Tube Downloader is a new universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that let’s you browse video sites around the web and download the videos to save locally on your iOS device. The app developed by Apps2be works with most video sites, except for the biggest one, YouTube. The user interface isn’t perfect but it functions as advertised, and converts the formats in real time to work on your device. It can be useful for downloading videos over WiFi and watching them over 3G, or in airplane mode.
Once you run the Tube Downloader app you’ll find five tabs. The main area is the built in web browser. Here the app gives you a list of bookmarks you can use for major video sites like Veoh, Metacafe, Break, Vimeo and more. You can also enter any URL yourself and surf to that site. Once you try to play a video, Tube Downloader prompts you with a pop-up message for downloading the video file. You have the option of giving the file a local name or just keep the original filename.
Your active downloads are shown in the download tab along with a progress bar and time remaining. You can pause and resume downloads using a red button. If you close Tube Downloader while downloads are in progress you’ll see a notification number on its icon showing you how many are still in progress. The app actually continues your downloads in the background which is nice.
Your video files are stored in the Files tab. You can tap any video to watch it inside the app. You can delete files, create new folders, move files into them and rename things as you want. The app also gives you the option to export the file to your iPhone’s Camera Roll.
Sorting is provided by name, size and date. Though you can sort by size, the app doesn’t display the file sizes in the File section. In the Settings tab you can setup a password lock and disable the download tips. If you setup a password, you’ll have to enter it before you can use the app next time. If you setup a passcode and forget it, you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall the app which results in losing all your downloads. Here you can also change the number of simultaneous downloads to anywhere form 1 to 10 connections.
Since Tube Downloader is a universal app, it works great on the iPad as well. The user interface is pretty much identical on the iPad. The videos you download are stored on the device and don’t sync across to your other devices. Also the video quality of the downloaded files are mobile versions and are the same on both the iPhone and iPad, meaning you’ll notice a slightly lesser video quality when using the iPad.
Note: If you’re buying the Tube Downloader app to specifically download videos from YouTube, don’t waste your money. The app does not support YouTube although it works with pretty much any other website. Here’s the message you get once you install the app, which you can also view at the following url http://tubedlapp.com/startpage/. Finally, there is a 3rd party iPhone app called MxTube which does support downloading from YouTube but you have to jailbreak your device.
Overall, Tube Downloader can be a good app if you want to store some videos for offline viewing. This is also one of those apps that might probably get pulled from the App Store soon considering copyrights and all, so grab it while you can.
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