YouTube on your phone (or tablet)

Lucky for us, the world's most popular video site is available via native Android app.

YouTube, the world's most popular video site, is available via native Android app. It comes preloaded on most (if not all) Android phones, and using it is a lot more convenient than navigating to YouTube from a browser. Note: if you're not running Android 4.0 or higher, some of the YouTube app's features may not be available on your device.

The beauty of the newest version of YouTube for Android is the quick-draw sliding navigation panel on the left side of the screen. Tap the YouTube icon at the top to bring it out, revealing links to your channel subscriptions, recommendations, trending videos, live broadcasts, and more. Categories are listed as well, in case you want to browse, though you won't find all of the categories that you will on the full Web site. Of course, if you're looking for something specific, you can always tap the search bar at the top of the screen.

Avid YouTubers should be happy to find that all the in-video functions from the YouTube site are available in the app as well. You can easily favorite, flag, comment on, save to playlist, or give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to videos. You can also share videos through your device's other installed applications like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, and so on.

If you fancy yourself a YouTube creator, you can easily upload a video straight from your Android camera app as well. When you do this, YouTube gives you the option to title and tag your video, as well as adjust other settings before uploading to your YouTube account. It's all very simple.

One of the newer features to come to YouTube is the capability to preload videos while you're charging or on Wi-Fi, for smoother playback at a later time. You're not actually downloading the videos, so you still need a data connection to watch, but preloading saves you from having to buffer while on the go. This takes up some memory, but is great for battery life.

Lastly, the app now lets you use your Android device to control and watch YouTube videos on your computer or YouTube-enabled television. The process of pairing your devices is a little rough, but it certainly works. Once you get it all set up, you can search for and queue up videos from your phone or tablet, for playback on a bigger screen (i.e. a computer or YouTube-enabled television).

Overall, YouTube for Android offers an enjoyable mobile viewing experience. It could use more robust browsing options and a smoother device-pairing process, but for most viewing and uploading purposes, it does exactly what you need it to do.

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