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Friday, March 1, 2024

The perfect YouTube apps, extensions, and tweaks it is best to get

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Hello, mates! Welcome to Installer No. 16, your information to the perfect and Verge-iest stuff on the planet. (In case you’re new right here, welcome to our pleasant nook of the web, sorry about all of the productiveness apps, and likewise, you’ll be able to learn all of the {old} editions on the Installer homepage.) 

Hope you all had a terrific vacation, or no less than a terrific week with one fewer electronic mail in your inbox. This week, I’ve been testing Supernotes as a each day diary app, studying about what it takes to make an iPhone in India and whatever “gamified theater” is, unsubscribing to each model that despatched me a “Blissful Holidays!” electronic mail, looking for video games to play on my new Backbone controller, watching Mike Birbiglia’s wonderful The Old Man and the Pool particular (and listening to his podcast, Working It Out), and ramping up my vacation film watching in an enormous manner. 

I even have for you a brand new truck ( which one), some enjoyable year-end wrap-ups, a few new reveals to observe this weekend, lots of concepts for making YouTube a saner place, some cool AI initiatives, and extra. 

As at all times, the perfect a part of Installer is your concepts and suggestions. What do you wish to know extra about? What superior tips have you learnt that everybody else ought to? What app ought to everybody be utilizing? Inform me every part: installer@theverge.com. And if another person who may take pleasure in Installer, ahead it to them and inform them to subscribe here.)

We’re a little bit extra entertainment-heavy than traditional this week as a result of ’tis the season I suppose. However plenty of enjoyable stuff to get to. Let’s go.

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The Drop

  • The Tesla Cybertruck. It lastly launched! Ish! I’ve spent so many hours gazing and speaking about this factor for the final 4 years, and I nonetheless can’t resolve if I like or hate the design. Slowly however absolutely, it appears to be like like we’re about to begin seeing them within the wild — and till then MKBHD’s 40-minute video must do. Additionally, if you happen to purchased one… wanna street journey?
  • iA Writer 7. I love the best way this writing app integrates ChatGPT: it detects once you’re pasting in generated content material and prompts you to notice what’s human and what’s AI, and it treats AI extra as a “assist me brainstorm and suppose” device than a “simply write this for me” one. Tons of intelligent UI, and I feel precisely the best method.
  • Godzilla Minus One. This seems like a more complex movie than your common monster flick, however in a very great way. And simply from the trailers and footage I’ve seen, this one’s going to be price viewing on an enormous display screen simply to see the best way director Takashi Yamazaki depicts the beast itself. 
  • Spotify Wrapped. All of the year-in-review stuff appears to have kicked off this week — YouTube, Apple Music, Pocket Casts, and extra — however Spotify’s simply higher at this than everyone else. The AI-powered “DJ: Wrapped” characteristic has been a very enjoyable technique to journey again by all of the bizarre stuff TikTok received me into this yr.
  • Apple’s and Google’s apps of the yr. That is the opposite year-end supply of fine stuff: the app retailer lists are at all times a mixture of highly regarded apps you undoubtedly already know and a smattering of actually cool, unknown stuff. I’m loving Stumble Guys to this point, and the way did I not find out about Mubi earlier than?
  • Teenage Engineering’s EP-133 KO II. I’m probably not a musician, however I discover myself desperately wanting the brand new $299 KO II, which is each a cool music-making machine and only a attractive set of buttons and knobs. (I received a bunch of crap in our feedback for calling it a synthesizer and never a sampler, which, honest! Sampler is extra correct. However the distinction is blurry, and it doesn’t actually matter — this factor appears to be like enjoyable it doesn’t matter what you name it.)
  • Dot Social. This is likely to be the primary “model” podcast I’ve ever really useful right here. Nevertheless it’s a great one! Flipboard is all in on the fediverse and the open net, and CEO Mike McCue’s plan is to speak to good folks about it. The 2 episodes are with among the smartest folks on this area, and so they’re each wonderful.
  • Obliterated. Apparently, this new Netflix present, which seems like The Hangover meets Zero Darkish Thirty, is unhealthy. I don’t care. I’m completely assured I’m going to like it and watch each single episode — I’m a sucker for a spy flick, and a foolish comedy, and particularly the intersection of these two issues.
  • Slow Horses season 3. This present, then again, undeniably guidelines. (As does the book series it’s primarily based on, by Mick Herron.) It’s a narrative about washed-up MI5 brokers roped again in for yet another job… after which a bunch extra jobs. From what I hear, season 3 is the perfect but — add it to your vacation watching record for certain.
  • Proton Mail. The latest release notes on Proton’s mail and calendar apps are tremendous humorous. There’s nothing enormous and new right here, it’s identical to, “We fastened all of the stuff you needed us to repair, right here you go!” And it’s nice. In case you’re in search of a privacy-focused various to the entire Google suite, Proton’s a terrific one. (The Drive file-storage app is a specific favourite.)

Deep dive

YouTube is an incredible platform, and all these years later, I preserve being amazed by the stuff on it. The opposite night time, I watched a 13-year-old video of a dude placing collectively a crib that’s now not bought, and it helped me do it myself! What! 

However YouTube as an app… form of sucks. You simply wish to watch a video, and also you’re overrun by suggestions, one million social options, and too some ways to purchase one thing. YouTube doesn’t have a single first rate technique to save one thing to observe later, and it’s all algorithmic to the purpose of being unusable typically.

So lately, I’ve been exploring a bunch of huge and small methods to enhance the YouTube expertise a bit. I’m not attempting to do away with advertisements or beat the system, simply… take pleasure in YouTube extra. I’ve discovered some I actually like! So I figured I’d share:

  • The Play app. I now open this as a substitute of the YouTube app. It’s an app for storing and organizing video from everywhere in the net, however I just about solely use it for YouTube. After this week’s replace, it may possibly routinely usher in movies from channels you subscribe to, which makes it much more helpful. It’s Apple-only, sadly, nevertheless it works throughout Apple units, together with the Apple TV. That is so a lot better than attempting to handle a library within the YouTube app.
  • Piped. Piped is a intelligent workaround: it makes use of the YouTube API to allow you to seek for and watch something on the platform however doesn’t ship any information again to Google about you or what you watch. There are Piped-compatible mobile apps, too, and if you happen to’re feeling enterprising, you’ll be able to even self-host the app and run it nonetheless you need.
  • Unhook. There are a bunch of browser extensions on the market that allow you to take away stuff from the YouTube interface to get a quieter viewing expertise. Unhook’s my favourite as a result of it’s so customizable — I turned off all of the suggestions and sidebars however left chapters and feedback. And due to an exquisite Unhook setting, my automated YouTube homepage is now my subscriptions and never the default For You feed. 
  • Enhancer for YouTube. One other browser extension, and form of the non secular reverse of Unhook. This one can disguise issues like feedback and proposals, however it may possibly additionally add a lot extra stuff to YouTube. A whole lot of it’s actually helpful! I like having a one-click technique to screenshot a body, among the keyboard shortcuts are helpful, and I’ve very a lot loved creating my very own customized YouTube theme. (It’s very grey.) I’ve seen some of us having points with it lately, nevertheless it continues to work positive for my functions.
  • Bookmark It. One final browser extension, which helps you to take time-stamped notes on a YouTube video and return to them later. I take advantage of this after I know I’m going to wish to come again to a particular second later, which occurs extra typically than I anticipated.

My new YouTube technique is working effectively to this point: after I discover one thing I wish to watch later, I dump it into Play. I’ve just a few folders for instructional stuff and longform interviews, however principally, every part simply goes within the pile to be watched later. Once I wish to discover one thing particular, I am going to Piped, particularly if I don’t need my YouTube algorithm to be overrun by, like, plumbing movies. In any other case, I’m utilizing YouTube — however a a lot much less chaotic model.

The aim was at all times to seek out the stuff I wish to discover on YouTube and never be bothered by every part else on the platform. I’m getting nearer! In case you have concepts for what else I / we are able to do to make YouTube higher, I’m all ears: installer@theverge.com.

Display screen share

In case you’ve been a part of the Installer group for very lengthy, I can’t assist myself from continuously switching to-do record apps. I sincerely suppose I’ve tried all of them. However I preserve coming again to Todoist, which is out there in every single place, super-duper quick, and simply is sensible. 

Over time, I’ve additionally gotten to know its founder, Amir Salihefendic, a bit. He has good ideas on productiveness instruments but in addition nearly how we are able to reside higher, saner lives on-line. (One time, he tweeted an image of his calendar, and it had, like, nothing on it. He might simply do work! All day! What a life!) Along with constructing Todoist, his firm, Doist, can also be engaged on Twist, which goals to be principally a much less chaotic tackle Slack and messaging.

I requested Amir to share his homescreen figuring he’d skew fairly minimalist, and I used to be proper. Right here’s Amir’s homescreen, plus some data on the apps he makes use of and why:

The cellphone: iPhone 15 Professional.

The wallpaper: My lock display screen cycles by footage of my youngsters and household pictures 🥰 Homescreen wallpaper is simply black.

The apps: Calendar, Images, Google Maps, Spotify, Overcast, Audible, Halist, Twist, Todoist, Safari, Telephone. 

Probably the most fascinating are in all probability:

  • Todoist is a to-do app (shock! ) 
  • Twist as a workforce communication app (one other shock! ) 
  • Overcast as a podcast participant
  • Halist as a ChatGPT various. I created my very own ChatGPT various as I don’t totally belief the privateness coverage of ChatGPT (as a result of they will practice on the information). 

I additionally requested Amir to share just a few issues he’s into proper now. Right here’s what he got here again with:

  • The OpenAI drama. It’s just like the real-life model of HBO’s Succession present (which is incredible). Let’s imagine it’s the nerd model of Succession.
  • I’ve began watching Blue Eye Samurai, and it’s unbelievable.
  • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. This is without doubt one of the greatest video games ever! There’s nonetheless a group on Twitch, and I usually watch video games. I additionally performed a bit with mates, however my eyes received tremendous sore, so I’m on pause.
  • Lastly, I’m studying Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk, and it’s a wild learn. It seems like a completely chaotic life. Studying what it takes to construct a few of these accomplishments is fascinating.


Right here’s what the Installer group is into this week. I wish to know what you’re into proper now as effectively! Electronic mail installer@theverge.com together with your suggestions for something and every part, and we’ll characteristic a few of our favorites right here each week. 

“This superior undertaking out of Mozilla, Llamafile. You may get a fairly totally featured model of ChatGPT operating regionally by yourself laptop (with picture evaluation and every part), tremendous simply. I adopted the three steps and received the factor working in lower than a minute, and it really works as quick as GPT-4 (so, extra slowly than GPT-3.5) on my Intel 2019 MacBook Professional. It’s actually cool.”  – Matthew

“Me and my spouse are recovering from watching the finale of Modern Family and located Fresh Off the Boat to be a terrific watch. Completely hilarious!” – Adam

Trash Baby. Chaotic and inventive and wacky AI-based picture remixing app. Mix two pictures to create some actually out-there outputs. It’s a very artistic and collaborative play on generative AI. Each “child” is an sudden pleasure.” – Kyle

“It’s known as Loddlenaut, and it lately got here out on Steam! Your job is to principally clear up a polluted ocean planet and to develop into mates with the Loddle creatures dwelling there. P.S. You’ll be able to pet the Loddles.” – Andrew

Last Stop Larrimah. Being a city of solely 11 folks, Larrimah is form of like Cheers. A spot the place everyone is aware of your identify (and likewise spends most of their time in a bar). However they’re not all glad you got here. When one of many residents goes lacking, two others develop into prime suspects. And the theories as to how they may have disposed of the physique, effectively, I gained’t spoil it for you.” – Carl

“In response to the advice for Frinkiac, the Simpsons meme generator, I assumed I’d advocate the equal Futurama meme generator, Morbotron, which is made by the identical folks. Now you’ll be able to create all of the ‘Shut up and take my cash’ memes you need!” – Jonathan

Fleeting Notes. In my quest to de-Google my life, I’ve discovered a very nice substitute for Google Hold. It’s cross-platform, accessible offline, and syncs with Obsidian. Plus it’s end-to-end encrypted, open supply, and free. Excellent for when I’ve one thing I have to rapidly jot down or keep in mind with out the trouble of making an entire Obsidian observe.” – Braedon

Travle. Wordle-style, you play as soon as a day, it counts your streaks, and so on. The premise is tremendous easy: they offer you two international locations and plenty of makes an attempt you must identify the international locations that join them. Generally they spice it up and inform you a rustic that you must keep away from going by. My girlfriend and I’ve been enjoying it every single day for months now, and there’s additionally totally different variations the place you identify areas / provinces in a particular nation.” – Sam

“Listed here are my two quickest methods so as to add to Apple Reminders. 1: On my iPhone, I take advantage of this app known as Remind Me Faster. 2: On Mac, I take advantage of Sort to Siri. E.g., Remind me to name house at 4PM.” – Krishna 

Signing off

I’m deep in lip-syncing TikTok, y’all. I don’t know the way I received right here, however I’m right here: there are numerous folks on TikTok who, like, sing lovely harmonies in garages and kitchens whereas making very intense faces and physique motions, and it seems, lots of these individuals are prerecording their audio and autotuning it earlier than pretending to sing it reside, and now, there are a bunch of creators whose shtick is to call these folks out, and folks on all sides are mad. (Do you ever write a sentence and instantly notice you sound insane? That is what I’ve develop into.) However the perfect half was when shirtless Charlie Puth did a video that was identical to, “Everybody makes use of autotune, it’s 2023, let’s all be good to one another.” And everybody received mad about that, too! However I feel shirtless Charlie Puth is true. The web ought to hearken to shirtless Charlie Puth.

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