Elias Pelcastre

You’ve got to try this free YouTube Red alternative for Android

You know I love YouTube Red, right? The fact that you can watch a video, exit the app, and keep listening to the audio just to open YouTube again and resume watching as nothing happened is pretty awesome.

I also love finding alternatives that don’t require a monthly subscription and that offer an almost-exact Red experience. This time I think I found one that’s really cool.

NewPipe lets you search YouTube for a music clip, a funny stand-up act or an interview – anything you like – and watch it in the background as a floating window or even enjoy the audio while your phone or tablet’s screen is off.

Free YouTube Red alternative

Granted, NewPipe’s background playback capabilities don’t kick in automatically after you start a video and exit the app; you have to tap the “Popup” icon to open a floating window, of the background option to, well, play the audio in the background.

But NewPipe’s cherry on top will make you give the app a chance: a download option that lets you save any video to your device’s internal or SD storage. Not even the new YouTube Go lets you do this.

Tap the three-dotted menu on the main screen lets you choose the resolution of the clips you download, select the country, let’s say YouTube US, and choose the download destination (your SD card or your internal storage), among other things.

NewPipe is a YouTube replacement: you can’t just open the app and get tailored recommendations or see what’s trending. You get a plain gray screen with a search icon on the top right. That means you will have to manually look for the content you want to watch on the background or download. (I don’t like that very much, to be honest.)

But come on, if you want the full YouTube Red experience, just pay the 9.99 a month. I think NewPipe is a cool nice-to-have option for when a tenner a month is better spent elsewhere.

You can download NewPipe here as an APK (you guessed it, it’s not in the Play Store) for your Android device. Just remember to enable the “Unknown sources” button on your phone or tablet’s general settings.