YouTube, as of late, has added a ton of features to its mobile apps. However, most of these such as the ability to play videos in the background is limited to YouTube Red which requires you to pay a monthly fee. Fortunately, you can install alternatives and recently, another one joined the list. It’s called “NewPipe”.
NewPipe is a free and lightweight YouTube client for Android that comes laden with auxiliary features, some of which are not even available on the official app. The most prominent one of these is background playback. It essentially lets you employ YouTube as a music player by letting you listen to videos without having to keep the app open. On the YouTube app, this is limited to Red subscribers.
Another nifty tool it offers is saving clips to your local storage. You can download videos in various formats and resolutions including audio directly to the storage. YouTube, in comparison, limits offline playback to its app. Moreover, you can minimize clips in a hovering window just like Android Oreo’s picture-in-picture mode. Although here, you can resize these as well. There’s also a dark theme if you’re getting sick of YouTube’s new white coat.
However, the reason NewPipe is able to exist is because it doesn’t utilize any proprietary YouTube APIs or Google’s Play Services to function. This is primarily because YouTube blocks any third-party client that promises such kind of features. As a result, NewPipe does suffer from one major caveat. You can not sign in. Therefore, no subscriptions or video recommendations. The developer does mention he will be bringing local playlists and subscriptions in a future release.
NewPipe is also not available on the Play Store right now. You’ll have to download F-Droid from here, install it and then, install NewPipe from the APK you can grab from this link. NewPipe is entirely free of cost and measures just 4MB in size. If you’re still facing any issues with the installation, you can let us know by dropping a comment down below.