As the best smartwatch you can buy, the Apple Watch allows us to do a lot with just a few movements and touches right on our wrists. Not only can you now make calls, text, and listen to music or podcasts, but you can also watch YouTube videos right on the tiny display.
No, YouTube does not yet have its own Apple Watch app. But there is a third-party app called WatchTube that opens up YouTube for Apple Watch owners.
WatchTube (opens in new tab) It’s completely free to download from the App Store – you’ll need a watch with watchOS 6 or later – and it’s pretty nice how the app was able to replicate so many of YouTube’s interface features, including search. With the app you can watch almost any video.
There are some quirks with WatchTube. You cannot sync your Google account – remember this is a third party app. Instead, the app displays a list of trending YouTube videos. You can switch between four sections on WatchTube – Home, Search, Library, and Settings. There are trending videos in the home section and you can also select a specific category of videos for the homepage.
Searching in the app works well, especially with the Apple Watch Series 7’s keyboard. You can also use the watch’s dictation or scribble feature to search for videos.
The videos look small on the screen, especially in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio. You can change the aspect ratio, but that can sometimes shrink them further.
After all, the screen of the Apple Watch for videos is still quite small. The Apple Watch 7 pushed the boundaries with its screen, offering 50% more display in the same 45mm size than the Apple Watch 3, but that’s far from serving as an ideal screen for watching videos. There’s probably a reason why, after all this time, there’s no official YouTube app for the Apple Watch.
WatchTube loads a little slowly. I was trying to watch videos on my Apple Watch SE and found that the home screen took ages to fully load and then even longer to load a specific video. The audio works well though – you can hear it through AirPods or even through the Apple Watch’s built-in speakers.
Will WatchTube make it into our guide to the best Apple Watch apps in 2022? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a neat, no-frills app that serves a purpose. And hey, it’s 2022, so if you really want your Apple Watch to do it all, watching videos can now be part of the mix.