YouTube Updates Mobile Site To Be Faster, Feature Rich, and HTML5 Friendly s60 symbian youtube application e1278563693419 200x105 YouTube has unveiled a new version of their mobile site, and the changes are pretty significant.  The new mobile site is faster, more touch-friendly, more HTML5-friendly, and it has a lot of new features.

YouTube claims to serve 100 million video playbacks per day to mobile devices, which is an alarmingly high number.  I can't quite get my head around that.  While I have used a smart phone to occasionally watch video for nearly a year now, I'm still seeing relatively few people out and about using mobile phones to watch videos.  That's hardly a scientific representation, but it's still surprising to hear how many mobile views they're dishing out per day.  It speaks to how rapidly mobile video is growing, and YouTube's mobile site has long been overdue for an upgrade.

So what's new with the new YouTube mobile site?  I'm glad you asked.

1.It's faster

It's wicked fast.  The new is noticeably faster than the previous version.  If you have even a little experience with the old mobile YouTube (or the YouTube app for the iPhone), the difference will be obvious.

2. It's got more touch-screen functions

You can do more with a touch screen phone due to the increase in "touch-friendly elements" on this new mobile site, which is important since touch screens are rapidly becoming the dominant interface.

3. HTML5

The new mobile YouTube also adds a few more HTML5 features, which is interesting and welcome.

4. Better quality video

Maybe it's just me, but it feels like we've taken a step up in overall video quality.  In addition to the aforementioned speed increase, the picture and playback seem improved as well.

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Here's a video YouTube made to show off the changes and features in the new mobile site:

Now, I could make this entire story about the growing Google/Apple feud.  And there are plenty of reasons to see this move as another attack in the chess game between the two companies.  For instance, it's pretty hard to miss the fact that their commercial begins with someone who is using an iPhone to visit the new mobile YouTube.  And that user bypasses the standard YouTube App and goes straight to the browser.  The ad then switches to someone with a Nexus One for a while, and then later back to an iPhone.  And so on.  Come to think of it, the entire commercial feels more like an Apple spot than one from Google, and I'm quite sure that's no accident.

But I honestly think that in this case, the bigger story is that YouTube has greatly enhanced the mobile browsing experience for their users.  Apple and Google will continue to throw little barbs at each other from time to time, but it's doubtful that either will lose sight of the real goal: a quality user experience.  The day is fast approaching when YouTube will give its mobile browser more attention than its standard version.  But mobile browsing can't take over as the predominant method unless the experience is going to keep up with user demands.  That's why upgrades like this are so important and exciting.

  • mobilebooth

    ya its really you tube faster on mobile site and provide many function display on mobile screen. <a href="">mobile phone accessories</a>vistt
    thank you

  • Custom Software Development

    Among the all Search Engine’s Google only update the latest technology. Hats off to them.

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Just tried the new experience on my Droid phone... Still can't seem to respond (reply) to comments on my phone (bummer) and still can't see annotations.

    Us YouTube Users are using the annotations feature more often to help the viewer watch more of our videos, or jump around in the video they are watching to customize their experience. An example of a video where I put lots of annotation links (jumps to parts of the video) is at about 15 seconds in. I show a menu of sorts of where the viewer may want to jump to on this "how to" video -- none of it is visible on the Droid Phone's default browser.

    Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

  • Jeremy Campbell

    I'm surprised it took YouTube so long to come out with a better mobile version, but better late than never. I'm also surprised with the 100 million video views per day on mobile devices as I don't see many people in public watching YouTube either. Maybe young people in colleges and universities who are bored with their classes?!

  • dcurtis

    "it’s doubtful that either will lose sight of the real goal: a quality user experience."

    While that may be true, Jeremy, I think it also has MUCH to with the advertising fight. Google isn't going to just roll over and let Apple take its ad revenues...