APP OF THE DAY: YouTube review (iPhone / iPod touch)

Unless you've been living under a rock/in a cave/in Birmingham, you'll no doubt be awaiting tomorrow's official unveiling of the iPhone 5 and, perhaps more importantly, Apple's new operating system for most iDevices, iOS 6.

However, while there may be a few new features in the OS that we're all looking forward to (such as a Siri that actually works outside of Wisconsin), there will be a few that also vanish. One of those will be the integrated YouTube application, something that's been resident on an iPhone homescreen for donkeys.

Apple, it seems, is wiping out all traces of Google from its own offering. But never mind, it may well have turned out for the best...

YouTube

Format
iPhone, iPod touch
Price
Free
Where
iTunes

With Apple severing long-standing ties with YouTube, and removing the Google-brand's integrated service when iOS 6 is released, the rival company has launched a dedicated YouTube app that you are fully urged to download.

Its remarkably basic, cutting to the chase in many instances, just as a mobile app should. You can sign into your Google or YouTube account and the home screen shows a list of recommended videos.

The same search result for the current integrated YouTube experience (left) and the new dedicated YouTube app (right)

You can add channels to a sidebar that appears when you slide your finger across, or browse by subject, and you can check out your account details from inside the application, such as uploads, playlists and history.

It being a Google product, search is naturally intuitive, giving suggestions as you type each new letter in the bar above. The results also return both videos themselves and channels you may wish to explore further. It's cleaner, better presented and easier to use than the integrated application ever was.

Even on the video pages, you get tabbed zones for Now Playing, Suggested and Comments instead of having to scroll through swathes of boring-looking text. And the information appears below running video when the phone is held vertically (the clip will fill the screen in horizontal mode).

It's also a doddle to like or unlike a video, with an overlay on the footage itself, and there's a share icon too, which brings up all manner of social feed options.

Basically, Apple's move to eradicate Google's involvement in the iPhone has given us, the consumer, a far better way to enjoy its rival's services. Result.

Incidentally, a dedicated iPad app is in the works, although we may not see it on the App Store for a while.