Sunday, January 16, 2011
Why do iPads hate YouTube?



Ever tried to use YouTube on an iPhone or iPad?

As embedded video becomes part of everyday browsing - often popping up in blog posts or news articles or via links that people are sharing - it's pretty important that the playing of the video while you're online is a seamless experience.

Because the opposite of seamless is really bloody annoying.

But if you want YouTube to work, tough. Because on an iPhone or iPad:

- If you click from a site that links to a video on the normal YouTube site, you won't have Flash and it won't play
- If you click through to a YouTube video and you arrive at YouTube Mobile, you won't have Flash and it won't play
- If you open a video via the built in browser of a third-party app, you won't have Flash and it won't play
- If you try to watch an embedded video that hasn't been HTML5-enabled yet, you won't have Flash and it won't play
- If you're emailed a video with a link to a video and it (for some reason) doesn't launch the app and you end up at the desktop or mobile site, you won't have Flash and it won't play

I'd estimate that about one in five times I try to watch a YouTube video on my iPad I end up having to do some trickery to get it to work, like searching for the video's title in the YouTube app.

I suppose you could always just copy the URL of the YouTube video and paste it into the YouTube app to watch it. Oh no, hang on. You can't do that either.

If there was one thing I'd want as a new feature in the iPad 2, it'd be Flash.