In the past, when the YouTube player was written in Flash, we had a Safari extension to clean things up. Now, of course, Flash has gone away. However, the YouTube player has turned into a mess again. Fortunately, a Safari extension named Vinegar is now available to replace the standard YouTube player. Since iOS 15 includes support for Safari extensions, it will work there, too.
Bring Premium Features and More to YouTube
Developed by Zhenyi Tan of And a Dinosaur, Vinegar replaces the stock YouTube player in Safari with a minimal HTML video tag. I say minimal, but the features are far from that. This Safari extension is available for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The benefits of using Vinegar include:
- The removal of in-video ads.
- Prevent YouTube from tracking your play/pause/seek activities.
- Restore picture-in-picture functionality.
- Videos continue playing even when you switch to another browser tab.
- Ability to choose an audio-only stream to keep the music playing when Safari is in the background.
The extension even works for embedded YouTube videos on other websites. The developer is considering adding support for other video sites in the future.
Adding Vinegar to Clean Up YouTube
Vinegar is available for $1.99 on the App Store. There aren’t any in-app purchases, and you can buy it once to use on all your various versions of Safari, including your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.