Windows Phone 7 has a lot of great apps built into the operating system, along with an impressive array of services baked into those apps.
Facebook for example. Not only can you upload photo’s from the pictures app, but you can view your friends recent uploads from within that app, like or comment all you like, without ever having to boot up the actual Facebook app.
There are many other examples, but the main thing missing from all this is decent use of Google services. understandable given Microsoft’s rivalry with Google, but other platform holders share as little love for Google, but at least manage to have a half decent YouTube app built in to the OS.
So, bad for Microsoft’s customers who love YouTube, but a great opportunity for developers to take advantage of the situation and release their own YouTube app.
One such app is SuperTube HD.
A fully featured YouTube app that actually has more options than a lot of apps built in to other smartphone platforms(I’m looking at you, webOS).
The app does have a few really annoying bugs that prevents it attaining greatness, however. We’ll come to that in a moment, for now let’s take a look at what the app does right.
The app allows you to either stream or download a YouTube video, which is a great plus point right off the bat. The ability to play in High Quality or even High Definition is another notch on it’s bedpost, and it’s hard to argue with the quality of the playback, especially in HD. The speed of the streaming and playback is also worthy of note. You can view all videos using either 3G or WiFi.
You can log into your own YouTube account and view your subscriptions and favourites, as well as viewing videos near to your actual location, determined by GPS, a nice little feature as it brings up the location of videos on Bing Maps.
You can also search for videos, and the app displays ‘Hot Videos’, which can be filtered by many different options. Once you have your chosen video’s details up, you can do nearly everything you can on the web, so that means you can like or unlike a video, subscribe to the author, share and favourite the vid. You can also see related content, the authors other uploads, view comments, and even make your own comments, right from within the app.
A great feature for those who like to listen to music on YouTube is that, if you go to the lock screen, the app will continue to play the audio. So, using this app, you can log in to YouTube, load up a playlist via your subscriptions and play the audio in the background. Can’t argue with that.
Here is where we get to those problems I mentioned. While you can log into your account, you can’t view you own channel or uploads. A strange omission, as the app would be great in responding to comments on your own videos. You can check out our YouTube channel here, by the way.
I would also like there to be different panels for the Hot Video section, instead of having to filter every time, and the app does have a few stability issues. It crashed on me a few times, and streams froze out more than once. The app also has a bad habit of logging you out of your account every now and then. This may be more YouTube’s fault than the app, but if the app would at least remember some of my credentials, even just the user name, that would be a big help. The fact that, when you click on a video on Internet Explorer, you can’t choose to use this app as the default player is Microsoft’s fault all the way.
On other really minor quibble is the app’s icon. It doesn’t look anything like a YouTube app, so it is difficult to find, even when you add it as a main tile.
Overall then, this is a surprisingly fully featured YouTube app that does nearly everything the web version does. Downloading, HD playback and the ability to comment on videos is great, and if the developer fixes the few problems the app has, this could be one of the best apps of it’s type on any smartphone, anywhere.