Thank you Jasmine for Saving us From the Horrors of Google’s YouTube App

Posted on September 28, 2012

One of the big changes for most users in iOS 6 was the removal of Apple’s YouTube app. That left two options for viewing You Tube videos on the iPhone and the iPad, either on the web through Safari, or through Google‘s official YouTube application.

Google’s Terrible You Tube Apps

YouTube’s Official App

Whichever way you cut it, Google’s YouTube offerings, either via the web or via their new apps are terrible. Google just doesn’t seem to be able to get apps. Their YouTube app on the iPhone (they haven’t and iPad version) is crowded, trying to fit a lot of information, comments etc on the screen.

I reckon that for most people, the number one activity they do on YouTube is search for videos, and the number two activity is to watch them. All the rest, the social part, is a minority activity. Sure, for the minority this is very important, but what’s happening is that this minority activity is infringing upon Google offering a great user experience for the majority.

And Then it Gets Worse…. AirPlay

If you haven’t an Apple TV, you’ll find it hard to really understand what a delight it is to press a simple button on your phone and have a video stream appear on your TV via AirPlay. When we share videos with the kids, more often that not we do so on the TV using AirPlay.

AirPlay on the YouTube application is simply the worst. It basically uses mirroring to show a copy of the iPhone screen on the TV, which works, but the sound is spluttery. It’s no way near as good as a real AirPlay experience.

In short, what Google has foisted upon us is an attempt to push its view of what’s important for Google rather than what’s important for the user.

Enter Jasmine

Jasmine’s YouTube App

And then relief comes in the form of Jasmine (1st world problems, I know). Jasmine is a miracle, an incredible app. It lets you do exactly what 90% of You Tube users want to do. Search & Watch. With a clean, uncluttered and elegant interface. It has beautiful interaction components and animations despite them not being too aligned with iOS standards. It’s quick, easy to navigate and keeps the important stuff in front of you, but with easy access to secondary features such as comments.

This is a great application – if ever you want to use YouTube on your iOS device, you need to download Jasmine – congratulations to its author Jason Morrissey.

What Can We Learn from This?

The principal learning from this is to ensure that you know what the main needs are of your users and that you can deliver those in a high-quality way with a great user experience. Good enough is not good enough.