Mobile YouTube gets HTML5 speed bump

YouTube has announced a major update to its Internet service for mobile users.

The video streaming outfit which regularly tops the charts as the biggest presence on the web has cottoned on to the massive growth in Internet-capable mobile devices pioneered by the likes of Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, and has given wandering video fans some much-needed love.

The outfit reckons that mobile views of YouTube videos grew by 160 per cent last year and that it now streams more than 100 million clips of skateboarders damaging their testicles every day. That's around the same volume as grown-up YouTube experienced when it was snapped up by global superpower Google back in 2006.

Mobile YouTube launched in 2007 with just 1,000 videos but mobile browsers and hardware weren't really up to the job and the experience could be slow and frustrating to say the least.

Now with most modern handsets sporting large touchscreens and snappier HTML5-capable browsers, YouTube has launched a brand new mobile presence which it say is "really fast".

The user interface has also had a major overhaul with finger-freindly elements like the ability to mark clips as 'favourite', 'like' and 'unlike'.

While we're on the subject, perhaps YouTube would like to consider regionalising its content as those of us with a sensitive disposition to the English language might find the term 'Top Favorited' a bit hard to swallow.

We've had a quick fiddle with the new site at m.youtube.com and it does indeed seem considerably faster, with both menu screens and video clips loading almost instantaneously on an iPhone 4 using a pretty robust Wi-Fi connection. In fact it knocked the device's dedicated YouTube App into a cocked hat in terms of raw speed.

There's a demo video of the new service in action over on YouTube which is a bit misleading about download times in our experience but, all the same gives some idea of how the whole thing shapes up.