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YouTube Revamps Mobile Site With HTML5

Gordon Kelly


In a progressive - if seemingly pointless - exercise YouTube has announced a complete overhaul of its mobile site so Android handsets and iPhones can… err… not only use their native YouTube apps, but also load YouTube videos in their browsers too…

The change comes since YouTube is now hosting HTML5 encoded videos on m.youtube.com and excited site product manager Andrey Doronichev was keen to point out the following improvements:

  • It's really fast

  • The user interface incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements, making it easier to access videos on the go

  • It incorporates the features and functionality you’ve come to expect from the .com site, like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists, the ability to designate “favorite,” “like” or “unlike” videos directly from your device

  • As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently
In fairness there are some decent improvements here, but in my brief test of it I still found using a native app to be more intuitive and enjoyable

Of course the bigger topic here is that HTML5 will allow for a wider range of support across multiple devices as compatibility with the evolving standard continues to grow. Then again, Google just built native Flash support into Chrome and Android 2.2 so Nexus One owners are going to be spoilt for choice…

Is this the beginning of the end for Flash? I very much doubt it.



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July 8, 2010, 11:59 am

Am I the only one who's not a big fan of apps? 95% of them are just reformatted web pages. Obviously there are useful one but the vast majority could be done as web apps. I hate having to install a specific app when I could do the job through the browser.

Also has the benefits of working for all platforms and always being up to date. Doesn't help either that pretty much everyone targets the App Store. It's like shops/developers aren't interested in the vast majority of users.


July 8, 2010, 12:23 pm

Well it is fast and the layout is very nice - but after playing a video for 30 secs or more it consistently causes the browser to lock and or crash .... :(

Anyone else with a Nexus One seeing this - or has the small god of silicon singled me out yet again ?


July 8, 2010, 1:14 pm

You may think it's pointless for Android and iPhones, but there ARE others. Certainly gives a better experience on my Blackberry 9700, for example...


July 8, 2010, 1:20 pm

I'm on a 3GS, and very pleased I have the choice to NOT use iOS's Youtube app! Very smart and slick, well done boys.


July 8, 2010, 3:23 pm

Since we are talking about Flash on the iPhone/iPad I am surprised that there hasnt been an article on Frash yet:


Ok its only for jailbroken iPads and its a bit buggy but its a massive step forward, plus I wonder how much egg will be on Apples face if these coders are able to have flash running on the iPad/iPhone without a significant battery drain...


July 8, 2010, 3:28 pm

Works fine on my HTC Desire, but the quality of the stream is far worse. Anyone else experiencing that?


July 8, 2010, 3:56 pm

@Wibbly - I mention that in the story


July 8, 2010, 4:37 pm

Personally I think it's great! Far better than the native iPhone app.

Al 2

July 8, 2010, 6:07 pm

For the Desire, are you sure it isn't defaulting to the flash app? I can't find a way to see m youtube "native"


July 8, 2010, 6:59 pm

On my Desire when I do various things it doesn't always give me the option to load the video with the Youtube app, takes me straight to the website which hasn't up until now actually worked.. :)


July 8, 2010, 7:56 pm

@Castalan I just watched a 3 minute video on my nexus one no problem. It looked like ass though.


July 8, 2010, 8:17 pm

I don't know if it's defaulting to Flash on the Desire, but I'm on m.youtube, so I should be using HTML5.


July 8, 2010, 8:41 pm

Actually mobile Youtube is far far better than the native iPhone app. Over 3G it still streams the high quality version as opposed to looking like absolute shite when streaming via 3g on the native one.

Sunny 1

July 9, 2010, 6:54 am

OK just checked it out on my HTC Desire.

It plays in the browser not in the built-in You Tube app.

The quality is better then the low quality mode of the app but worse then the High Quality mode. Played over T-mobile network not wifi.

So if you are in a area of low signal this is better alternative to the built-in app's high quality mode.

another thing is that the built-in app reloads the whole video to replay or go backward a little bit back using the time slide in running video, so pretty much no buffer.

but the browser HTML5 version buffer keeps the video data so even if you replay, go forward or backward it works like the desktop browser and don't need to constantly reload the whole video.

this is a great feature as I used to get irritated when in a weak signal area and even in low quality mode the app takes up lot of time reloading when trying to replay a video.

also it will save data for Vodafone/O2 user by not reloading the same video file every time they try to replay or go backward or forward.

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