Switch's YouTube App is Nice But Omits a Key Feature

By Laura Kate Dale on at

Earlier this week, rumours began to circulate online that a YouTube app might be coming to Switch. First a logo and release date popped up on Nintendo of America's website, but as a randomly generated suggestion rather than something you could search for. Then YouTube itself added a support page listing the Nintendo console.

Yesterday, with little fanfare, the YouTube app arrived on Switch. How is it? Pretty great for home users, not so great on the commute.

If you're using Switch on a TV, the YouTube app is solid: it supports 1080p 60FPS playback, the menus are fast and responsive, and the UI is nice. It feels like the most instantly responsive YouTube app of the three main consoles, and it just sort of works how you would hope and expect.

In handheld mode in a home environment, the app supports HD 60FPS playback, albeit at 720p. It supports touchscreen controls and is a great second screen YouTube experience, surpassing my phone just by virtue of the device's screen size and built-in stand.

The only area in which the app is lacking is the lack of offline downloads for YouTube Premium users. If you're subscribed to YouTube's paid service, which launched a few months back in the UK, one of the perks is that you can download videos for later offline viewing. This is a great feature on mobile, and one I really appreciate while commuting. The Switch YouTube app doesn't support it though, and that's a missed opportunity and big disappointment.

There's an element of 'does what it says on the tin' here: we all know what YouTube is and where / how we like to watch it. This is a slick app that works well across Switch's dual modes and, when used in handheld, offers a better experience than the vast majority of phones. The lack of offline downloads is unfortunate, but hey: the price is right.