You may lose YouTube: Users with old Apple TVs, iPhones, and other devices may be cut off

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If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your aging Apple TV box or buying a new TV but haven’t found a good enough reason, you might have one now, depending on how often you watch YouTube videos. Soon the YouTube app will stop working on certain devices made in 2012 or earlier.

Last month, the YouTube API team announced that the Data API v2 would be “retired” on April 20, and would shut down soon after. This warning was aimed mainly at developers, to let them know to migrate to the new Data API v3, but the ramifications for customers are significant.

The list of devices affected by this change may not yet be complete, but so far it includes TVs and Blu-ray players from Panasonic and Sony, game consoles without support for Flash or HTML5, and certain Apple and Google TV devices.

For some devices, there are fixes or workarounds. Google TV devices running version 3 or 4 will be able to update to a newer version of the app, but earlier versions will be left out. Users of Apple hardware running anything less than iOS 7 will either need to update or watch YouTube videos via the Safari browser, while second-generation Apple TV users will only be able to watch YouTube content by streaming via AirPlay from another device.

Users who attempt to use the YouTube app on older devices will still be able to watch content for a short time, but first they’ll see a video notifying them of the discontinuation. Beginning in early May, only the discontinuation video will be available.

In late May, “v2 API calls except for comments and captions will receive 410 Gone HTTP responses,” Ibrahim Ulukaya of the YouTube for Developers team wrote in a blog post announcing the change. From that point forward, users will need to find a new way to watch YouTube content.

The discontinuation video is posted below in case you’re curious.

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