the iPhone and iPad. The site is apparently much faster and displays videos far better than the native iPhone/ iPad YouTube app developed by Apple. Since the site does not use Flash, it can be used by iPhone and iPad users without any issues.
It is interesting to note that the YouTube app for Apple devices has a massive customer base of nearly 100 million users. However, since Apple hasn’t really updated its app regularly as per YouTube’s latest improvements, the latter decided to revamp its site in order to offer an enhanced customer experience.
Apart from a more intuitive UI and better video quality, the updated YouTube site offers other additional features such as auto-completing a search, Like & Dislike buttons etc. As per YouTube’s Product Manager Andrey Doronichev, the new HTML5 based website opens up a stream of new avenues including innovative content-based mobile ads. The challenge for YouTube is to change iPhone/ iPad user habits to move away from the native app and access the enhanced site using the Safari browser on their devices.
When you visit the YouTube mobile site, it prompts you to “install” it on your device. Once you approve, it installs a new logo on your home screen which makes it easier to access the site with just one click as opposed to opening Safari and then either typing the site address or choosing it from your bookmarks. Here’s a video of the new YouTube Mobile site in action.
Obviously, the site is not perfect and it has a few limitations. First, unlike the iPhone app, it is available only in English for now. It does not notify if you if there are new videos on channels which you’ve subscribed. Unlike the native app, it does not show your viewing history. It does not allow you to share videos with your contacts on leading social networks – Twitter, Facebook & Google Buzz.
None the less, the new YouTube Mobile site (m.youtube.com) is great from video quality perspective. And it’s a testimony of growing popularity of HTML5. Have you accessed the new YouTube Mobile site yet? What’s your feedback about this site? Is it better or worse than the native iOS app? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below this post.