Let's face it, the stock YouTube app for Android kinda sucks. It has limited capabilities, at-time wavering connectivity, and the pop-up player it comes with is just not very good. If you want to enhance your mobile YouTube experience to how it should be, the answer lies within a third-party app called Viral HD YouTube Popup Player by Android dev Mata.
There are some other third-party apps to help make YouTube better, like NextVid, which lets you play nonstop playlists in the background, and YouTube Floating Popup Player, which lets you play videos on top of other apps, but Viral HD is a whole 'nother beast, one that's likely to replace your current YouTube app entirely.
Search in Viral HD is much more comprehensive than the stock YouTube app. Once you type in what you're looking for, you can choose between Video, Channels, and Playlist just like you can on the official YouTube app, but Viral HD has many more options for fine-tuning your search.
On the official YouTube app, you can only search videos by the date posted (All time, Today, This week, This month), and you can do the same in Viral HD, but add to that video length (All, Under 5 mins, Under 20 mins, Above 20 mins), popularity (Relevance, Published, View count, Rating), and features (HD, CC, 3D).
Once you find a video that you want to watch, there are a few unique tools that you can use. You can change the video resolution from 144p up to 1080p (if it has the capability). I think this is one the best features, in that I have control over what kind of quality I want. On the official YouTube app, you can only change between regular and HD.
From the actual video screen, you can swipe up and down on the left and right side of it. If you swipe on the left side, the brightness of the video changes. If you swipe on the right side, the volume changes.
The gem of Viral HD is the popup player, which completely blows the stock YouTube player one out of the water, which you can't even view outside of the YouTube app.
If you want to bring out the Viral HD popup player, just press down on the video and swipe down. The video will then turn into a small popup, which you can then customize to any size.
From the popup player, you can turn it back into full-screen, change the volume, edit the resolution, and hide the player completely.
If you hide the player (by tapping the square icon with a line across the bottom), it will continue to play the video in the background, useful for those that want to hear a song but don't want to watch the video. To bring back the video, just swipe down on your notification bar and tap on Showtime Player.
Note: If you tap on a video in your phone's gallery, you'll have the option to watch them in Viral's popup player, too.
If you go into the Viral's settings and preferences, you'll find an extensive list of things you can change and edit—which is good. From the preferences you can edit animations, set default resolutions, save popup player position, changing button behaviors, and more.
If you want, you can also edit the entire application's layout by choosing the colors for practically everything, including the logo, dividers, tabs, text, background, etc.
Overall, I find this to be the best YouTube app in the market by far, if not merely for the amount of customization allowed. There are ads in the app, but they are fairly unobtrusive, but if you want an ad-free experience, they do offer a Pro Version for $3.99.
What do you think of Viral HD? Let us know below.
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