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FILE PHOTO: YouTube unveils their new paid subscription service at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los AngelesThomson Reuters

Some apps have earned their place on my phone’s home screen by being vital to my work.Other apps offer a fun distraction that make tedious times, like my commute, more manageable.

ProTube, a third-party YouTube app I started using in 2015, has remained on my home screen because of one important feature: It lets me play the YouTube videos in the background while I use other apps.

There are plenty of other reasons I prefer ProTube, but background video playback is by far the most important

In some ways, ProTube and the official YouTube App for iOS are identical. Both apps have Chromecast support, can show you popular videos, and let you manage your YouTube subscriptions. But ProTube, as the name suggests, also includes some “pro” features that the official YouTube app doesn’t have.

For example, ProTube allows you to set the default playback quality of videos when you’re on a cellular connection. The official YouTube app only lets you set the default playback quality while on Wi-Fi. This is to save people from quickly using up their mobile data, but I have an unlimited data plan, so this restriction is a little annoying. ProTube also offers more options if you’re interested in finding popular videos pertaining to a specific topic.

The official YouTube app breaks its “trending” section into: music, gaming, news, and live. ProTube’s categories include a general popular video section, with the option to view popular videos about: music, cars, sports, comedy, gaming, entertainment, film and animation, science and technology, animals and pets, how-to, people and blogs, travel and events, education, news and politics.

Having more categories makes it easier to find content you want to watch among the thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube every day.

Still, I wouldn’t have even thought to look for a third-party YouTube client had the official app supported background video playback. It was frustrating to start a video only to have it instantly stop playing the moment I turned off my phone’s screen, or hit the home button.

Some videos, including comedy sketches, speeches, and monologues, work just as well or better when experienced as audio only. I could go through the process of downloading the video to my computer, stripping its audio, and syncing the audio to my phone, but is that really necessary?

With ProTube, I can find a video, tap it, then go on using whatever app I’d like; the video will keep playing until I try to play video or audio from another app. This is especially useful if I want to listen to a YouTube video while driving, which is a situation where I can’t play a video.

For people who have also found themselves frustrated by the limitations of the official YouTube app, ProTube may be the solution you’re looking for. If YouTube is one of your main sources of entertainment, you owe it to yourself to check this app out.

ProTube, $2.99

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