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Video Tour: Official YouTube app for Windows Phone

Today saw the surprise (yet anticipated) reappearance of the Microsoft YouTube app for Windows Phone. This time the app evidently has the consent of Google, who took issue with some of the features in the app and had asked Microsoft to pull the original. The bold move by Microsoft though has evidently paid off—Google has finally agreed to what looks like most of Microsoft’s requests for the app.

Our readership requested a video tour of the app and since we’re here to serve, we have obliged. Granted, we’ve only had the app for less than 60 minutes, but we can show you the basic functionality and even a few changes from the previous 3.0 release.

The good news is the majority of the previous features, including account management and high quality streaming are still on board. In fact, we now have the ability to upload via Wi-Fi or even over cellular, which is a great feature. Videos with ads though will display a pre-roll commercial, something that was missing from the original release that surely irked Google. Likewise, users have lost the ability to download videos for offline viewing.

Overall though, the majority of Windows Phone users, including those on 7.x who can join in, should be pleased. And since this app was released with Google’s approval (though not endorsement), it means we can expect updates when necessary.

Another feather in the cap for the Windows Phone platform, even if it took some cajoling. 

Windows Phone users can download the official YouTube app (v3.2) from the Store by following this link, scanning the QR code below or swiping to the right in our app.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Yay upload!!!!
  • amazing app! the only problem is that there are some few videos that we can't see, such as ''freedom- django unchained'' it says that the person who uploaded did not allow for mobile devices.. but if you use ''youtube HD'' for example, you'll be able to see.. is there anyway to fix that? =/
    besides that, by far the best youtube app
  • It's not a issue man :/ unfortunaly. It's a request that Google made, because they wanted to give the YouTubers some freedom.
  • when mobile is one of the largest growing platforms and tablets are being adopted left and right, it doesnt make sense. Why block users from using the device that has a 99% chance they are going to try and use to watch your video? What purpose is there to letting users block mobile devices?
  • this is why i will stay with metrotube
  • Metrotube is stupid, the UI is so junkie..not as bad as the mobile YouTube apps that get 5 star ratings but I think the official UI is better.
  • Actually, that's a setting on YouTube.  There are some videos I put on my channel that I specifically did NOT allow viewing by mobile devices.
  • With all due respect, why do you not allow some videos to be viewed on mobile?
  • Why? Seems quite bizarre?
  • i know this. i was trying to get the point across of WHY google would even opt to have such a setting for users. it makes no sense financially, usage numbers, or ratings wise.
  • just out of curiousity, what reasons would you have not to allow viewing on a mobile? This is a serious question.
  • Some people make videos that require at least proper sound or a larger display to give the user the full experience.
    It's like watching a full feature movie on a normal smartphone, you know you won't get anywhere near the full experience. On my videos Mobile devices (Except tablets) make about 2% of my views, it's not like thats a big loss.
  • No one watching a video on a phone is expecting a full experience. Yet people will still watch movies on their phone. Even of it is just 2%, why block them. You're not losing anything.
  • here's another thing: if you get 1M. for example views, %2 is still a lot of people.
  • but i tried on my lumia 800 and there is that text u cant play video, but if u put video in landscape and click pause it will play normaly i think its a bug
  • No upload button for WP7.x version ?
  • Yes it seems so :-/
  • same question
  • People are still on 7.X?
  • I'm on 7.x till my Nokia 710 breaks... It may be my last phone :)
  • Yes, some people are still on WP7.
  • Lool
  • Thanks for the demo, Daniel. So if this app can upload videos from camera roll (Long press a video > share > YouTube), WhatsApp should be able to share video clips from camera roll too, no? Or is this app able to do so because MSFT developed it (and they haven't allowed other devs access to APIs that allow them to do so)?
  • I believe a lot of dark magic was involved between MSFT and G to make this happen. Not many companies have this much mana and can't influence the dark lords.
  • I believe this is due to the camera api's from Nokia, I think they allow this. Like look at Samsung's Video Trimmer app, or Nokias uploader.
  • upload also working on my Huawei ( and all non-Nokia phones) so this may not related to Nokia's API.
  • I believe the latter is correct. I've looked for this Share API before to no avail.
  • Well done MSFT, Well done. Made the bully comply
  • I'm sorry I have to say this one of one of the most ugliest apps that Microsoft has designed for "modern UI"...ill stick to metrotube!
  • Please let me have what you're smoking. Please. "One of the ugliest apps" my ass.
  • I'm not smoking anything, if all metro apps looked like this I would definitely have just gotten a android apps for their os are actually a lot more minimalistic and cleaner looking...i hope Microsoft doesn't loose site of their original design language.
  • on the contrary, i found this app is more cleaner than metrotube. 
    but thats just me.
  • have you tried this version, or are you using a completely different youtube app released by microsoft that was a web wrapper? Because this is very Modern UI compliant, and intuitive.
  • Modern UI is suppose to be minimalistic...this app is one big cluttered mess.
  • Modern UI isnt supposed to be COMPLETELY minimalistic. Not to mention they had to have some conformity to match the other Youtube apps, being an "official" branded app. This means that this is a compromise. Half Modern UI in having flatter graphics, modern ui controls, and cleaner interface, but Youtube App UI in its overall look and feel.
  • I can assure you that this is not an official app...just because google "worked" with Microsoft on this app doesnt make it official...same with the Facebook is listed as the publisher and not google. So because its not official Microsoft could have changed up the make it more unique to our ecosystem like they originally did with their Facebook app.
  • The Facebook app is an "official" app but its made my Microsoft,so that point is invalid. The original UI of the app was made when Facebook was different on each OS, and facebook wasnt all about unifying the UI. Recently FB introduced the ui from their apps ON THE WEBSITE, so it was natural for the WP app to change (even if they could of been a bit better at making it unique.).
    Youtube, on the other hand, is a different story. Legally, microsoft cannot produce an app called "YouTube" without Google's permission. They could get sued. They didnt the first time around because temp. blocking WP users from the mobile website along side redusing to let the #3 OS from having an app wouldnt look good in Googles favor (they really shouldnt of gotten by with the last investigation that was done on them). Thats how things go. Call it "Youtube" and you have to take input from the company that owns it.
    ALSO, the way the story goes, The youtube app (not the wrapper) was built with the Youtube Team (who is owned by Google and works for google, but technically is not Google themselves), so the UI most likely was regulated by the Youtube team to be consistent with the Youtube UI while still incorporating Windows Phone controls and methods belonging to Modern UI.
    The summary of all this: Even if its not literally official from Google, its still titled as the "official" app, built in colaboration with Google and Youtube, and consumers new to the platform will not really know the difference anyhow; Being regulated by google, and built with Youtube (the team), the UI is gonna have some conformity to their standards  
  • MetroTube is a lot cleaner than this app. What's up with the off grey bar at the should be black. And the app itself should support which background theme you have selected..white or black and not just white....there is nothing better about this app.
  • Dude, arn't you nitpicking here a little too much? I agree with you that the top bar could be scraped and the two menus buttons could be placed in the bottom bar; but your stand on this is a little harsh, don't you think? And the fact that the App is currently only supporting a bright background, does not mean it wont be changed in the future; YT is using a bright background in all their presence after all.  
  • Metrotube is cleaner in ways, and i think a menu system like the facebook app would of been better, BUT you are wrong on the colors. Youtube uses grey, not black, in their apps (thats app ui conformity to google's standards, as explained in comment above), and that background is in fact not true white (like that of the light theme) but is instead an off white similar to other platforms' app. (its easier to tell, when the screen is dimmed, the difference between the two.). Also this app carries the "official" title, even if produced by MS (see comment above again), which translates into "brand name" snobs (those who refuse to move to platform, no matter the alternatives, if the official app is unavailable) moving over to Windows Phone, which means more Users, More Apps, and an overall improvement to the ecosystem.
  • Dude, are you serious?
  • ....and where's my car?
  • I'll call the FBI on you. I know you're taking heroin. Well, the NSA already does.
  • I thought the upload feature means its a lense and we can directly upload to YouTube from our phones?
  • Not in this version, maybe later.
  • Finally something for WP7 users. Looks and works great. However, there are ads now, I will keep using Metrotube then.
  • Yes! Welcome back!
  • But im be here with metrotube
  • MyTube is better
  • +1
  • This app is bestest.
  • Daniel got a message from someone on his iPhone during clip hehe
  • :) It was actually the video, though it did throw me off. True fact though, I don't have an iPhone. Kind of want one to compare, but will wait for the 5S.
  • I was about to say throw Daniel's credibility out the window...
  • F... IPhone....
  • Would taking 10'000 Nokia Lumia 1020's to the face stop you wanting an iPhone? After all, the 1020's will still work even after hitting you in the face ;)
  • I've never seen anyone use an apostrophe as a number separator, instead of a comma (e.g. 10,000.00). I have seen the full-stop/decimal point reversed with the comma in crazy countries (e.g. 10.000,00). Is an apostrophe normal where you are? O_o
  • Well ... Thank you for stating that my country is crazy :p
    About aphostrope thing, AFAIR, I've never seen anyone using it :)
  • Huh? Using an apostrophe as a decimal separator is normal where I come from (Switzerland). I find the usage for commas weird.
  • It is an american "issue" they think that what they use applies worldwide,don't worry once they understand it is not true they are cool lol
  • Except I'm Australian, not American. I think it must be a British Empire influence thing, as the comma as a thousand's separator is used in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada etc. Actually this wikipedia page shows the world is pretty evenly split between using a decimal and a comma, leaving only the Swiss with their apostrophe:
  • It seems that Switzerland is the craziest country, as they're the only ones using an apostrophe instead of a decimal or comma. The Swiss have rubbed off on the Italians as they use it in their handwriting :P
  • Where's the video of your cat Dan? ;)
  • MetroTube is still better.... Lol. I don't even know why they bothered. Save resources for Firmware and OS. Thanks anyways.
  • Cuz not everyone is aware of metrotube . . . .
  • So he should have mentioned it lol. Come on now :) and its not even official. MSFT made it. Which is why it sucks. Google makes it or LazyWorm. Bottom line. MSFT did this simply for publicity. They know its basic and lacking. And ugly. MetroTubes Tile is awesome too.
  • It's a great app but also the official
  • It's important because the platform needs an official app. You have to think of new users who will have no idea what the hell MetroTube is. it's only once you've been on the OS for awhile can you branch out and explore alternative apps. Try and pick up a foreign OS--BlackBerry or Android--and try to find "the best" third party apps on your first try. Impossible. You go right for the branded official apps.
  • And when they build the brain cells to understand... the better apps will be there waiting to make them feel better :)
  • My first day on WP and I knew that WPCentral was the best tech app ;)
  • Haha I couldn't agree more! :)
  • +1
  • Because I'd rather have something somewhat official and an app that actually says YouTube on the tile.
    Plus, metrotube isn't that great to me.
  • MyTube is so much better than Metrotube
  • @Lawrence So MyTube is better than YourTube? ;)
  • Zing!
  • One question please. This metrotube thing, I know it can download for offline use, but can the downloaded vids copied to my desktop? Because GetThemAll sure can do it (albeit with it's basic UI).
  • I also like metrotube, but one problem for me was that I couldn't view my unlisted uploads. I can now do that with the official app.
  • Will wonders never cease
  • Seems sluggish, wont connect to network sometimes, alot of times, most times. Looks nice though.
  • +MetroTube ;P
  • No problems here.
  • Did you upload the video of your cat?
  • lol, no, at least not to the WPC account
  • Yes, my first video on the YouTube app. Feels great. I like how apps have really become smart and chooses your system language as default. It may have been there for awhile but I guess it just now that apps actually have more language options I start to notice it.
  • Does it play the sound in the background?
  • There's an option to run under lock screen.
  • What would be awesome is if we could upload through the Pictures hub using Share ... and without charging (retarded).
  • You can share exactly like that, but not without charging.
  • Um, you can. Long press on any video in your Hub/viewer and you can upload to YouTube.
  • Make to open the YouTube app first otherwise it doesn't show up in the Share menu
  • What do you mean "charging"? There is no charge for uploading.
  • your phone has to be charging to upload. It won't upload while being on battery.
  • Small typo, it's v3.2.0.0 my friend.
  • Fixed, thanks
  • LOL "dirty videos"? I wasn't aware YouTube allowed that... =P I think the correct term is "videos-censored-by-the-puritan-hand-of-certain-users-even-though-there's-no-reason-for-censorship"
  • The app is back!! :D I was starting to think that it was gone forever.
  • AWESOME!! :) Hehe
  • correction: it's version NOT
  • So far it works great. Very full featured and I haven't seen ads yet, so they're not super annoying. The only fault I have found is that on WP7.8 it stucks when trying to open a video for an external source (say, the WPCentral app, or Internet Explorer) and it won't play it at all.
  • It supports double wide tile too!!!
  • Hey Dan how easy or hard would it be for Microsoft to build or buy a YouTube competitor. Like is it patents or something . Because YouTube Is the only reason alot of us have a google email address.
  • They already tried that years ago. It was called Soapbox and MS got their ass kicked.
  • perhaps they should try again with vimeo? Maybe even integrate it into their service. Vimeo (pronounced Social Vimeo) has a ring to it imo.
  • I agree with the idea that Microsoft should buy Vimeo and have written about it here. It seems that Vimeo is now the 2nd most recognized online video streaming website. YouTube has a complete monopoly on the market, so you would think other companies like Microsoft or Apple would want an alternative, especially the way MIcrosoft pushing for video sharing with the Xbox One and, you would think they could buy out Vimeo, clean it up a bit (first, by revising their counterproductive terms of service), and then integrating it into Windows 8, RT, Windows Phone, and Xbox. It would get significant market share pretty quickly, I would think, and at least offer us a decent alternative to YouTube (also, the only Google service I cannot currently completely avoid).
  • I'd also like an alternative to youtube. It's the only google service I use. Problem I see is are the people I'm subscribed to willing to upload there as well or make a switch to another site.
  • thats the problem with a lot of services. If the reason we use YouTube doesnt move (aka: the content creators) than any MS video service could become dust. Even if they bought Vimeo, there is no guarantee it would get any more traffic than it does now.
  • I heard that ring tone,
  • Explained above: it's that video I played. I have Android phones, two BlackBerries but no iPhone.
  • No symbian?!!?
  • Hey Dan you should talk about the apps that are related to the YouTube app. I mean someone who is win coder and why dies he have 10 apps with no reviews?
  • This is a perfect example of where 3rd party apps beat official apps. No downloads and you get ads before videos. Why would you use this app? No thank you.
  • Unofficial apps break all the time though and in theory, Google could have them removed. It's about stability. Plus you may dislike Google, but shutting them out of their business model for video hosting is not the answer (or fair).
  • Why would you pay for app that could stop working or even be be removed at anytime?
    I have never downloaded a video from YouTube and don't personally have that need/want.
  • Looks like this new version also supports YouTube live streams. I still have the older build on my phone. It has no ads. The new one offers uploads and live streaming, but also has video ads. To update or not to update?
  • with the amount of vids downloaded on my older version, im staying. i also wonder if one could install the older version via the xap acquired via "install manually" since the app is now back on the store. granted, one would to have saved the xap before googe had the app removed, as well as have an sd card supporting phone, but still....
  • Won't play videos via the wpcentral app. Just shows the loading dots.
  • Works for me.
  • Happened to me too. WP7.8.
  • +9007.8. Happening to me too
  • I still have the version that downloads videos. I'll keep using that one for now just to piss off Google and not play their ads.
  • That makes two of us :)
    (I actually play the downloaded videos)
  • Well... three of us. I hate the ads. And love the dowload. :)
  • Makes four of us. :D
  • Make that 5 of us ;)
  • I like ads. Still just 5 of us.
  • Great! This update finally cancelled the 1 update notification (for the older version of the app) on the live tile! Double win! LOL! :)
  • +920
  • I'm more than surprised, i didn't believe they would post it. Now if only google could be a good company for the CONSUMERS and bring all of their google apps to wp8.
  • I can't play any video :(, just get "this video is not avaliable , try again" 
  • I've had this issue a lot when I had low memory or no wifi connection. Is the first one the case? Just wondering
  • Not currently available in Singapore?
  • Thailand too!
  • It says not available for my device. And my "1" on store is missing too, wonder why
  • Try again now
  • Still the same
  • Change the region to US or wait a day.
  • I used the link from another fansite and succeed to bring me to that apps
  • I'll be putting up with the ads if only to support this collaboration between MS and Google. Y'all can champion MetroTube all you like, and you'll catch no grief from for doing so, but an official app is something that WP needs to grow the platform. Thank you Microsoft, Google, and WPCentral.
  • +1
  • +2
  • still not available for my device, 620
  • Let us cross this one off the list.
  • Finally! Never updating & never deleting
  • Yaaayyyy...finally for Wp7.8. Thank you :-)
  • While there are third party apps which does provide YouTube downloads, why is google so unhappy with Microsoft providing it??
  • this is an "official" app with Youtube branding, and its against the youtube TOS. If Microsoft released "Microsoft Web Player for Youtube" they could of had such feature, but since they use the Youtube name, they have to abide by youtube rules. MS is basically putting brand