I also asked the same question for Android but I found that Android Browser has a bug that crashes when uploading big files, so you need the native app: What extra features has the Android YouTube application over the HTML one?

It seems that iOS 5 still provides the native YouTube app, but it seems it is obsolete:


I use YouTube for the simplest case - watching movies that have been sent to me. I don't do much posting or browsing.

To my knowledge, the iOS YouTube app hasn't seen a lot of changes since the 1.0.

I think the biggest "feature" of the native app is the improved responsiveness. I've found the webapp to be slower doing things like full screen or changing screen orientation, and in the initial loading speed. However I wasn't aware of the decreased quality. I think it should however load the higher bitrate videos when you're on Wifi.

As for uploading, on iOS that's usually handled by the app that's recording/editing the video.

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