myTube becomes a universal YouTube app for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 with today's update
For those who enjoy YouTube on Windows Phone, one of the most popular third-party players just received a major update. Version 2.0 of myTube (now renamed to 'myTube!') is now available in the Store and ready for you to update.
Whenever an app hits the 2.0 marker, you can usually surmise that it has some significant improvements. This is the case with myTube 2.0, which has switched from Silverlight to the newer WinRT framework, matching the Windows 8.1 version. Additionally, there are many new features too, including support for 60 FPS and HD resolutions!
Read on for the full changes.
- Ability to play videos in 1080p, 480p and 60 FPS
- Ability to download only the audio portion of a video to save space
- Ability to save videos to the SD card if your Storage Sense settings allow it
- Open videos from the browser in myTube using IE's share option (no need for the "Open in myTube" link, also works on non-YouTube pages that have YouTube videos embedded)
- Support for signing into multiple YouTube accounts
- Ability to view liked videos
- Watch history now loads much faster
- Videos start playing much faster
- Ability to browse the app in landscape
- Background downloads no longer have the file size or connection type limitations that were present in Windows Phone 8.0
Indeed, the new myTube feels noticeably faster in terms of performance due to the new WinRT framework. WinRT is often used for universal Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 apps (see Tweetium as another universal app example). Swiping in all directions is buttery smooth, and the app feels entirely different. Even tapping a video to play is near instantaneous.
Speaking of changes, technically myTube is now myTube! due to policies on the Store for 8.1 apps. Someone else took the myTube name in the Windows Store. Still, in our hearts we know there is only one true myTube.
The developer behind the app, Christopher Blackman, shared with us some more info about today's update, including some limitations:
"1080p videos are only available on phones with 720p+ screens. 60 FPS can be enabled in the settings, and is available on all phones, but may not be perfectly smooth on lower-end device such as the 520."
"The "Open in myTube" favorites link is no longer needed as you can share videos to the app from the browser using IE's share button if you're on a YouTube page. It also works with embedded videos, so if you're reading a WPCentral article with YouTube videos embedded, sharing that article to the app would bring up a list of those videos to watch in the app or add to your watch later list."
"Videos can be downloaded to the SD card if your Storage Sense settings are set to save new videos on the SD card. Videos and audio download in the background. There is a bug with WinRT's background downloader that may cause video files to be saved as empty files when saved on the SD card for some people. The workaround for this for now is setting the Storage Sense app to save videos on phone storage. I believe most people won't need to do this."
If you are upgrading from version 1.5 to 2.0, you need to re-login to your YouTube account. This requirement is a one-time issue due to the change in app framework. Unfortunately, the main app no longer has a Live Tile, however, users can still get their subscriptions on a live tile by pressing the pin button in the app bar on the subscriptions list.
Finally, if you have previously bought the Windows Phone version (free trial, 99 cents) you also now own the corresponding Windows 8.1 app. Both apps share 99% of the same code and UI, with an identical feature set. Blackman informs us that the Windows 8.1 version is "awaiting certification and will launch as soon as it's approved", so standby for that one.
For now, head to the Windows Phone Store and give myTube! 2.0 a spin and let us know what you think!
- Download myTube 2.0 for Windows Phone 8.1 (99 cents, free trial)