NewPipe: The Ad-Free YouTube App You Didn’t Know You Needed
Are you tired of sitting through ads every time you want to watch a YouTube video?
In this article, we will continue our discussion of looking at ad-free YouTube apps with NewPipe.
NewPipe is a free, open-source app that allows users to watch YouTube videos without interruptions from ads. In addition to ad-blocking, NewPipe offers a range of other great features, such as background playback, video downloading, and bookmarks.
Let’s get started with a brief overview of the NewPipe app.
NewPipe is a free and open-source YouTube client for Android devices that was first released in 2015. The app was created and maintained by Team NewPipe, headed by Christian Schabesberger.
They were increasingly frustrated with the official YouTube app’s ads and privacy policies. So, they created an alternative allowing users to watch YouTube videos without interruptions or tracking.
NewPipe is popular among the Open-Source community. Since the source code is available on the team’s GitHub page, anyone can access and modify its source code.
Since its release, NewPipe has undergone several updates and improvements, including background playback, video downloading, and additional customization.
They also expanded compatibility to include other streaming services like PeerTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and media.ccc.de.
Let’s look at some of NewPipe’s key features and how they compare to the YouTube App.
Ad blocking is at the heart of NewPipe’s feature set.
YouTube displays ads to generate revenue. Part of the revenue goes to the content creators, while the rest goes to YouTube. NewPipe blocks ads, allowing users to enjoy an ad-free viewing experience without interruptions.
The official YouTube app displays ads before and during videos unless you’re subscribed to YouTube Premium. As someone who spends a lot of time on YouTube, this takes me out of the video and disrupts the flow of the content.
YouTube Premium subscribers can access ad-free viewing…for an $ 11.99-a-month subscription fee.
As an added benefit, NewPipe’s ad-blocking feature prevents YouTube from tracking user data to display personalized ads. Because YouTube uses user data to display targeted ads, NewPipe’s ad-blocking feature can help privacy-conscious users watch videos without sharing their data with third-party advertisers.
Download YouTube Videos
If you’re a YouTube Premium subscriber, the official YouTube app lets you download videos for offline viewing. Regular users are out of luck.
It’s worth mentioning that third-party software programs let you download videos on your PC. However, this is an additional step that most users don’t want to go through.
In contrast, NewPipe allows users to download videos for offline viewing without requiring a premium subscription.
NewPipe also offers more flexibility when it comes to downloading videos. Users can choose their preferred video quality, format and even download multiple videos simultaneously.
Here’s another feature I like about NewPipe that’s only found in YouTube Premium.
The official YouTube app only allows audio playback when the app is in the foreground. This means that users can’t use other apps or lock their device while listening to a YouTube video on the official app.
NewPipe allows users to play YouTube videos in the background, even when the app is not open. This means that users can listen to audio from a YouTube video while using another app.
No Google API = Better Privacy
NewPipe doesn’t use the official Google API but instead uses a proprietary API.
This is significant for a few reasons.
Since the YouTube API is restricted (e.g., locked down), the official YouTube app requires all users to have a Google account. NewPipe uses its own internal API, which means you don’t need a Google account.
This also applies to the other streaming services that NewPipe supports, like SoundCloud.
Additionally, since NewPipe and its API are free and open-source software, it doesn’t use any Google frameworks, such as Google Play Services.
That means you can use NewPipe on rooted devices or Android boxes that don’t have Google apps installed.
Like the official YouTube app, NewPipe allows you to subscribe to channels, so you’re notified whenever they post a new video.
NewPipe does not offer a subscription feature in the traditional sense, however. Since you’re not signed in, none of your existing subscriptions will follow you into the NewPipe Android TV app.
Instead, you’ll have to individually subscribe to each channel.
This isn’t the best solution if you subscribe to dozens of channels like me. In my opinion, subscriptions are one of the few places NewPipe has no advantage over the official YouTube app.
Bookmarks allow NewPipe users to save and organize their favorite videos and channels for easy access. Users can create and name bookmarks and add videos or channels with just a few clicks.
This can be useful if you want to keep track of their favorite content but don’t necessarily want to subscribe to the channel.
You can sort bookmarks by name or date and search for specific videos or channels within the bookmarks folders. This can make it easier for users to find the content they want to watch without scrolling through their entire list of bookmarks.
Like the official YouTube app, NewPipe’s History feature allows users to keep track of their viewing history. Whenever a user watches a video on NewPipe, it is automatically added to their history, which can be accessed from the app’s main menu.
This allows users to easily find and re-watch videos they have previously viewed without searching for them again. This can be especially useful for users who want to revisit a tutorial or educational video or watch a favorite video again.
It’s worth noting this tab will only include content that you watched in NewPipe. Since you’re not signing in with your Google account, NewPipe won’t have access to your entire YouTube history.
How to Install NewPipe on Android TV
For obvious reasons, NewPipe can’t be found in the Google Play Store.
However, it can be downloaded from their official website and sideloaded on your Android TV and Google TV devices.
To start, open the Downloader app. If you need it or need to figure out what it is, check out my overview of the Downloader app here.
In the search bar, enter the following:
This will take you to their official website.
Scroll down and click on the Get NewPipe button.
There will be two options for downloading NewPipe. The first is the current version, which works on Android 5 and higher, and the second is for legacy versions of Android 4.
While it’s nice that they still support versions of Android that are that old, we will be clicking on the first option.
That will automatically start the download process.
Click Install to continue.
Once the installation finishes, you can open NewPipe from here or from your app drawer.
How to Sign in to NewPipe
NewPipe does not offer a sign-in feature. Since NewPipe is an independent, third-party app, it doesn’t link to any Google or YouTube accounts.
The benefit of this is that users can watch YouTube without signing in. However, it also means your NewPipe activity is separate from your activity on the official YouTube app or website.
Not having a sign-in feature makes NewPipe more appealing to users concerned about privacy. It allows them to watch YouTube content without having to share their data or personal information.
How to Update NewPipe
NewPipe isn’t available on the Google Play Store, so you can’t update it through the usual method for updating apps on Android devices.
Instead, users must manually download and install the latest version of NewPipe from the official NewPipe website or a trusted third-party app store.
To update NewPipe, follow these steps:
- Check the version of NewPipe you currently have installed on your device. To do this, open the app and go to “Settings”> “About”> “NewPipe.”
- Visit the official NewPipe website or a trusted third-party app store to check if a new version is available. You can also sign up for the NewPipe mailing list to receive notifications when new versions are released.
- Download the latest version of NewPipe from the official NewPipe website or a trusted third-party app store. Make sure to download the correct version for your device’s operating system.
- Install the new version of NewPipe by following the installation instructions provided with the download.
- Once the installation is complete, open the app and check that you have the latest version by going to “Settings”> “About”> “NewPipe.”
Is NewPipe Illegal?
Blocking ads on YouTube is not illegal in itself. Users can use ad-blocking software or apps to block ads on websites and online platforms, including YouTube.
However, it is important to note that using ad-blocking software or apps to block YouTube ads may violate the platform’s terms of service. YouTube’s terms of service state that users are not allowed to use any software or technology that interferes with the ads served on the platform.
While blocking ads on YouTube is not illegal, users who violate the platform’s terms of service could have their accounts suspended or terminated.
Additionally, content creators on YouTube rely on ad revenue to support their channels. Blocking ads on their videos can negatively impact their earnings and ability to create content.
Wrapping It Up
NewPipe is a must-have app for anyone looking to enjoy an uninterrupted and privacy-focused viewing experience on their Android TV.
With its ad blocking, background playback, and other features, NewPipe makes your YouTube viewing experience more enjoyable.
Plus, since it is open-source and not linked to any Google or YouTube accounts, you can use it without restrictions or fees.
Whether you’re watching music videos, tutorials, or your favorite YouTubers, NewPipe can provide you with the ad-free, personalized viewing experience you’ve been looking for.
If NewPipe isn’t the ad-free YouTube app you want, check out my review of SmartTubeNext.
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