Android has a lot of great first party apps, but certainly, the official YouTube app is not one of them. For a lot of users, it often buffers (even if you have good bandwidth), lacks modern features such as background play, caching videos, and a hovering window to name a few. That is why advanced users have to look elsewhere to find the best.
Thankfully, as Android is the world’s largest mobile platform, developers have made many apps to better Google’s own efforts. Here are the best YouTube App alternatives for Android. So, let’s get started.
Update: Hey guys, apparently, there is a new kid in the town – iYTBP – a modded version of YouTube app, which looks and feel exactly like the official YouTube app but comes youtube background playback.
Note – Few applications here aren’t available on Google’s Play Store as they don’t comply with Google play policies. The applications are completely safe to use. Therefore, to install the apps, you may have to allow installation from unknown sources on your Android Device. The setting is located on most devices under “Settings” and then “Security.”
Best Youtube App Alternatives For Android
iTube is for people who use YouTube for mostly music. The interface loads YouTube playlists well, and it turns out to be a YouTube music player, with videos as a secondary feature.
There is also an option to load lyrics while the video is playing in the background. Though, we find this feature bit gimmicky, because it doesn’t work every time, but it indeed is a good feature to have. Or, you can use Musixmatch to show lyrics as an overlay on YouTube app. Or even QuickLyrics, if you don’t like overlay and want something more intuitive.
Although no ads load before videos, it has its own in-app advertisements which can get a bit irritating. There’s no way to get rid of them unless you’re running an ad-blocker on your device.
NewPipe is a new, lightweight, open-sourced app created to make YouTube watching a seamless experience.
The best part about this application is that it circumvents all advertisements, irrespective of whether your device is rooted, or not, but at the same time, the choices for resolution is limited. You can also choose to click the headphone icon if you want to listen to audio in the background.
Though there’s no way to log into your YouTube account and look at your subscriptions, and because of that, the main menu of the app shows a blank screen. You either have to manually search for videos you want to watch or be redirected here from another app (like your favorite browser). Another small con is there’s no way to watch videos in 1080p or higher.
As OGYouTube is a modded version of YouTube, the application almost looks identical to the official YouTube app, but it has bells-and-whistles hidden under its hood.
OGYouTube allows you to have a hovering window as the player which you can use on any screen, so you can watch a video while browsing the web, or messaging on WhatsApp.
You can also download the YouTube videos (from 144p to 1440p), or just the audio, directly from the app.
Note – On some ROMs (like MiUi), to enable the Hovering Window feature you will have to go to Security >Permissions, and then click on OGYouTube and tick the ‘Display pop-up window’ option.
TubeMate is a versatile application which you can use to watch YouTube videos, among other websites. The app is different from other apps on the list, as it loads the mobile version of the YouTube website and then proceeds from there.
You can choose to stream the video, and you’ll have a wide range of resolutions available.
This is also one of the best video downloaders available on Android, and it also supports many websites other than YouTube, so it can easily be a two-in-one app for most users. Make sure that you keep this app updated to the latest version, otherwise, some of the features may stop working for you as Google makes changes to YouTube services frequently, and an update from the devs fixed all the missing features once again.
The app has a handy feature called ‘Turbo’ in which videos can automatically be buffered by the click of a green button next to it. This will start the video, the moment you tap on it. No more waiting. The feature is currently unique to this application and is quite fun to use as there is no wastage of time if you want to start watching a video instantaneously.
It also has a feature called ‘Social Feed’, in which it displays videos from your Facebook or Twitter timelines, directly on the app.
It should be mentioned that it doesn’t block ads, so If you want that feature you have to look at some of the applications below.
6. YouTube Kids
You may be surprised to see an official Google app here, but this one is here on merit. As you can guess from the video, this app is specifically tailored for children, so there’s no chance of an adult video creeping in, even by mistake.
When you launch the app for the first time, you need a ‘grown-up’ to set it up. You have to select what kind of videos you want your child to be watching (Pre-School, School Age, or both), and whether you want the search to be on or off. You can also set a timer, for the amount of time you want to allow your child to be watching the videos on YouTube. This app is must have if you have unsupervised children browsing YouTube.
The app is unfortunately not available in many countries, so you might have to sideload the YouTube Kids apk.
The app interface is simple. The top half plays the YouTube video, below that is the likes and dislikes button which tracks your habit and show similar content and below that is a big shuffle button. You can press the shuffle button to change the video.
The best part of the app is, you can shuffle random videos from a specific channel, set a keyword filter, or category.
Unfortunately, the free version of the app comes with ads that placed just below the video and to be honest they look annoying. So, if you are planning to binge watch YouTube a lot, I suggest you shell out $3 to get the pro version.
9. YT music
Although you can find all kinds of video on YouTube, but still if the only reason you use YouTube is for listening to music, then try YT Music. The app is made by Google and unlike the YouTube app, this one is only designed for music discovery. If you have YouTube Red (free for the first month), you can listen to music without any Ads and play YouTube music with screen off.
Unfortunately, YT music is only officially available in US and UK (just like YouTube kids app). Yes, there is a way to use YT music outside US and UK; all you have to do is, first sideload the apk, switch to supported country using a VPN and then login to YT music. However, in our testing, we didn’t find this method working well in long run. Once you turn OFF the VPN, YT music stopped working.
#10 YouTube Go
So, YT music is not available outside the US. Well if you live in India, then the good news is, YouTube has a dedicated app for you — YouTube Go. YouTube Go is the light weight version of YouTube with size just 8.5 MB (the official app is around 24 MB).
YouTube Go is built for people with slow internet access, and there are 3 main features that separate it with YouTube official app.
1. When you play a video, it doesn’t start right away. Instead, it lists different quality levels and how much MB each of them required.
2. You can also save (some) videos for offline use. Most of them are informative videos.
3. You can send share video with you friends and family over hotspot or Bluetooth, they don’t have to download video separately.
However, the app asks for a lot of permissions and also register your mobile number, which makes sense, since they are targeting internet beginners, whose profile they don’t have, yet. But the app as whole delivers what it claims.
At the time of writing the post, the app still in the beta (unreleased version). So, if you are having a difficult time getting it, try this link from apk mirror. It worked for me.
If you’re tired of the official YouTube app, then thankfully there are a lot of alternatives to choose from on Android.
If you want a simple, no-nonsense, lightweight app to watch YouTube videos, go with NewPipe. It’s lightening quick and ad-free.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an app which allows you to use hovering windows, and you do not want a different interface than Google’s YouTube app, then I suggest OGYouTube.
Bonus Tip – If you make YouTube videos, then make sure you install YouTube Creator Studio. It didn’t make into the list as you can not browse YouTube videos on it, but it is quite a handy tool for YouTubers, as you can manage comments, daily visitors count, revenue, etc.