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The Android YouTube app by Google used to be a decent way to view YouTube videos. Now it has so much advertising that many find it tedious and unusable.

Is there an Android app that plays YouTube videos, but without all the ads and interruptions?

Requirements:

  1. Runs on Android
  2. No advertising videos (one banner ad acceptable, but strongly prefer to have none)
  3. Ability to search for videos to watch (not just a playlist viewer)

Preferences:

  1. No advertising at all
  2. Gratis (free of charge)
  3. Open-source
  4. Ability to view what's popular or trending
  • I wasn't even aware youtube had adverts until one day when showing someone else a video on their computer. Ad block plus for the win! – Criggie Mar 17 '16 at 0:42
  • YouTube has an official ad-free version, but it is paid. Its called YouTube Red. – Irena Jackobs Jun 5 '17 at 14:20
2

AdBlock Plus for Android will work just like AdBlock Plus for your desktop browser, but for all apps on your phone.

The app works with the same huge filtering lists that you have on your computer, and blocks network requests to the blacklisted domains via a local proxy server. When all of the phone's network requests go through the adblocker proxy, ads will be blocked on the YouTube app as well.

The app's setup time may vary depending on your OS (rooted/not rooted) and on your tech skills. I won't go through the whole process here.

Remarks:
1. The app isn't available in the Play Store. Use the above link to download the APK.
2. Tip: if your phone isn't rooted and you try to use adblock over your data plan (all connections except WiFi) you'll see adblock users say it's impossible due to limitations in the newer versions of Android. However if you set your proxy host to 127.0.0.1 and not localhost it should work (don't forget to set proxy port e.g. 2020).

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  • This blocks video ads in YouTube? Specifically, the forced advertisement videos that appear before the video the user is actually trying to watch? – RockPaperLizard May 8 '15 at 21:36
  • Yes, as it blocks the network request to the ad host. – Nadav S. May 8 '15 at 21:43
  • I'd add that if your phone is rooted an even better option is to edit the phone's hosts file to block ads without eating phone memory & CPU as the app isn't needed in this case. Let me know if you're interested – Nadav S. May 8 '15 at 21:47
  • Thanks Nadav. Have you tried either of these techniques? My understanding is that YouTube serves the video ads from their own servers, making both of those techniques non-functional. Do you have a different experience? – RockPaperLizard May 8 '15 at 23:15
  • It does block the ads as they're coming from a different host (otherwise desktop browser blocking wouldn't be possible as well). HOWEVER, after a little research I saw that actually for an unrooted device it won't block because apps aren't forced to use the proxy server. But if yours is rooted, it is supposed to block ads (you may have to use another app to force connection to the proxy but I'm not sure about it). Mine isn't rooted so I can't confirm it. – Nadav S. May 9 '15 at 11:14
0

Try to install Firefox as the default Android browser: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/android/

Then choose an ad-block application and that's it. But beware. Some apps might slow down your phone.

This works for banners.

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  • 1
    What ad-block application will stop video ads in YouTube? – RockPaperLizard Mar 28 '15 at 19:51
  • Do you refer to those 5 - secs short video ads or to those annoying banners? All ad-blockers should work for banners, but I am not sure for those short videos. – Axx Mar 28 '15 at 21:40
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    I'm referring to the video ads of any length. I frequently get 30 seconds video ads, which completely ruin the experience. If I wanted to watch ads, I'd watch TV instead! – RockPaperLizard Mar 29 '15 at 5:44
  • This method works for banners. I would be interested too in removing those video ads. – Axx Mar 29 '15 at 8:12
0

I would recommend NetMBuddy:

  • APK file available
  • no ads anyway
  • music/video player, search items, playlists, …
  • free of charge
  • free software (Apache2 licence)

It was removed from the Google Play store, so I would advise you to install it (and every other app) via the F-Droid app "store".

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  • Why do you recommend installing every app from the F-Droid app-store? – RockPaperLizard Mar 29 '15 at 17:59
  • 1
    F-Droid only hosts FLOSS-apps, you don't need a login, and antifeatures (like ads, tracking, non-free services/addons/dependencies) are clearly flaged! ...further more you can set up your own reposetory (it's a bit like your own app-store), or also easily share apps from phone to phone via NFC, Bluetooth or http(s)! – DJCrashdummy Mar 29 '15 at 18:24

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