Google on Android: YouTube

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | 3:00 PM

On September 23, T-Mobile announced the world's first Android-powered phone, the G1. The phone comes preloaded with Search, Maps, Gmail with Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk, and YouTube. The applications are easy to use, fully synchronized with the web, and work together in new and innovative ways, as explained in our first post in the blog series: 'Google on Android'. Over the next couple of weeks, we will put the spotlight on each one of the Google applications for Android. Today: YouTube. -- Marc Vanlerberghe, Product Marketing Director.

Whether it's the infectious laughter of "Dad at the Comedy Barn" or Randy Pausch's uplifting "Last Lecture," YouTube on Android can bring news and entertainment to you in an immediate, personalized way. Let me tell you about my favorite YouTube features and how I use them.

I walk into the local coffee shop to get a dose of caffeine -- double espresso is my drink of choice. The Formula 1 race in Singapore was two weekends ago, the first night race F1 has ever held. I wonder if there are some highlights on YouTube. I slide open the keyboard and type "Formula 1 Singapore" and sure enough, there's a video with some footage from the first practice session. The cars look fantastic under the lights. I wonder if my friend Ken has seen this video. I click on the "Menu" button, select "Share," and up pops the email application - I know Ken will appreciate the video as much as I do.

When the video is done playing, a bunch of related videos pop up.

This is great because I can simply choose from any of them to see more F1 racing footage. This feature makes it easier to find more videos that interest me.

While I am busy watching the F1 video, my wife emails me a link to a YouTube video of the San Jose Taiko company. She's a big fan of taiko drumming and is asking if I want to go with her to the concert on Sunday. I tap the link in the email message and watch the video. Wow, I can't wait to see the concert. I hit the back button to take me back to the email conversation and reply to my wife, "Yes -- let's go!"

In addition to the tight integration with Gmail and other applications that are already on the device, I find it really cool that YouTube on Android exposes its search functionality to other Android apps through the open application framework, giving applications like the built-in music player the power to quickly find relevant videos. All I have to do is long-press on the artist, song name, or album to do a search on YouTube for a related video. I'm really looking forward to seeing how developers will integrate YouTube features into their own applications.


Todd said...

So does this youtube feature mean that the G1 has support for flash?

Matt Kanninen said...


Todd said...

The iPhone has youtube but does not support flash. So it doesn't necessarily mean the G1 has support for Flash. The question still stands...

Rafi said...

I believe the way it works is that Android will support flash as soon as someone programs flash for it. There's no gateway to go through, so it's only a matter of getting it done.

twilightwolf90 said...

Youtube videos are played in their native H-### format. (I don't remember the numbers off of the top of my head)

On the plus side, Microsoft announced that Silverlight is coming to the Android. Apple is still adamant against Flash or Silverlight.


Unknown said...

I got my G1 on Monday Oct, 20. It DOES play youtube, but DOES NOT support Flash! Since Flash is propitiatory, it may take some time until the guys and Flash decide to release a version for Android.

Unknown said...

Adobe has yet to release an ARM compatible player. So until they do, no Flash on iPhone ... and no Flash on Android. But YouTube videos can be accessed directly without going through a flash player, as the YouTube apps for iPhone and Android demonstrate.

Too bad these apps are not open source though. Guess that would expose too much on YT/Google infrastructure and allow access to the videos' data without all the counters, stats, ... stuff.

- Maxime