Native YouTube playback gets updated for Windows Phone

Looks like those cats at YouTube are doing some background changes to their player. Although the "player" aka browser app for Windows Phone is still at a paltry v1.0, the actual streaming handled via HTML5 seems to be now more robust.

Take a gander at our screenshot above and you can now see the "HQ" option now shows up. As a result, the quality has dramatically improved to the point that we could actually, you know, use it. Sure, it's no YouTube Pro but for the occasional use, we're happier with this level of playback than the previous version. Anyone else noticing the changes?

Thanks, parthp90, for the tip

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I noticed the changes like several days ago.
  • Any chance of a potential return of MetroTube?
  • Doubtful.
  • Why not? It's still the best Youtube app out there. Youtube Pro is just plain ugly. Not to mention that it violates several terms of service.
  • And that's why Youtube Pro is the best. Because it violates Google's shitty TOS agreement.
  • "Not to mention that it violates several terms of service."
    That's a reason to not use an app? Because they managed to get around restrictions by developing their own codec? I'm trying real hard to think why I should care about violating Google's TOS of here...can't think of any. Besides, that's why MetroTube quit. This doesn't change any of that so why would they come back?
  • Try tell google that it violates their TOC, they stopped listening to their users years ago. For days people have been hammering them about the blooding Viewster ads all over YouTube, do they remove or listen, no.
    Just like many big companies, they get so BIG they stop listening to their customers wants, needs, complaints and suggestions.
    For me EA is the biggest example of one these companies and Google has become a more recent one that annoys me.
    </ Rant End>
  • Try Youtube Pro works pretty good.
  • Yes I notice the change a few days ago also... Actually I like leaving the plug in YouTube in the desktop mode. Seems like I can play more content.
  • I noticed it a few days ago. I don't like the fact that you have to scroll down a few related videos to read comments. That should have been a button.
  • What for? You can't do better than YouTube Pro, it's flawless.
  • I'm going with Harchestr there. I use the Desktop html5 version of YouTube if I need to use the web version. Mostly I'll use MetroTube though
  • The HQ button has been on there since they released the HTML 5 page for Windows Phone. It was just below the video instead of in the video frame. It does make a HUGE difference though.
  • Just tried it out and I noticed the difference. For just random searching I use the HTC YouTube but I have the native YouTube to play embedded videos.
  • I didn't pay for my YouTube Pro (yet), as Daniel said the ad version is in pace with YTPro good taste, is totally non-intrusive, so much so I'll buy it, just because it's well made.
  • I hope this means an official YouTube app is in the works
  • I noticed this like 7 days ago or so...
  • I still prefer MetroTube...i love the UI, it's much more "metro" than that of YouTube Pro. This isn't criticism by the way, just a personal opinion.
  • I purchased supertube way back. It works for me.
  • Yes I agree with everyone who says that the HQ button has been there since the HTML5 launch of the mobile site!!! This is not news!
  • I just wish there was a way to have IE automatically redirect youtube videos to an app of your choice.
  • This. If a friend of mine sends me a link to a vid, and I like it enough to show it to people or watch it multiple times, I would like to be able to download it with YTP or EasyTube, rather than use up data everytime. (not to mention it loads faster)
  • MetroTube for me. The UI is just slick.
  • MetroTube's UI is definitely worth staying in the windows app biz. Please work together & bring all the features & looks of both...MetroTubePro! " I'd buy that for a dollar" ( In Robocop Commercial Voice)
  • I'm happy with the HTC Youtube app.
  • I want Metrotube to be back!!!
  • You guys are sooooo late I had this for few weeks now
  • z0mgnoWay!
  • Does this still use IE to display video ?
    I still use the HTC Youtube, it works pretty good over all.  And I found a verson of the HTC one that I can sideload as I know you can't get it in the marketplace any more...
    I just hate to pay for a new one when the HTC one does a great job over all.
  • Can someone remind me the exact reason Metrotube is dead? There are so many mediocre app on the marketplace it's a shame to lose one of the best ones.
  • Because the dev got fed up with google constantly changing the API. Made it too much work to keep up support.
  • I noticed a while ago its very nice
  • Now, I'm going to watch this Superbowl and MS better show up. This is the biggest chance they have to make a huge impact for Windows Phone. They better take advantage of it!
  • Didn't see a windows phone ad. Maybe next year when Nokia takes off.
  • What are you guys watching??? Haha
  • It's the Cinnamon challenge by GloZell lol
  • Still have metro tube installed so.....
  • Yeah, I still prefer metrotube. :D
  • YouTube is getting more and more ugly. Damn Google trying to copy Apple with the ugly and useless gradients everywhere.
  • Hi! Did anyone notice? Microsoft stock has actually gone through the $30 mark!
  • Can I download a XAP for the Metrotube app?
  • I'm not sure about you guys but I find that mobile sites have a peculiar <b>smudge on their interfaces</b>. It's worst with matte screen protector on.
  • So slow to load