How to Use the YouTube API to Embed Videos in Your App


By using the YouTube API, you’ll be able to incorporate video functionalities into your Android app. The API helps enable the users of your app to play YouTube videos from a certain channel inside the app itself. 

Today, we’re going to teach how to properly use this app and play videos from YouTube inside your app. 

You should start by reading the API documentation carefully and look at the examples the developers left for you. If you’ve never read any documentation before, here’s a handy API documentation template that will give you a general idea of how documentation is supposed to look like. 

Now that we got that out of the way, we should start with our guide… 

How to Use the YouTube API 

·     You Need to Find the Channel ID

Once you’re done, you need to go to the YouTube channel and copy its URL. There, you’ll find the ID of the YouTube channel you plan on using in your app. And if you’re not aware of it, the ID is the set of the numbers found after “channel/” in the URL. 

·     Then Generate the SHA1 Key

Once you apply for the YouTube API in your Google Developer console, you have to generate an original SHA1 key. So go to the Android project you’re working on and click on “Gradle.” Then, you need to find the name of your project, go to “Tasks”, find “android,” and click the “signingReports”tab. There, you’ll find the SHA1 key.  

·     Find the API Key

Now, head back to the Google Developer console and find the “select a project” button. Click it and pick your project. Next, you need to look for the YouTube Data API and enable it. Then, click the “Credentials” to create new credentials. From there, you need to copy the API key and save it. 

·     Make the ChannelActivty 

You can name this activity any way you want – channel_activityor activity_channel, for example. The main point here is to create a list of YouTube videos you want to show in your app. Use the ListView to show all of the videos in a curated list. 

·     Design the AppController

In this particular class, you need to create the AppController. This class needs to extend your app and allow it to play videos in a certain format. Just don’t forget, you’ll need to define the class in the AndroidManifest file. 

·     Create the LRUBitmapCache 

This class needs to simplify the whole process and help your app function properly despite the video playback. Luckily, you can make the process of caching and downloading images simple by utilizing the Volley library. 

·     Lastly Add Internet Permission

Last but not least, you need to grant the app permission to connect to the Internet. Otherwise, all of the hard work you’ve put in will be no good. Then you simply need to define the AppContoller in the manifest file, and you’re all done. 

Bonus: Common Problems with the YouTube API

·      When something goes wrong, the first thing you should check is whether the value passed into the loadVideo or cueVideo methods is a real video or not. You should also make sure that you’ve not passed a null value into one of these methods. 

·      When it comes to setup the YouTube app, if you’re using an emulator, you need to make sure that you’ve followed the setup guide properly to install the Google Play service. If you fail to do it, you’ll probably see an error during the initialization. 

·      If you by any case see a message that says “java.lang.IllegalStateException: android.os.DeadObjectException” you need to go to the Google Play Store and manually update the YouTube app on your mobile device. 

The Bottom Line on the YouTube API                                                            

We showed you how to embed YouTube videos in your application. If you want your users to enjoy a few YouTube videos without leaving the app, this API will come quite handy. This is a great API that allows you to customize the experience of your users, improve it, and in turn, grow your user base.

In case you are interested in downloading videos from YouTube read this article:

We hope you found this article insightful. If you have any inquiries, make sure to leave a comment in the section below and we’ll try to answer it as soon as possible.

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