Google’s own native YouTube app is nothing to turn your nose up at. It provides tablet-based access to all the key features that you would expect out of YouTube: easy access to your subscriptions, playlists, viewing history, and liked videos. There is also quick and easy access to the “Best of YouTube” in case you’re stuck for content.
In addition to these standard viewing options, with the Google YouTube app, you can also add videos to playlists, your ‘watch later’ list, cast videos to Chromecast, or share videos to Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or via email or message.
You can also upload videos directly from your iPad (not that I’m encouraging you to shoot video with your iPad).
Play Videos in the Background
If you use YouTube to listen to music, you’ll probably want to be able to continue playing YouTube videos in the background after closing the app. With McTube, you can do just that. If you want to multitask using your iPad, simply launch the video or playlist of your choice, play it, and close the app as you would normally.
You can even toggle the video off in the app. When playing a video, hit the headphones button and it will show a screenshot from the video instead.
Unfortunately, with McTube, playlists created on the YouTube website do not appear in the app, but you can create your own playlists directly within the app. Using these playlists will give you constant, uninterrupted background music as you work on your iPad. Playback controls include shuffle, repeat all, and repeat one video.
Other features that you’ll find on McTube include a decent search feature, the ability to browse your YouTube viewing history, closed captions, sharing videos through social media apps installed on your iPad, and full commenting.
One drawnback to using McTube is the inability to skip ads, something the official app includes.
How to Access Videos from the Notification Center
Want to access videos directly from the notification center of your iPad? You can do that with Video Tube. After installing the app on your iPad, drag down your notification center and hit the Edit button. From there, you can add Video Tube to the list.
Launching the app allows you to select the precise settings. You can choose how many videos appear (4, 8, or 12), and pick one of sixteen categories to appear in the notification center (for example: featured, film and animation, travel and events, news and politics or science and technology).
Logging into your YouTube account using the free app allows you to access your playlists and your Watch Later list.
You can also add comments to videos in the righthand tabbed menu, and also browse more videos from the same user, related videos, and comments.
With Ad-Blocker Browser, as the name indicates, you have to watch the videos directly from the app’s browser. Any other content you browse using Ad-Blocker will also be ad free.
The pro version of the app also includes Chromecast and AirPlay support, the abiliy to open multiple tabs, and provides a desktop browsing modes so you can view full websites rather than tablet versions.
Enable Parental Controls
There’s a lot of great content on YouTube for “curious little minds” — which is were the YouTube Kids app comes in. Created by Google, the app gives parents far more control (and peace of mind) if they want their children to access YouTube content, minus anything they deem inappropriate.
The app was designed with children in mind, with an easy-to-use interface that kids won’t find daunting. Parental controls allow you to completely customize the app based on what you want your children to see. Additionally, with YouTube Kids, parents can turn off the YouTube search function altogether, limiting what kids can see only to the kid-friendly categories: Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore.
One feature you’re not going to find in any third party app is offline viewing. YouTube’s API prevents offline viewing or downloading of videos so no app is going to provide that feature if Google doesn’t want it to. There were a handful of third-party apps that used to offer this functionality (and you’ll still find tutorials online) but offline viewing is presently only available in Google’s official app for Android.