To watch YouTube videos on Windows Phones, people needed to surf the internet to browse YouTube videos for playback, or make use of third-party PC apps to download YouTube videos to Windows Phones just like Free YouTube Downloader. However, with Google's reluctance to share one of its core assets with Microsoft, namely giving it full access to its YouTube APIs for an official dedicated app, it has brought on one of the best proofs of working free market and competition we've seen in the app industry.
While the big guys keep playing hide and seek with the official YouTube app for Windows Phone, enterprising 3rd party developers have come up with solutions that are better in many aspects than even the one Microsoft launched recently, and was gently asked by Google to take it down, or else.
Features like downloading the videos for offline playback, integrating their sound stream in the stock music player, or keeping them running in the background while you add comments or tinker with the settings are something we can't see even on Android handsets, which are supposed to be the bastion of YouTube-ing, so check out the cool Windows Phone alternatives for your daily YouTube fix in the below list.
1. myTube ($0.99)
myTube will be one of the best dollars you've spent for your Windows Phone, as not only it has a great double Live Tile for your homescreen, but also sets itself apart by having your video always visible in the background, regardless of whether you are viewing clever comments in an overlay, playing around with the settings, or searching for the next clip. The developer is also very open to suggestions, and constantly adds new features, though the one for downloads is notably missing for now.
2. Tube Pro (free)
Tube Pro is free but hooks you up with every major feature at one place, while the others have a thing or two always missing. It's all here - from in-app comments, through offline playlists, to direct resumable uploads. Tube Pro peppers it up with exclusive features like Map Tube, which locks your location, and shows trending content for your whereabouts, as well as graphically rich category previews.
3. Metrotube ($0.99)
Metrotube takes the official YouTube app's lunch and eats it by providing you the option to download the vids for internal consumption on the phone, avoiding those pesky data charges. The only concern we have here that this is not something Google tolerates, and Metrotube is by far the most talked about, so there is some chance the spigot will be turned eventually, but so far there haven't been any issues, while Metrotube shines with a full suite of search, comment and upload options as well.
4. YouTube HD
Another Windows Phone client that lets you download the videos, YouTube HD lets you create offline playlists, and also keeps the video sound running even when you lock the screen, so you can use it as an improvised music player. It can also resume your broken or interrupted uploads and downloads from where you left them.
5. Mega Tube Pro ($1.49)
The Pro version of Mega Tube removes ads, and sports an autocomplete search function. It integrates directly with your YouTube account for comments, uploads and downloads of vids directly from the application itself. There are also extensive curated lists for different categories, including Trending videos. Disadvantage - the sound doesn't keep playing when you lock the screen.
6. PrimeTube (free)
PrimeTube offers a laundry list of features, including downloads and a secondary live tile for the video and author on your homescreen, but above all a great app interface. The app offers all the bells and whistles, and you can view the comments on a full page, as well as reply to them. There is an in-app player that goes around the native one, and you can switch between both if needed. Best of all - the app is free.
MP3Tube does exactly what it says on the tin - you search for a music video, it downloads it, and can then play the music with the stock music player, meaning you can command the playback from the lock screen. The app also has a handy ringtone maker built-in, so you can cut precisely the thme you want your handset to ring with.
Worried about all the big bad stuff that lurks on YouTube, ready to jump at your offspring's face the minute they search for something obscure?Fret not, as you can hand them the phone with Kid's Corner enabled, and the YouTube Jr. HD app loaded - there are only kids shows there, and there are handpicked cartoons every day, curated with children in mind, so your heir on the back seat stays entertained at all times with their favorite shows.