The official YouTube app works exactly as advertised, but it sill lacks many basic features that users care about. Things like background play and the ability to download videos are missing, not to mention the barrage of ads you see with most videos.
But you don’t have to settle for an inferior experience when watching YouTube videos on Android, as there are several alternatives that provide a much better experience for free. To help you figure out which one to use, we’ve listed some of the best third-party YouTube Apps for Android you should try.
NewPipe is one of the best YouTube alternatives you can use, even without Google Play Services, as it only parses the YouTube website in order to gain the information it needs.
The app sports a minimal, ad-free interface and allows you to watch videos and download them or play them in the background even when the screen is off. You can force videos to play at your preferred quality and use the built-in picture-in-picture mode, which is quite handy when you want to watch a video and perform another task at the same time.
Although you cannot sign in to your YouTube account within the app, you can still subscribe to channels as usual or import your existing subscriptions after exporting them from the YouTube website.
2. YouTube Vanced
If you’re just looking for an ad-free YouTube experience, coupled with background play à la YouTube Red, YouTube Vanced may just be the perfect app for you.
It’s a modded version of the official YouTube app that has been enhanced with a few features like the aforementioned ability to play videos in the background, but it also retains the ability still sign into your YouTube account and do everything that was possible from the official app.
Although you cannot download videos through this app, it is possible to save videos for offline consumption just like in the official YouTube app.
To install Vanced on your device, you need to install 2 things:
- The Vanced APK itself
- MicroG for YouTube Vanced, which allows you to sign in to your YouTube account.
Once you have both files, install MicroG for YouTube Vanced first, followed by the app itself. Once done, launch Vanced and sign in to your account by going to Settings. At this point you can disable or uninstall the official YouTube app while making Vanced the default.
3. iTube (Player BG for YouTube)
iTube was made primarily for people who use YouTube mostly to play music. You can still play videos, but the interface is not as good as the other apps on this list.
You also have the option to play any existing YouTube playlists or create your own. A sleep timer is included, and lyrics can be viewed for individual songs, although this only works for the most popular tracks.
Although ads are blocked before the videos are loaded, the app has its own in-app advertisement which will only go away if you use an ad blocker.
FireTube is a great Android app for those who wish to save mobile data by listening to YouTube Videos without the video. The app is not available on the Google Play Store, so you have to download the APK file and install it manually.
Although the app appears to be focused on just music, you can use it for any YouTube video and not only music videos. The audio will continue to play even if you switch to another app or turn off your device’s screen. Crucially, the app allows you to log in to your YouTube account so that you can listen to your own custom playlists.
If you’re fed up with the lack of useful features in the official YouTube app, any of these alternatives should be worthy replacements. They’re all free to install and use, so feel free to try each one out and choose the one you like best.
Don’t forget to tell us your favourite third-party YouTube app in the comments section below.