Does Ads on YouTube make you mad? There is a way for that.
Do you watch YouTube a lot? Are you addicted to it, or just need it for your work?
Do the ads cause you a headache?
There is nothing better than suddenly showing an Ad in the middle of streaming from YouTube to a bigger audience (possibly on a bigger screen and using bigger, much louder audio equipment). This may ruin a lot and put distraction in time when you need people to concentrate on presented material (either video or just audio).
This may annoy you and others to the extent that you will think to pay this £11.99 per month for YouTube Premium only to get rid of this annoyance.
But what if I will tell you there is a better (and cheaper) way?
I need to warn you at the beginning. There is one thing that you need to have and another that you need to change in your daily workflow with YouTube.
The first thing is, you need to have an Apple device. Either iPhone, iPad or Mac to get this working. Sorry Android users, there may be a solution for you as well in Play Store, but as I am bonded to Apple devices will not be covering that here.
Second thing is, that you will need (optional) to resign from using the official YouTube app on your device and start using YouTube via default, Apple internet browser – Safari.
Before you stop reading further, let me explain to you why this is a good solution, and that over a short time this may not be such an inconvenience as you may first think! I am not using YouTube app since 1st December 2021 and believe me, I am more than happy when I am watching YouTube right now.
And yes! By doing this (what is explained below) you not giving creators, the ability to earn money from Ads. If you think it’s worth supporting any of them, there are other ways to do that, not only through Ads.
Resignation from the YouTube app is optional but highly recommended.
It’s recommended mostly because each time you click on a YouTube link (like sent to you in email or message), the app will “hijack” this request, and instead of opening it in a browser, it will open in the app automatically.
You will still be able to use YouTube like before. You will be able to log in to your Google account, have access to all your watch history, saved items, add likes, comments even share it further.
If you are reading further, I assume that you got an Apple device and you are willing to give it a go (including dumping the YouTube app).
Let me inform you, that this solution is not free. It will cost you £1.79 (up to a maximum of £2.49) once! No need to pay £11.99 or anything else monthly. This money is not paid to me. I am not getting a penny from that. You are supporting the original developer of it.
A bit of technical stuff. The idea of the app is to replace build in YouTube video player with a native video player based on HTML5
If you watched before any of the Apple Events you may visually remember how they are played on the website.
<video> tag with a source link to a video.
Vinegar app is doing exactly that same but with YouTube website. It is replacing “their” player with a native one, giving you a similar interface to other websites that display videos in that way.
What you gain thanks to that is the lack of advertisements that are pushed in various points during watching. As the player is streaming the required video to us, it is difficult to interrupt it without doing an additional job on the YouTube server side. Currently, it’s not easy for them to fight that, but don’t be surprised if in future this will change.
This is how it will look if you will open this video in Safari (screen from Mac).
Notice native controls on the bottom of the video and a new menu hovering above it where you can change the quality or switch into Audio only.
If you switch to audio-only, you will turn off video from your screen leaving sound running.
This will allow you to stream audio-only.
If you open this video in Safari on your iPhone, you can leave it on, lock the screen and the sound will still be flowing in the background.
If you would like to listen to something that is on YouTube only when you are travelling in your car, and you have Apple CarPlay available, this will give you another option to enjoy a YouTube Audio-only experience that the standard App will not offer.
Not only will you save your data on streaming audio-only, which is crucial if you are using a data plan, but you will also gain control on your lock screen.
You can also leave Safari open and go into different apps and sound will still be playing in the background!
Next to the arrow button (top left) that will make your video go full screen, you can click on picture-in-picture and your video will keep playing, hovering on top of other things that you may be doing in the meantime – like browsing Akashi website, because why not?
And this is why it’s crucial when you click on the above YouTube video link, you will not have YouTube App installed, as in another case the app will take control over.
Now you know why it was crucial to remove the YouTube app.
How about your YouTube experience in Browser then?
Here is how YouTube will look in your app on iPhone (left) and the same device through Safari (right).
Of course, you will notice firstly an Ad in the app, which was blocked by AdBlocker that I am using in Safari.
The app has a handy toolbar on the far bottom. Additionally offers an option to send push notifications when new content is released on the subscribed channel.
In Safari you got extra space eaten by the Safari address bar (that will hide when you will scroll the page) and the bottom bar sometimes will be there (like in the App), sometimes not when you scroll (bug in YouTube website design?).
Also, the app is presented in a handy shortcut in your iPhone/iPad Home Screen, where to enter YouTube via Safari, you need to head to Safari itself first and then go to YouTube bookmark.
Two steps, for some, will be one too many.
Luckily Safari is offering the ability to send a shortcut to our selected website into our device Home Screen. The icon will not look as pretty as a native App (this can be fixed with Apple Shortcut - not described here), but instead of two clicks, you will have a single, similar to when you open a native App.
There is another small “downside” of using YouTube over Safari. As I mentioned in the beginning, you will “need to change your daily workflow with YouTube” and this is why.
If somebody will send you a link to a YouTube video (over Messagener or another app), on iOS/iPad OS devices it will open in the preview window by default (not a full Safari).
The Vinegar app is an extension to Safari and extensions are not working in preview so you will see, that you will be presented with the website and their original player (with Ads).
To move from the preview window (depending on the app) you may need to use the Share Sheet menu (this square with an arrow pointing up) to Open in Safari or you will be presented with a Safari icon in the right bottom corner that will transfer you to the right Safari app.
Normally, when you will have your YouTube App installed it will redirect you (as I mentioned – “hijack”), and open it in the app. You will have limited ability to control this. If you got your app removed, then there are more options available.
This is the new “workflow” to which you will need to “retrain” your brain. It’s not easy, especially if you use an app for a long time, but if you are annoyed with Ads, over a short time you will understand the benefit of it – the lack of Ads, and this will drastically improve your experience with this website.
But, if a YouTube website can be modified like that, why not go a step further and use it on other websites that offer videos (mostly with Ads)?
The author of the Vinegar app created an additional app used for that purpose. It’s called [Baking Soda]((https://apps.apple.com/app/baking-soda-tube-cleaner/id1601151613). Yes, I know, the naming of the apps by Zhenyi Tan is unique.
This app has the same purpose as Vinegar for YouTube. It is replacing video players wherever possible (apart from YouTube itself) to the native using the
The app costs similarly to Vinegar – £1.79 but you can purchase both of them in a bundle Vinegar + Baking Soda for £2.49 (one-time purchase).
But that’s not all.
Multiple devices and Family Sharing
Vinegar and Baking Soda is also available for Mac computers. If you purchase it on one of your devices, you can install them in Safari on your Mac for free as the app (extension really) is made as a universal app.
Additionally, if you created a Family group across your Apple ID (I got myself, my wife and two kids) you can share these apps with them for free. They can install them from your purchases without the need to pay for them again.
Family Sharing allows you to share this app with up to six family members. When you think about that, the price that you paid is a real bargain (especially if you know that between 15-30% of its price is an Apple fee).
Have I convinced you or are you still hesitating?
I think it’s worth at least trying. If you decide to go with £1.79 for a single app or £2.49 for a bundle, it’s cheaper than YouTube Premium.
Of course, you can try YouTube Premium for free for a month before you will need to pay, so you can compare. Even though, I still think it’s worth giving Vinegar a chance.
If you don’t know if you need Vinegar only or both apps, you can purchase Vinegar right now and add Baking Soda later for £0.70 extra as an upgrade (which will give you a bundle price of £2.49).
A warning about fake apps
The author put a lot of effort into its app (extension) and is constantly maintaining it. His commitment justified the fact that the app is not free.
Since he released it, a couple of shifty developers stole part of the code of his app and released their app for free in the AppStore with shady privacy practices. Be aware of that. If you want to be sure, that the app is not doing anything else apart from what it was intended to do, always choose it from the right source.
- Vinegar in AppStore
- Baking Soda in AppStore
- Vinegar & Baking Soda Bundle in AppStore called Fizzy Water Bundle.
Fizzy Water… yes, another interesting name :)
Are you a Polish speaker? I mentioned Vinegar already in the Polish part of my website in a post: Ocet dobry na… YouTube