The biggest change with the updated app is that advertisements will occasionally display before your selected video begins. Luckily, the ads are skippable after five seconds as they are when viewing YouTube in a web browser. We all knew this would happen sooner or later and it’s amazing that the Apple TV has lasted this long without pre-roll ads in the YouTube app.
I have noticed a few more problems with the new app since it was released a few days ago, though. For one the search results are truncated, only showing 20 results with no option to load more. This is a huge disadvantage from the previous version of the app. I also can’t seem to find video descriptions anywhere in the new app. The old YouTube app displayed a video description overlay along the top of the screen when you pressed the up button on the Apple TV remote. All that it shows now is the video’s title, number of views, and when it was published — handy, but not nearly as informative as the video’s full description.
And, in the old YouTube app pressing the menu button while viewing a video would give you related videos alongside the option to view more from the same uploader. You can view related videos by pressing pause in the new app, but there’s no way to view a list of videos only from the current video’s uploader.
So, if you can’t find the video that you want to watch from within the search results (which happens often as there’s only 20 results) it’s extremely difficult to get to that video, even if you’re able to find a video from the same user. Not exactly what I’d call a step in the right direction usability-wise.
The new YouTube app looks great and feels more at home alongside other Apple TV apps – all of which use tabs along the top of the screen for navigation — but there’s a lot of missing functionality that can make for a frustrating experience. I hope that updates will come over the next few months to fix these fairly obvious problems with the app.