It’s no secret that using YouTube in your iPhone or iPad browser is a pretty nasty experience. And in many ways, YouTube’s “native” app isn’t much better. This is where a new Safari extension called “Vinegar” comes in to save the day.
Updated on December 4, 2021: Vinegar received a nice update today with a host of new features:
- On videos (and devices) that support 4K, you should see the 4K video options in the quality selector toolbar.
- For people with expensive data plans, you can upgrade to 144p and 240p as well.
- You can switch to Theater mode with the keyboard shortcut “T” or click on the text “Theater” below the video.
- Supports keyboard shortcuts like “J” to rewind, “K” to pause and “L” to go forward.
- Videos must be playable if you are signed in with YouTube Premium.
- Videos should be added to your viewing history if you are logged in.
- Fixed a bunch of third-party website integrations.
- The sound no longer plays when you return to the home page.
- It should keep the timestamp when you change video quality.
- Time-stamped URLs (i.e. URLs with & t = 123) should now work.
- Clicking on the chapter links in the description should bring you to the correct time.
- You can now also select the quality of live videos.
- From a privacy standpoint, it is “safer” as it now only has access to web content on youtube.com.
“Vinegar” is a Safari extension for iPhone, iPad, and Mac that was released earlier this month with the goal of replacing the YouTube player with a minimal HTML player (via Bold Fireball). This is similar to the days of YouTube5, which was a similar Safari extension to the days when the YouTube player was written in Adobe Flash.
Developed by Zhenyi Tan, Vinegar replaces the YouTube player in Safari with a native HTML video tag, bringing a host of related improvements:
- The removal of in-video ads.
- Prevent YouTube from tracking your play / pause / search activity.
- Restore picture-in-picture functionality.
- Videos don’t stop if you switch to another browser tab.
- You can choose the audio stream only to continue playing music when Safari is in the background.
The app works exactly as you would expect and makes using YouTube in your browser much more enjoyable. It works both directly on YouTube’s website and on embedded videos on third-party websites.
You can download Vinegar from the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Mac. This is a one-time universal purchase of $ 1.99.
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