Like the best smartwatch you can buy, the Apple Watch lets us do just a little with some switches and taps on our wrists. In addition to making calls, texting and listening to music or podcasts, you can now display YouTube videos on a smaller display.
No, YouTube does not yet have its own Apple Watch app. But Apple Watch owners have a third-party app called Watchtube that opens YouTube.
Watchtube (Opens in new tab) It’s absolutely free to download on the App Store – you need watchOS 6 or later – and it’s pretty neat how the app was able to replicate many of YouTube’s interface features, including search. The app lets you watch any video you like.
There are some quirks on Watchtube. You can’t sync your Google Account – remember, this is a third party app. Instead, the app displays a list of trending YouTube videos. You can jump between four sections on Watchtube – Home, Search, Library and Settings. There are trending videos in the Home section and you can select specific category videos for the homepage.
In-app search works particularly well with the Apple Watch Series 7 keyboard. You can also use the Dictation or Watch’s Message Scribble feature to find videos.
Videos look smaller on screen, especially in the standard 16: 9 aspect ratio. You can change the aspect ratio, but it can sometimes shrink them further.
After all, the screen on the Apple Watch is even smaller for videos. 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 it has come a long way since it can serve as a suitable screen for watching videos. After all this, there is a reason why there is no official YouTube app for the Apple Watch.
WatchTube is a bit slow to load. I tried watching videos on my Apple Watch SE and found that the homepage took ages to fully load and it takes even longer to load a particular video. Audio works well – you can listen to it via airpods or with built-in speakers on the Apple Watch.
Does Watchtube add to our guide on 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 specific purpose. And hey, this is 2022 so if you want your Apple Watch to really do everything, watching videos can now be part of the mix.