YouTube has stopped supporting devices that make use of the second version of its Data API. In practice the move, which was announced more than a year ago, is forcing users to look into alternative ways of watching YouTube videos, and likely also taking many by surprise.
For those who are not familiar with it, YouTube's Data APIallows developers to implement YouTube functionality into their apps. The second version is mostly used on older devices, with the list including TVs, smartphones, tablets, Blu-Ray disc players and more. Here's what you should do, if you're affected.
First off, even if you have an older device, that does not automatically mean that it will be impacted by the move to Data API v3 (the version currently supported). Google says that only "select devices" made in 2012 and before are affected. However,the list is rather comprehensive.
It includes iOS devices that cannot be upgraded to iOS 7 and iOS 8, which means that a lot of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users are being left out. Similarly, first and second-generation Apple TV are also unsupported.
Of course, if you are toting iOS devices that can be upgraded to iOS 7 and newer, you should do so right away. Same goes for third-generation Apple TV, for which there is an update available which installs a compatible YouTube app.
Google also lists its own Google TV, version 3 and 4, as unsupported. The search giant recommends updating the YouTube app, but if your device is rocking an earlier Google TV version, then you're out of luck.
Panasonic and Sony Blu-ray disc players and TVs also made Google's list. Again, Google's advice is to upgrade to a newer software version, if available. Or, if that's not possible, the search giant also recommends trying to access YouTube through the browser, which has to support Adobe Flash and/or HTML5.
There is, however, another alternative, and that is to use third-party YouTube apps. Their developers are more enticed to switch to Data API v3, and thus allow you to keep enjoying watching YouTube going forward. You can check out the app store on your device for such apps.