YouTube is shutting down version 2 of its API, effecitvely killing the support for devices that have YouTube apps that haven’t been updated to use the newer version. This includes many ‘Smart’ TVs, and of course the first iPad.

The YouTube API is used to search for, and serve videos to your devices. The version 2 of the API provided limited ad support to YouTube, which makes the site run. That combined with a declining number of users of the old API version, made YouTube decide to shut down the old version. This saves on a lot of maintenance on their part.

This decision leaves many parents without a working YouTube app on their old, passed down iPad 1s. The first iPad is stuck at iOS 5.1 and starting from iOS 6 Apple no longer provides their own YouTube app, nor will Apple update the old YouTube app to use the newer version of the YouTube API.

YouTube suggests using the mobile version of their website, but considering that the Safari browser on the first iPad is also no longer maintained and has many unfixed security issues, this is not a good path to take.

Fortunately there seems to be a workaround to install an older version of the official YouTube app on your iPad 1:

  1. purchase the official YouTube app on a supported device
  2. on your iPad 1 go to App Store » Purchased
  3. search for YouTube
  4. click the download button

Your iPad will ask you to download an older version of the app, because the current version requires iOS 6.

  1. Confirm the download of the older version
  2. $$$ profit

This will install a new YouTube app on your iPad with an updated (but older) YouTube icon (white shield with black “You” and a red button with white “Tube”).

Enjoy while it lasts!