YouTube Vanced has given those who are annoyed by the ads and artificial limitations of the YouTube application the opportunity to watch videos without interruption, but Google seems to have managed to win the fight behind the scenes to close this alternative. The Vanced team recently announced that the app has been removed from the Internet, but will likely continue to run for the next few years, unless Google makes major changes to the official app. However, it seems that there are already several alternatives to receive functionality similar to YouTube Vanced, even in the absence of the old application.
Those who already used YouTube Vanced probably knew about the existence of YouTube Premium, so the suggestion to subscribe to the official services of Google is probably not one that will be taken into account. However, for 26 lei per month, you receive all the Premium benefits, ie the elimination of ads on all personal devices, picture-in-picture viewing, as well as background audio playback, even with the phone screen closed. Also included in the price is the YouTube Music service. There is also a version for the family, at 40 lei per month, where five accounts can be registered. (link)
However, if you don’t want to pay even 26 lei per month for these benefits, here are some alternatives:
The Newpipe application can be installed in APK format from the official website, or it can be downloaded from the F-Droid store. This is open source and an alternative client for YouTube. It’s not based on the official YouTube app, so it probably won’t be blocked like YouTube Vanced was.
Of course, it doesn’t have all the features, but it has the advantages of Vanced or Premium: it doesn’t display ads, it offers background playback and picture-in-picture. (link)
For those who don’t really want to use YouTube with an account, there’s SkyTube, a lighter YouTube client that blocks ads and plays content in the background. You can subscribe or save favorites, but they will not be linked to your Google Account, but will only be available in the app. (link)
Even the creators of YouTube Vanced recommend using the Brave browser as an alternative to their application. It includes an ad-blocker built into the Shields Up feature. The downside is that you have to go through the browser on YouTube, not through a dedicated app. (link)
Of course, for other browsers, such as Firefox, you can use other ad-blocking plugins. (link)
Also, using a VPN with an interactive ad-block, such as Adguard, recommended by the Vanced team, could provide a similar experience. If you install VPN on your home router, it will also block ads on your TV or other devices. (link)