Huge update for third-party Android YouTube client NewPipe released

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 7, 2022
Apps, Google Android, Youtube

The developers of the third-party Android YouTube client NewPipe released an update this week for the application. NewPipe 0.23.1 introduces support for new technologies that YouTube uses, which improve the performance of playback and seeking, as well as video playback compatibility.

I reviewed NewPipe in January 2022 here on this site calling it the better YouTube client for Android. Unlike Google's own YouTube client, which is full of ads and other unpleasantries, it is free of ads and supports features that YouTube's client does not in the free version.

Besides support for background playback, NewPipe supports downloading videos to the system for offline viewing, subscribing to channels without a Google account, and more.

NewPipe is one of the YouTube Vanced alternatives for Android. Vanced is still working at this time, but the project has been discontinued. There is Revanced, which is still in development.

NewPipe 0.23.1 introduces support for delivery methods other than the already supported progressive HTTP. DASH is among these delivery methods, and this unlocks a number of features on YouTube that were previously not available:

  • Improved playback and seeking performance.
  • Improved resolution and format availability.
  • Recently ended livestreams can be played entirely.

Responsiveness and performance improved significantly, by an "order of magnitude" according to the developers. Videos load instantly now, thanks to DASH being the default for playbacks on YouTube. Repeated buffering of videos appears to be a thing of the past as well.

Other supported services, PeerTube and SoundCloud, benefit from the introduction of new delivery methods as well. On PeerTube, seeking is now working properly on videos that use HLS streams. Additionally, a crash was fixed on videos with audio-only streams. On SoundCloud, playback of HLS-only streams was fixed.

The developers note that the new delivery methods are not yet implemented in the downloader. It still uses progressive HTTP only at the time, but it is planned to introduce support in future updates.

Another new feature is the ability to import playlists from services such as YouTube to local NewPipe playlists. NewPipe users get full editing access to imported playlists, which means, that they may add or remove videos from it.

The update is available on the project's GitHub repository already. It is not yet available on F-Droid, but will become available there as well in the future.

Now You: do you watch YouTube on your mobile devices?

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