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Google releases YouTube app for iPad and an improved version for iPhone 5

When iOS 6 was rolled out by Apple in September, iPad users saw their native YouTube app disappear from their device, leaving them to choose from third party efforts, some ropey, some not so.

Well, Google has just released a new YouTube app for users of Apple’s tablet, a move that’s guaranteed to prove popular seeing that over a quarter of YouTube videos are now watched on a mobile device. The company’s video streaming app has also been optimized for the iPhone 5’s larger display and beefed up with other new features, and is available now for download from the iTunes store.

The new iOS YouTube app now allows videos to be streamed from your mobile device to an Apple TV, incorporates improved playlist management, and claims to start videos more quickly and play them more smoothly.

VoiceOver has also been included, improving accessibility for the vision-impaired and offering an alternative search method to pulling up the keyboard and tapping in your keywords. Clickable links in video descriptions have been added, too.

Swipe to the right and you’ll be presented with a sidebar where you can sign in as well as play about with your settings. A list of categories also comes up, including pets and animals (for all your piano-playing cat videos), music (for all your piano-playing cat videos) and comedy (for all your….).

The overall experience with the new iPad app is smooth and navigation simple. However, it’d be good to have an option in settings to change the size of the thumbnails in order to show more videos on the main home screen, as only five are visible as things stand. Of course, it’s no hardship to scroll down the list but a bank of smaller thumbnails for easy scanning would be welcome.

The iPhone version for iOS 6 has been sitting pretty at the top of the iOS free-apps chart since launching in September – we can expect to see the tablet version in the same spot on the iPad chart before too long.

You can grab the iOS YouTube app here.