It probably never occurred to you to watch videos on the small screen of your Apple Watch. Other than the occasional text clip, there’s no browser and Google hasn’t provided an official YouTube app (although it does offer YouTube Music for Apple Watch).
We’re not going to say it’s a good idea, but that problem has been solved. A new third-party app called WatchTube has arrived with one mission: to let you watch YouTube videos on Apple’s smartwatch.
The app is quite simple, which makes sense given the limitations of the screen you’ll be using to navigate the interface. There are four swipeable panels: an algorithmic home page, search page, personal library, and settings. It won’t take long to get the hang of things. You can also view comments and enable captions.
While the concept was simple, we found the app somewhat clunky to use. Entering searches is tricky on the small keyboard, and it’s not always clear whether you need to tap a second button to trigger certain actions: for example, tapping one of the suggested searches or pressing play on a video you’d expect to see. started playing when you opened it. Videos and searches often crashed or returned errors despite obvious connectivity issues.
It’s still early days for the app, which at the time of writing is still at version 1.1.1, and some or all of these issues may be resolved in the future. The most recent June 15 update has fixed several bugs and issues.
But most of all it works. You can find and watch a video on the watch’s 2-inch screen. Since the Apple Watch is square, videos appear even smaller because the formatting will add black bars, so it won’t feel as immersive as it does on your iPhone. It’s a cool idea for sure, but it probably won’t become an essential part of your Apple Watch app library.