YouTube has announced that it will drop support for select devices from 2012 and earlier. That means the official YouTube apps will no longer work if you’ve got some older mobile devices, set-top-boxes, or smart TVs.

youtube leanback

So what devices are affected?

  • Apple TV 2nd-gen or earlier won’t be supported anymore.
  • Google TV version 2 or earlier are also dead to YouTube.
  • If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch it had better be able to run iOS 7 or later. If not, then you’re also out of luck.
  • Sony and Panasonic TVs and Blu-ray Disc players manufactured in 2012 or earlier will no longer be supported.

If you’ve got a smart TV or game console with a web browser that supports Flash and/or HTML5 you might still be able to access YouTube by visiting Youtube.com (or YouTube.com/tv) in a browser. But the official apps will only work on devices with newer software.

Google says the change comes as the company is updating its YouTube Data API. Got an older device? Starting in early May you’ll see a video letting you know that support has been discontinued when you fire up the YouTube app. After that, you’ll just get an error message.

Overall this is a good reminder of why it’s a good idea to spend $30 – $100 on a smart TV box like a Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, or Google Nexus Player instead of hundreds of dollars on a smart TV. If and when the hardware in your box is so dated that companies like Google decide to drop support, it’ll be a lot cheaper to upgrade your box than your TV.

Of course I suppose you could buy a latest-gen smart TV and get a few years of use out of it before augmenting it with the latest Roku if and when the built-in apps stop working.

via MacRumors

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14 replies on “YouTube drops support for older hardware (Apple TV, Google TV etc)”

  1. This app will bo longer work with my LG TV. I had to buy Chromecast in order to cast to my TV again, which is why I think Google removed the bluetooth casting option from the TV app in order to get consumers to buy Chro
    mecast. I think its time for us consumers to contact the Federal Trade Commision, and our elected officials, to get the FTC to file anti-trust charges against Google like it did to Microsoft.

  2. Looks like Google is learning from Apple how to spin the Wheel of Quick Obsolescence.

  3. And this is why a smart TV with built-in CPU is a bad idea, people. When I buy a TV, I use it for 8-10 years. Good thing I bought a “dumb” TV and use a Meegopad T01 instead 🙂

  4. But those TV boxes are being unsupported too, so neither are a better option. It’s only an argument against going out specifically to replace a TV with a smart TV. But as people have noted, smart TVs are standard these days. So $30-$100 for an outdated box, versus $0 extra cost for the TV, which is less? (As noted in the article, if the smart TV becomes out of date, you always have the option to add a TV box at a later date.) And my LG smart TV happily supports video over the web.

    The way I use Youtube is to browse on my Windows/Android device, and then throw it to the TV via DLNA, and that doesn’t rely on poorly supported website-wrapper apps. I sometimes use my TV’s applications if they provide additional features, but using DLNA to stream works great, and if I need further flexibility, the desktop PC plugged into it works far better than some TV box that has the same problems as the smart TV (I don’t want to have to replace a $100 TV box every 2 years just because of Google!)

  5. Couldn’t they just provide some sort of legacy support? 3 years (max) is too short of a shelf-life for most products. They could just limit support for older videos if need be (I remember when browising on a tablet that newer (i.e. I’m guessing html5) videos worked while older ones (I’m guessing flash that was never updated to html5) refused to work due to no flash plug-in installed.

    And as others said, it seems that all high end TVs nowadays are Smart so if you want 3D or UHD or just a quality one, it will be smart. Of course that doesn’t mean you have to use it and can just connect an external device to provide a fuller, more complete “smart” experience.

    But yeah, this sucks. I gave my grandmother an old Android tablet (so she could get used to using a tablet) and now I might be forced to upgrade her to something newer if this ends up applying to old Android devices as well…)

    And couldn’t they just push an updated app to GoogleTV devices? They are GOOGLE devices after all… supposedly running on Android which is capable of updating apps individually…

  6. it is a real shame as some of these devices were still sold even into 2014. Meaning a device you bought is gimped in 12 months…ridiculous.

    I noticed my GS7’s youtube app “updated” to some atrocious sony flavoured YT app and I have been watching less YT on the tv because of it.

    I think moving to an HTPC will be the only answer going forward…set top boxes / steam boxes either are always missing “one thing” or lack long term support.

  7. Ridiculous. I am slowly drifting away from Google. The bigger they get, the scarier they get.

  8. wow this is why I use my cheap little windows tablet instead of those piece of rubbish SmartTV and boxes

  9. I agree about smart TV’s being a poor choice, but dropping support for older smart TVs and Blue-Ray players could have the potential to backfire on them. People know that it is expected that tablets and phones will get upgraded every few years, but a lot people expect to get 10 years or more out of a Blue-ray player or TV.

  10. Smart TVs are dumb. Beyond the lack of support/security updates, some just outright spy on you or let third parties spy on you (looking at you Samsung). Too bad you rarely have a choice if you are buying a quality TV these days. The only way I know to get good quality without the “smart” part is to buy a professional display, but those are really big bucks. Next best thing is to run one update when you first bring it home then (as long as it is working correctly) never let it connect to your network again. Roku gives you more choices then you could ever use and their most expensive box is $100.

    1. I don’t see any evidence that overall TVs are more likely to spy than TV boxes, or less likely to be supported or receive security. No problems with my LG.

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