Want YouTube on Apple Watch? This is as close as you'll get

Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Se
Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Se (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • The new WatchTube app lets you view YouTube videos on your Apple Watch.
  • It includes viewing preferences saved to your Apple Watch.
  • This is the closest you'll get while there's no official YouTube app from Google for Apple Watch.

What's the good of a two-inch screen on your wrist if you can't use it to watch cat videos? That's the goal of the WatchTube app from Hugo Mason, going boldly where Google fears to tread by bringing YouTube videos to your Apple Watch.

While it's not the most likely device to catch up on your favorite YouTuber's exploits (the Apple Watch screen sizes including Apple Watch Series 7 max out at a minuscule 45mm – unless the Apple Watch Series 8 proves to be gigantic), WatchTube won't stop you from settling down for a marathon viewing session on Apple's wearable.

Watchtube

Watchtube (Image credit: Hugo Mason)

As it's not an official app – Google, probably quite fairly, has not yet seen the use case for bringing YouTube to Apple Watch wearer's wrists – you won't be able to sign in to your YouTube account to view subscriptions. But the app does maintain a history of what you've watched locally on the device and uses its own algorithm to offer up suggestions based on that data. So over time it too should start picking out clips and videos to your tastes.

That local data acts as a library view, too. So if you've started a video but had to bail on it before it ended, you'll always have a record of what you've viewed on WatchTube to come back to later on.

The Apple Watch does have a small speaker, and that can be used to listen to the audio from videos, though you'll be better off sending sounds to a connected pair of Bluetooth earbuds, like Apple's own AirPods or AirPods Pro. The app even offers subtitles for the hard of hearing – though you'll want to keep a magnifying glass handy too if you intend on using them.

It may all feel a bit silly, but the app really does make the best of an unlikely home for YouTube videos – should you want to watch a clip on your iPhone or iPad, for instance, you can load up a QR code on the WatchTube app for your larger device's camera to pick up on and run with, showing the video on a bigger screen.

WatchTube is free to download (opens in new tab) and use so, even if your eye-sight may not be up to the task of an extended binge session on your Apple Watch, it won't cost you anything to at least experience the novelty of it all and is one of the Best Apple Watch apps we've seen in a while. Dick Tracy, eat your heart out.

And, if you're on the hunt for an affordable Apple Watch to do something crazy like this with, make sure to keep an eye on these Prime Day Apple Watch deals deals we'll be curating this month.

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 13 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 


Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.