YouTube Thursday announced an expansion of its mobile applications that significantly expands the number of supported cell phone technologies that can support the viewing of its tens of millions of videos.
YouTube for Mobile, previously only available through deals with Verizon, Helio and Apple, can now be used on phones that can run video streaming and are supported by any 3G operator. That amounts to about 100 million devices worldwide, according to YouTube.
In addition to gaining access to YouTube's mobile video catalogue, new YouTube for Mobile features will let users personalize their use of the videos. For example, mobile users can access their accounts and YouTube Favorites, Videos and Channels. Another new feature allows mobile users to directly upload video from mobile devices.
The update also lets users rate and comment on videos directly from mobile phones, YouTube added.
The new mobile offerings will be available to users in 17 countries in 11 languages.
In related news, YouTube Thursday also announced a Java version of YouTube for Mobile that can be downloaded for free on a limited number of on J2ME MIDP2 cell phone devices with streaming video capabilities. Now in beta and available only in the U.S. and the U.K., the application is initially available for Sony Ericsson k800, w880, Nokia e65, n95, n73, 6110 navigator and 6120 classic devices.
Ricky Cadden, who writes the Symbian-Guru blog, noted that the YouTube mobile application is "slick" and added that because it supports the uploading of videos from a mobile device, mobile users "can post longer, better quality videos (thought the YouTube 10 min/100MB limit still stands) through your mobile."