Google revealed today perhaps the biggest update yet for the YouTube mobile website since it first became available in 2007, bringing improvements such as HTML5 support and a revamped user interface.
According to Google, the mobile website, which offers a way for those on mobile devices like Apple's iPhone or Google's Nexus One the opportunity to view YouTube videos without using native applications, has seen exponential growth (160% in the past year in fact), and now streams more than 100 million videos per day to users across the globe (roughly the same amount as the desktop version of YouTube was receiving when Google acquired it in 2006).
With mobile consumption continuing to grow strongly, the YouTube team has made every effort to improve the usability and speed of the newly designed web app with this latest update, which is only available at this stage for iOS and Android devices. Based primarily around touch-screen devices, YouTube Mobile is now faster than ever before, with a much more visually impressive and user friendly interface that represents its also newly redesigned desktop counterpart. Long-awaited functions such as the ability to “favorite,” “like” or “unlike” videos, and create video playlists from the mobile website, are now available, while a new "home screen" view, similar in looks to that of the Facebook for iPhone and LinkedIn for iPhone applications, allows quick access to places around the YouTube Mobile site such as favorites, playlists, and subscriptions.
Videos on the HTML5 capable site will be of higher quality than even the native YouTube iPhone application, which is still using a streaming format designed for second generation Edge networks. Through the new mobile site, you can also watch better quality videos by toggling a new "HQ" option, which is toggled on by default.
The team at YouTube is making every effort possible to convert users from native apps to the new site, prompting new visitors on the iPhone to install the web app on the home screen and making it clear that the mobile site will be updated with support for new features before native apps get that support(in particular, the iPhone YouTube app which Apple has full development control over - not Google).
YouTube's new mobile site will be rolling out over the course of the day in English only, with support for additional languages to be made available in the coming months.