YouTube is one of the most used sites on the Web. To accompany that is a large amount of YouTube clients in the Mac App Store. Some are great for quick access to your favorite content, and there are others that you should steer clear of entirely. Criteria for this top four list will include ease of use, the number of features compared to YouTube’s desktop site, and overall aesthetic.
1. Deskapp for YouTube
This Mac App offers a dark mode which blackens white areas of the display. This saves your eyes the ache of viewing content on a large display in an otherwise dark room.
On top of this, because it is a standalone basic app, it does well with RAM management. It will be especially beneficial to those with 4GB or less of RAM.
Start a video on your Mac but want to view the rest on your AppleTV? No problem. Deskapp supports AirPlay! You just have to click the Share icon in the top right corner, and then select AirPlay from the menu. From there, select your device.
2. Go for YouTube
Go for YouTube claims to be the “fastest way to use YouTube on the Mac.” Is it? Pretty close! If you choose to do so, you can hide ads. Also, any running video will automatically pause when the window is minimized, and you can choose whether or not to have the app automatically launch at startup. Furthermore and most appealing, Go for YouTube groups subscription upload notifications into a single one. This really cleans up the way Notification Center looks.
3. Go for YouTube – Seamless YouTube Search and Player
This app is very similarly named to the previously posted app but with some major key differences.
The “Seamless YouTube Search and Player” works right out of the menu bar, for some quick access to content. When the window is minimized back to the menu bar, audio continues to play. This makes it perfect for those who like to listen to music through YouTube.
The app is very well-designed and aesthetically pleasing, with smooth transitions when opened or minimized. It does, however, have one major pitfall. There are lots of ads on the first launch. The app opens at least two other app download prompts and even goes as far as to launch iTunes automatically. I noticed that this is only a one-time scenario, and it should not happen in every consecutive launch.
4. SmartTab for YouTube
SmartTab is extremely similar to number three on the list, with the added option to use a hotkey for launching the application. For those unaware, a hotkey is simply a combination of pressed keys on the keyboard to perform a function.
The app offers easy-to-access forward, back, and home keys. On top of that you can access settings or quit the app via buttons within the window. Some of the basic and expected features are included, but surprisingly a desktop mode will only come with the “pro” version. If you are looking for a free full-screen desktop viewing experience, something like DeskApp may end up being the better pick.
YouTube clients are very similar in form and function; however, it ultimately comes down to key needed features for a particular user. Download a few, try them out, and settle down with one. Unfortunately, AirPlay support, RAM management, menu tab support, a crash-free interface, and more will not necessarily be included in the same app. It looks like we may still be waiting for the perfect YouTube client for Mac, but these top four so far do come close.