App #28: TubeBox Pro for YouTube [REVIEW]

**Update February 18, 2013

Great news! Thanks to reader Justin, it looks like TubeBox Pro has be re-released under a new name: Instatube. Go download it while it’s free and available!

**Update February 4, 2013

This post seems to be getting a lot of hits, so I thought I’d better update it. It looks like Apple has pulled TubeBox from the AppStore. Fortunately for those who downloaded it, they will still be able to use it fully with all its features listed below. If you missed it, there seems to be a influx of these types of apps appearing.

*Update! December 4, 2012. Google has finally released an iPad version of the YouTube app. You are now able to search for it in the App store. However, despite this, the ability of saving videos and playing them offline makes TubeBox Pro still superior.


iPad owners will notice that there currently is no official YouTube app installed on their devices. TubeBox Pro is a great third-party YouTube app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. TubeBox presents a great new way to watch (and save) YouTube videos on your devices. It is currently costs $1.99USD (a cheaper, $.99 version is available as well, with ads). I currently have 10 promo codes of TubeBox Pro for you. Instructions on how to win them are at the bottom of this post.

A few months ago, I told you about Downloader Elite (now called Media Downloader). A great feature of that app was the ability to download YouTube videos and save them to Camera Roll. Since then, however, its developers have updated the app to remove that ability. Those of you who were able to download it before the update (and have not updated since) still can save any YouTube video.

When Apple released iOS 6, they removed the native YouTube app off the devices of everyone who upgraded, due to the end of licensing agreements between Apple and Google. YouTube did release an iPhone app, which still works quite well. As of the time of this writing, for some reason, an official YouTube iPad app has not been released. You can use the iPhone app on your iPad, and while the videos look fine, the menus and playlists definitely look grainy while scaled to fit the iPad screen.

TubeBox, a fine YouTube viewer

I have found myself using TubeBox everyday, both at work and at home. Within TubeBox, you have the capability to save any videos directly to your device for offline viewing. This, again, is a great feature, especially for those of us who like to view the same videos over and over without using any bandwidth (wifi or data). For commuters, watching your favorite YouTube videos would even work on non-data devices, like the iPod touch and wifi iPad.

The home screen shows you all the “Playlists” that you can create and name. The default folders are “Featured, Favorites, and My Videos”. These are fully editable to be named anything you’d like. You can have as little or as many playlists you want. As teachers, you can divide your saved videos to subject or grade, just like within YouTube.

Another great thing about having your videos saved to your Camera Roll is that you can import them into movie making apps such as iMovie or Pinnacle. The opportunities seem endless, as you can create your own movies and incorporate little scenes from almost anything imaginable.

All of your YouTube playlists are available. So if you do not have a need to save any videos locally, you can just surf YouTube as you normally would on your computer.

A common task I like to do during my free time is view “New Subscription Videos”. This view lets me keep up with any recent updates by the people I follow on YouTube.

More Features of TubeBox:

  1. To save a video, simply tap the + sign. The video will then be added to the downloads list, upon which you can designate which folder you want to put it in.
  2. Playlists are continuous, meaning you can just let the videos play one after another, without having to press play multiple times.
  3. You can play TubeBox in the background; if you just want music played, you can use other apps at the same time.
  4. Another cool task you can accomplish with your saved is open them in other apps (see the screenshot below). Essentially, you can now save these videos in services such as Goodreader, Dropbox and Evernote. I tested this out: I saved a 3 minute video onto a Dropbox folder and watched it on another device. Worked great!

School Uses

As previously mentioned in my Downloader Elite post, here are some uses for saving videos:

  • Teachers can show videos to their students without relying on the wifi connection;
  • Parents can show their children appropriate videos while on an airplane or on a road trip;
  • Mobile teachers (travelling, non-classroom owning teachers, like myself) do not have to worry about internet connectivity or any streaming issues; Some classrooms may not have wifi readily available;
  • There will be absolutely no lag as these videos are completely saved onto the devices;
  • No use of bandwidth, no need for wifi (watch the videos countless times without worrying about data usage!);
  • Private music teachers/tutors can portably take any video of their choosing and use them in their teaching when on the road;
  • Create an iMovie project for students to make videos. They can incorporate small YouTube clips into it by saving them first to Camera Roll (legality issues notwithstanding);

A small request for this app would be the ability to share links to videos via email, Twitter, or Message, like you can in the YouTube app. Often, when I teach guitar, we look for videos of songs to play with and I send video links to the students so that they can practice at home. Hopefully this will come in a future release.


TubeBox (iTunes link) is a must-have for YouTube users. The abilities to save your favorite videos to your Camera Roll and then edit them in iMovie make it a superb app. I think this is without a doubt the best YouTube client available. There are a lot of other paid YouTube players, but there is absolutely no need to try them out with the availability of TubeBox.

3 easy instructions for my promo code giveaway:

  1. Follow me on Twitter (so I can DM you the promo code if you win);
  2. Leave a comment below about how you would use the app;
  3. Tweet, Facebook Share, or Pinterest this (or any) post with the hashtag #teachingwithipad;

This will close on Tuesday, December 4th. I will choose 10 people and let them know through Twitter Direct Message. If you don’t have a Twitter account, leave your email address in the comments. Good luck!

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandy says:

    My 6 year old daughter has down syndrome and we watch all sorts of ABC videos together as well as Barney, Gigglebellies and elmo, etc. This app would be great for us for more organization.

  2. Sharon Nelson says:

    I would set up a playlist of slideshows with instrumental backgrounds to be used as background music while student fork on self-guided projects. I’d create the playlist just long enough to fill the class.

  3. clear1048 says:

    My kids love watching Lego animations, but I would use it to save sports tips for my sons (baseball and football) to compare while on the field (wifi only for my iPad)

  4. clear1048 says:

    My kids love to watch Lego animations, but I would use it to bring sports training tips out to the field on my WiFi iPad.

  5. Luc Therrien says:

    I would use it in a physical education class setting. I could show my students videos of skill they are learning and mastering (Volleyball skills, basketball skills etc.)

  6. GiingY says:

    I am the sort of person who watches things over and over and over…
    It is a real turn off when the video keeps having to ‘load’ and ‘buffer’
    This app could possibly solve all my problems!!

  7. Martin says:

    Could you please tell me if it gives you the option to choose the video quality when you download a video? Thank you very much

    1. Yes. You have the following options for video quality:

      I’m sure it will also depend on the uploaders original upload quality as well.


  8. Emily says:

    I downloaded tubebox a week or so ago when it was free (on both my iPhone and my iPad.) I was syncing my phone today and iTunes froze and would not complete the sync. When I tried again later in the day, suddenly my phone went into recovery mode and restored to factory settings. I was able to restore it to a previous backup, but I noticed that a good twenty or so apps that I have downloaded recently are missing. I went to the app store to redownload my apps, but tubebox is no longer in the app store… Any idea what happened to it? I’m pretty bummed because I had already made up some rather large playlists.

    1. Emily says:

      At least it’s still on my iPad, but I’m afraid if I sync it or update to iOS 6.1 it will disappear.

    2. Did you try going into the “Purchased” tab on your iPhone App Store? Let me know. Tubebox should be there for a free download. You will unfortunately lose your saved video files though.

      1. Emily says:

        Yes, it seems to be completely gone from the App Store currently, even in the purchased section. I guess it’s no longer for sale.

      1. Thanks Justin
        I updated the post, as well as posted a new review for Instatube!

  9. Ian says:

    How do I delete videos from the app? It’s probably ridiculously obvious, but I can’t seem to work it out!!!

    1. Tap on the left of the video and slide your finger to the right. The red delete button will appear.

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