The Apple Watch now has a YouTube app

Phone screen too big and comfortable to watch? The free app called WatchTube brings millions of hours of distraction to your wrist…

Apple Watch Series 5
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch can do a great many things. It can track your movement, exercise and sleep, while also keeping an eye on your heart rate, delivering notifications, managing phone calls, playing music and much more besides.

And now, because the internet would be wasted if not for our collective ability to ask ‘what if?, the Apple Watch can also play YouTube videos. Because why wouldn’t you want to watch your favourite YouTubers on a screen well under two inches wide?

Joking aside, this is actually a fairly impressive feat. The app is called WatchTube (opens in new tab) and comes from Hugo Mason. And, while you can’t log into your existing YouTube or Google account, the app has its own algorithm to work out what you like and serve up relevant content based on what you watch on your, er…Watch.

There’s also a search box for finding exactly what you’re looking for, and you can subscribe to channels too. The whole thing works a lot like when you aren’t logged into the YouTube app of devices like smart televisions.

WatchTube app for Apple Watch

(Image credit: Hugo Mason)

The app’s developer says your viewing habits are stored locally on the device, and so too is the algorithm, so your privacy remains intact.

WatchTube begins by showing a list of whatever’s trending on YouTube that day, but once you start consuming content it’ll adjust to show stuff it thinks you might be interested in. Audio can be played through the Watch’s own tiny speaker, or sent to Bluetooth headphones. There’s even the option to enable subtitles, if you fancy giving your eyes even more of a workout.

Lastly, if you want to watch a video on a larger screen, there’s the option to display a QR code on the Apple Watch. Aim your smartphone camera at that, and the YouTube video will open on that device instead.

There’s no word on what terrible things WatchTube will do to your Apple Watch’s battery life, but we imagine it won’t be pretty. An app best deployed as a novelty rather than an exciting new part of your daily commute, we suspect.

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.