Jasmine Review

When they removed the YouTube app from iOS 6, it took Google awhile before they got their own app out there. Ever since this event, I found and chose an app called Jasmine to take over and never went back to YouTubes app even after the subsequent release ceremoniously topped the Best Free Apps list. Now I'm here to talk about my 2+ years experience with Jasmine and the ups and downs to bring me here to this moment in time.

Price: Free ($2 Premium in-app purchase is a donation of good faith to the dev)

Initially I fell in love with Jasmine, mostly because it was so different than the old YouTube app that (at the time) never changed for several years. Seriously what was up with that old tube TV icon? Horrible. Jasmines icon is clean for starters and the simplistic interface reflects that same minimalistic glory that enchants you from the get go. The menu isn't complex or convoluted and displays thumb nails, videos, subscriptions list, and offensive YouTube comments with a crisp swiftness that still blows me away. It's easy to learn, gets right to the point, and shrinks the YouTube experience down efficiently.

Subscriptions, playlists, favourites, my videos and recently played are all here and each video can be shared via every form of social media (or copy and paste the link if all else should happen to fail.) And when you're browsing through these lists, all it takes is a swipe to the right to get options to add to favourites, playlist, or the iOS sharing menu. Whether it's on the small, medium, or big (and soon to be all in between) screen, Jasmine looks great and gets the job done for the most part.

The light theme and night themes

So why am I finally looking elsewhere? A year ago I dropped my iPod classic in favour of using my iPhone as my go to music player so that I can use Siri to operate my music collection. This is relevant because every damn time that I watch a video in Jasmine and close off my iPhone, I can't just press the play button on my headphones or the swipe up menu. Instead all I see is Jasmine (that still doesn't play anything.) The only way to get around this is to open up the music app and play it from there or ask Siri to play a song. The Official YouTube app doesn't do this but it does replace this problem with that horribly irritating picture in picture bullshit on both the iPhone and iPad version as well as bring ads to the fray (whereas Jasmine does not.)

Another problem with Jasmine is minor but an aggravating design flaw that coincides with the music issue. Just opening the app stops any music you have playing on your iPhone/iPad automatically. It's such a small and strange thing to happen but with repeated offences, it becomes a bigger problem that's harder to ignore. If you open Jasmine be prepared to watch something I guess is the philosophy we're supposed to go with.

Very minimalistic and simple but that's what makes it run so smoothly (for the most part.)

Finally, Jasmine is quite buggy even after all these years. There are a good deal of times where I'll go into my subscription list, press the latest videos tab only to be brought to.... the subscription list. Pressing latest videos will create a never ending occurrence of bringing up the subscription list and clicking back strikes the final nail in the app, causing it to crash. It happens surprisingly often and there's nothing to do but home screen out, swipe the app away, and start all over.

I love Jasmine but it's not without its problems that have finally brought me to this point where I'm gonna walk away from it for awhile. I'm still weary of the official app, it seems to have the same amount of problems so I'd basically be trading in something broken for another app that's just as broken (what's the point?) So just like Manga Meow, I'll move on and search through the big, wide app store for a better YouTube experience that actually works.




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