YouTube App on Apple TV Updated Following User Complaints Over Subscriptions Layout and More

It's been just over two weeks since YouTube updated its Apple TV app with a major redesign, essentially bringing the app in line with YouTube on other products like Android TV, smart TVs, PS4, and Xbox One. While the original YouTube Apple TV app was never widely favored, the new update was met with even more blowback from some users, who referenced laggy controls, poorer playback UI, illogical changes to the subscription tab's channel list, and more.


This week, YouTube pushed out version 1.01.04 of the app for Apple TV 4th and 5th generation devices, and it addresses a few of these user concerns. The major update is a "modified" subscriptions tab that nixes the long horizontal list of subscribed YouTube channels -- which made it take much longer to get to channels at the bottom of the alphabetized list -- and reverts back to a grid layout akin to the original app. YouTube said this was done for "easier channel selection."

Although it's not mentioned in the update notes, one user on Reddit said that there have also been a few tweaks to video scrubbing, so users can "go through the video with the touchpad again instead of slowly rewinding/fast forwarding." When doing this, thumbnail previews of the video pop up to give you an idea of where to land as you jump through the video, but YouTube still doesn't use Apple's systemwide playback UI and there isn't any support for quick 10-second jumps forward and backward.


Otherwise, YouTube said that the update fixed an issue with the search keyboard when people were using "non-Siri TV remotes," and it includes the usual bug fixes and stability improvements.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Tag: YouTube
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)


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11 months ago
Why does YouTube insist on using its own player code rather than the excellent built in video player API? That's my only complaint about the new app. Apple's API works well and is consistent across all of TVOS. There's no reason not to use it.
Rating: 24 Votes
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11 months ago
It is so butt ugly. What design language is that even supposed to follow?

Looks like something from the old Nokia Symbian days
Rating: 17 Votes
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11 months ago
It still feels like absolute ****.

The real issue isn't the layout or feature set. It's the fact they appeared to have replaced the old native app by a web view that performs poorly, and where touch inputs are inaccurate.

The whole app is choppy rather than the smooth 60fps we're used to. Touch inputs don't feel native, you constantly skip over the elements you want to select while navigating. Navigating the app is unpredictable, you don't know how it'll respond to your input, and the animations don't always have the same speed for some reason. It's like the app can't keep a steady framerate, and animation length are based on the number of frames drawn rather than duration in seconds.

It's a super frustrating experience all around. Hoping a dev can make a native 3rd-party app. I don't care if it's really basic feature wise, I just can't stand this kind of poor input quality and UI performance.
Rating: 16 Votes
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11 months ago
youtube's new app on the apple tv is a garbage fire. the old one wasn't great but at least it felt like an apple product as opposed to this new abomination. whoever made this decision should be fired and never work in tech again. are you listening youtube?
Rating: 13 Votes
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11 months ago
Every tech company like youtube snapchat keep ruining there apps its like they wanna annoy people
Rating: 11 Votes
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11 months ago
Still clunky and unfriendly to navigate. The Apple TV remote is unique being specifically designed with inertia in mind. This app ignores the whole concept treating it as a generic d-pad controller. It feels unresponsive and strange, and totally out of place on an AppleTV. Apple should not certif apps that cannot follow basic principles off the platform.
Rating: 8 Votes
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11 months ago
Just change the playback layout to the way it was before and I'll be happy. I'm fine with the layout on the menus.
Rating: 8 Votes
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11 months ago

Why does YouTube insist on using its own player code rather than the excellent built in video player API? That's my only complaint about the new app. Apple's API works well and is consistent across all of TVOS. There's no reason not to use it.

why? to give an inferior experience so they can say it’s so much better on an android device
Rating: 7 Votes
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11 months ago
It’s the PlayStation 4 YouTube app, copied wholesale.
It’s attrocious. The previous app was a UI mess too, but this is even worse.
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 months ago
You always wonder WTF testing went on for these UIs... an account with ten subscriptions?

First time I tried the previous arrangement, I just turned it off...
Rating: 6 Votes
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