YouTube is arguably the biggest source of streaming multimedia, video or audio, on the Internet but its viewing experience on mobile, even on Google’s own Android, leaves much to be desired. We are almost at the mercy of how Google dictates mobile users should experience YouTube, which isn’t really that much compared to what you can do on the desktop. There are, however, a few enterprising and daring developers who are giving users a bit more control. Like this NewPipes app that even lets you slow down or speed up YouTube vids, whether Google allows it or not.
To be clear, NewPipe is not an app that you can find on Google Play Store for one very important reason. It violates Google’s Terms of Service because of the way it uses YouTube to deliver functionality that is otherwise not even available on the web browser version of YouTube. Because of that, the only way to get it is by getting the APK from the project’s GitHub page and sideloading it. All disclaimers about security and safety apply.
Because it directly taps into YouTube web pages to parse the information it needs, it bypasses a lot of Google’s requirements. You don’t even need to have Google Play Service installed to use it, which could be a boon for advanced users who prefer to keep their custom ROMs Google-free. In exchange for that roundabout way of getting information and videos, NewPipe offers functionality you won’t find even in third-party but sanctioned YouTube apps.
For example, you can stream the YouTube video to a different player if you wish or even to Kodi. You can download not just videos but even audio only versions. The latest new feature lets you choose the playback speed of the video.
Given how this app is treading on murky waters, it remains to be seen how long before Google attempts to block it, one way or another. That said, Google can’t do so easily without potentially breaking features that other blessed third-party apps use. And since NewPipe is open source, it won’t be too hard for others to take up the torch to keep it moving forward.