YouTube iOS App Causing Battery Drain, Overheating Issues for Some Users

YouTube has confirmed it is working to resolve a bug in its mobile app that causes significant battery drain on Apple devices, even when the app is running in the background.

First picked up by tech blog PiunikaWeb, the issue has been noted by several users on social media and appears to be affecting devices running iOS 11.1.1.

Image via PiunikaWeb

In addition to battery drain, some iPhone users have reported that the YouTube app is causing their device to run much hotter than usual when watching videos, although the two issues don't seem to occur together in every case.


YouTube says it is aware of the problem and is "actively working" to come up with a fix for inclusion in the next update to the app, although no timeframe was given. In the meantime, affected users are advised to watch YouTube videos in their browser of choice.

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YouTube Kids App Gains New Look, Kid Profiles and Updated Parental Controls

Google is updating its YouTube Kids app for iOS devices today to introduce profiles and a dynamic app design that changes based on a child's age.

With kid profiles, each child who uses the YouTube Kids app on an iOS device can have their own profile, which allows for the custom design feature. When entering a date of birth, the YouTube Kids app will adapt the look of the app to be age appropriate.


Younger children will see less text when using the app, while older children will see additional content on their home screens. Kids can also set their own secret passcodes for their profiles, which can be overridden by parents.

Along with kid profiles, YouTube Kids is gaining a new setup process with clearer parental controls that offer up more detailed information.

Today's new profile feature is available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, United States, and Zimbabwe.

The YouTube Kids app is designed to give children a way to watch kid-appropriate YouTube content while filtering out mature content that's not suitable for younger audiences.

YouTube Kids can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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YouTube Testing Autoplaying Videos in Mobile App Home Screen

Google is reportedly testing a new feature for the YouTube app in which featured videos on the home screen start to play without the user's permission.

According to AndroidCentral, some users are seeing the first video featured in the Home section automatically play as soon as they open the YouTube app, with subtitles replacing the muted audio.

The video starts from the beginning and plays all the way through if the user allows it, while scrolling further down the Home section causes subsequent videos to also autoplay as they appear on the screen.

While the default behavior is obviously intended to give users a preview of the contents of featured videos, the experimental feature is likely to be seen by some as a distraction, bad news for mobile data limits, or a drain on battery life.

Fortunately, it looks like the autoplay feature can be turned off in Account -> Settings -> General, where a new "Play as you browse" toggle has been added. Toggling the feature also brings up an additional option to only allow autoplay when connected to WiFi, which should go some way to assuage concerns about the feature eating up data allowances.

It's not clear if or when the autoplay feature will be rolled out to all mobile users, but we'll keep an eye out for it in future updates to the official YouTube iOS app.

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YouTube iOS App Updated With iMessage Support for Easily Sharing Videos

The YouTube iOS app today was updated to version 12.38, bringing a swipe-to-remove gesture for videos in playlists, as well as introducing support for iMessage. After updating the app you should see YouTube appear as a new icon in your Messages app drawer, and after tapping on it you can scroll to view your recently-watched videos, search YouTube for a specific video, and tap to send it to a friend.


After sharing the video, YouTube links work the same as they did before, with the ability to watch the videos directly within Messages without having to leave the app, but there is a new player for content sent through the Messages app. You can tap on a video and it will open up into a full-screen player with playback controls, a watch later button, recommended videos, and an "open app" button to jump directly to YouTube.

Prior to today's update, to share a YouTube video in Messages you had to find it in the YouTube app, tap the share button, choose Messages, and then type in a contact. You could also copy the video link and paste it into the text message field within Messages.

Check out our guide on iOS 11's Messages app drawer redesign if you aren't familiar with navigating the updated section of Apple's texting app.

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Google Pulls Access to YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show Smart Speaker

Google pulled access to YouTube through Amazon's display-based Echo Show smart speaker on Tuesday, a move that appears to have angered Amazon and led to conflicting public statements by both companies over the sudden move.

"Currently, Google is not supporting Youtube on Echo Show." That's the message Alexa started giving Echo Show owners yesterday afternoon when they tried to access the video service. An Amazon spokesperson later confirmed to The Verge that YouTube was no longer available on Echo Show devices, and offered a statement implying that Google's decision had been an unwelcome surprise.

Google made a change today around 3 pm. YouTube used to be available to our shared customers on Echo Show. As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers. There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers.
Google issued its own statement to The Verge shorty afterwards, contradicting Amazon's assertion that the move had been made without fair warning.
We've been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms. Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.
The move comes as a blow to Amazon's hopes for its Echo Show smart speaker, given that it has been marketed with a heavy emphasis on the device's display, which lets users see details related to their Alexa queries and watch online video – food recipes for instance, which are often hosted on YouTube.

Google's decision to pull access reflects similar moves by the company to protect its vision of how the YouTube service should function and appear to users. Earlier this month, Google forced popular iOS app ProTube off the App Store after serving the developer multiple takedown requests because it said the app violated YouTube's terms of service.


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YouTube for iOS Gains Support for Lower Latency Chat and Live Streaming iPhone’s Display

YouTube for iOS is gaining a new feature that will allow iPhone users to stream video directly from their device screen, reports TechCrunch.

This will allow YouTubers to stream iOS games and apps on their iPhones directly to YouTube without having to use the standalone YouTube gaming app.


The screen-streaming feature has been available on Android for some time, but to implement it on iOS, YouTube needed to add support for the Apple ReplayKit API, which it has now done.

In addition to a feature for live streaming what's on the iPhone's screen, YouTube is also gaining lower latency streaming for better creator/watcher chat interactions and improved chat moderation tools.

YouTubers can quickly pause chat with a new keyboard shortcut and they can opt in to an automated chat moderation system that will cause YouTube to flag and hold potentially inappropriate messages until they can be reviewed.

YouTube says its new features are rolling out to users around the world today. The YouTube app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Apple Pulls Popular Third-Party YouTube App ‘ProTube’ From the App Store

Hugely popular third-party YouTube app "ProTube" was quietly removed from the App Store by Apple last week. Apple's decision to pull the app followed several takedown requests from Google that were received by the app's developer.

ProTube was hailed by users during its three-year reign for several features either not available in the official YouTube app or not offered by other third-party apps, such as the ability to play videos in 4K at 60 frames per second, background playback, and an audio-only mode. Over its lifetime, the $5 app reached number 1 in the paid app charts in 11 different countries and the top 10 in 57 countries.


In a statement on his website, developer Jonas Gessner said he was "very sad to announce that ProTube was removed from the App Store by Apple on September 1, 2017". The action reportedly came "after multiple requests and threats by YouTube which ultimately led Apple to suddenly pulling the app from the App Store", said Gessner.
YouTube first requested Apple to remove my app well over a year ago, initially just stating that my app violates their Terms of Service. This was a generic takedown request they sent to many YouTube apps at once. They later started going into more detail, even stating that I could not sell the app as that alone violates their ToS. They basically wanted me to remove every feature that made ProTube what it is – that includes the player itself that allows you to play 60fps videos, background playback, audio only mode and more.

Without those features ProTube would not be any better than YouTube's own app, and that is exactly what they want to achieve. YouTube wants to sell its $10/month [YouTube Red] subscription service which offers many features that ProTube also offered for a lower one time price, so they started hunting down 3rd party YouTube apps on the App Store.
Gessner said he initially considered several options to end the dispute with YouTube, including removing all the contested features and making the app free, but ultimately he decided against this because "everyone who paid for ProTube's standout features would suddenly get an app update that removes all those features, resulting in a useless app".

The developer also tried to negotiate with YouTube to come to some sort of agreement, but found the process "very difficult" and claimed he was unable to get a direct response to his questions. After threats of legal action, "I knew that getting sued could cost me more than I ever made with ProTube," he said.

"While it is absolutely awful seeing ProTube getting pulled from the App Store, it was the best solution when it comes to the users that already purchased the app," admitted Gessner. "I was getting screwed either way but I at least didn't want to screw my users."

Many other third-party YouTube apps on the App Store have been targeted by YouTube with takedown requests, according to the developer, who signed off by thanking ProTube's "big and passionate fanbase" and warning that dozens of fake ProTube apps have appeared on the App Store since it was removed.


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YouTube Updates Logo and Announces New Features for iOS App and Desktop Site

YouTube today announced a few changes coming to the company's mobile apps and desktop site, including a visual update for the well-known YouTube logo. Instead of emphasizing the "Tube" part of the branding, the new icon places the TV-like icon to the left of the company's name.

Designed for our multi-screen world, the updated Logo combines a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and Icon, creating a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens.

Why’s it more flexible? When room is limited (say on a smartphone) you can use the brightened up Icon as an abbreviated Logo, which will be seen more easily and read more clearly. You’ll see the new Logo and Icon roll out across mobile and desktop today, and across all our other apps and services soon.
Additionally, the company announced a few updates coming to its iOS and Android apps including improved navigation, more gesture controls (like swiping left and right to jump between videos in a playlist), the ability to speed up or slow down videos, and a dedicated player for vertical videos. There's also a new way to browse more videos while in the YouTube player, by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to see suggested videos.


Both the app and desktop site are being updated to Google's Material Design aesthetic, which will refresh YouTube with a "simple and intuitive user experience that lets content shine," according to the company. With the new update to the desktop site, users will be able to turn on an official Dark Theme so they can browse YouTube more comfortably at night. The Verge reports that Dark Theme will be available on the YouTube mobile apps as well.

Many of the iOS, Android, and desktop updates will launch today, along with the all-new YouTube logo which users should begin noticing across mobile apps and online throughout the day.

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YouTube Rolls Out New Sharing and Chat Features to All iOS Users

YouTube today expanded new chat and sharing features to all YouTube users around the world, making it easier to share and discuss videos right within the YouTube app for iOS devices.

The video sharing functionality was first launched earlier this year in Canada and for some users in North America, and it is now available for all users worldwide.


YouTube's new sharing and chat features allow YouTube users to select a video to share with friends and family and then chat about those shared videos with text, emoji, and more. Group messages discussing shared videos can include up to 30 people.

The sharing features are accessible through a new "Shared" tab in the YouTube app for iOS, which replaces Activity. Sharing a video can be done by adding friends via a text message or sending them a link through email or another social network.
Starting today, you can share videos with your friends and family directly on YouTube. Not only can you share and receive videos in the app, you can also chat about them right on YouTube, reply with another video, invite others to the conversation, and more. We think it'll make sharing easier, faster and more fun on your phone. And if you want to continue sharing videos through other apps, you can still do that too.
YouTube can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge).

Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract new subscribers.

The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn’t more popular with music users. He didn’t address whether or not the two apps would merge — but it seems very unlikely.
By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service.

Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already combined.


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