While YouTube used to be completely free, now it’s filled with annoying ads. Plus, you’ll need to subscribe to YouTube Premium for $11.99/month to remove ads, play music in the background, get exclusive original content, and more.
These features all seem really good, but if you’re like most people, shelling out $11.99 for YouTube may not seem like such a great deal. That’s where NewPipe comes in. It’s an open-source front-end for YouTube. It copies many features bundled with YouTube Premium, minus the original content, and is a very compelling YouTube replacement app.
What Makes NewPipe Special?
The best thing about this app is that it takes some features from YouTube Premium and gives them to you for free. Want to listen to a song on YouTube from your favorite YouTuber in the background? Just search for it in NewPipe and press the headphone button. You can even change the settings so it’ll use your external video or audio player app.
It also has support for downloading videos. Say you have a terrible Internet connection and can’t stream videos but downloads are fine. Just find the videos you’d like to save and press the Download button to save the files (again, just like YouTube Premium).
Another killer feature is the ability to cast videos to Kodi via the “Play with Kodi” option. With this, you’ll be able to blast YouTube videos from your Android to your Linux-powered media center. It’s very handy.
Along with playing back videos from YouTube in different ways, NewPipe has some other useful features. For example, the privacy-minded can force the video download traffic to flow through TOR. Streaming video files through this method is not ready yet, and the developer has not indicated when this feature will be added. Plus, your information is stored offline on your device, and NewPipe doesn’t use any proprietary Google APIs.
You can install NewPipe in one of two ways. The first (recommended) way is to install the F-Droid app store, then search for New Pipe in the store to install it. F-Droid is a third-party app store and one of several great alternatives to the Google Play Store.
Alternatively, you can just grab the app’s APK file directly from the F-Droid website.
Note: you’ll need to enable “Install from unknown sources” on your Android device before either installation method will work. This setting is (usually) located under “Settings -> Security.” The exact method varies based on your Android version.
Once the F-Droid app is installed, tap the Settings button at the top-right and look for “Update Repos.” Once you’ve tapped that, F-Droid will go out and update all repositories.
From there, just go to the search bar and type “NewPipe.” When you click on it in the search results, you’ll be taken to the app page. Click install, and you’re good to go.
Most users will want the standard NewPipe. But if you have Android 4.0 or earlier (or have any compatibility issues with NewPipe), install the legacy edition instead.
New Pipe is perfect for those who casually like to watch YouTube but would love a few of the premium features, such as background and offline play. It can even help you manage your subscriptions and import subscriptions from other devices.
Of course, you can still help support YouTube creators by using both the regular YouTube app (ad-supported with no extra features) along with NewPipe for background play, downloads, and everything else it offers.