NewPipe 0.15.0 released, upgrading downloads, fixing critical bug and dropping support for Android 4.3

post image By Schabi

We are happy to release NewPipe 0.15.0. This new version brings a completely refactored download mechanism. Please note that starting with 0.15.0, NewPipe dropped support for Android JellyBean (4.3) and older. As always, this release includes several smaller improvements and fixes.

Everybody is encouraged to update NewPipe because all prior versions do not work anymore. The update is necessary because once again, YouTube changed their setup.

Update: The F-Droid builds are delayed due to more Google-created issues. Read on for more information.

Update 2: F-Droid released 0.15.0 binaries. You can now upgrade via F-Droid.

Delay in releasing new version on F-Droid

Unfortunately, there are more issues created Google annoying both us and the team. The Android build tools installation was changed in a way so the F-Droid build infrastructure can’t build some projects, especially the ones which use the most recent versions any more. NewPipe is one of these projects.

After a few days, we started to look into why the release wasn’t published, and started to investigate the issue with the F-Droid folks. They were aware of the issues, and were looking for a bug fix, however in the meantime it looks like Google changed the licensing stuff once again.

The F-Droid devs pushed some temporary workarounds to the NewPipe build scripts, and we hope the next build cycle will produce a working NewPipe binary and upload it into the repositories.

We came to the conclusion that for the future, we want to provide our own, self-hosted NewPipe F-Droid repository, where we plan to publish our own builds and also the official F-Droid builds in a way so you can upgrade smoothly. The progress on this is tracked in a GitHub issue. We will publish a new post once the beta phase ends.

Please see also https://mastodon.technology/@fdroidorg/101483721232620121.

Downloads overhaul

@kapadomy put much time and effort into refactoring the complete download mechanism: More than 8.000 lines of code were changed, new features and settings added and multiple bugs fixed.

This includes muxing video and audio streams and therefore you should now be able to download most 1080p (and up) videos with audio again! Moreover, it is possible to download subtitles whenever they are provided by YouTube. @kapadomy also added the ability to queue downloads and improved the downloads page: The new layout groups downloads by status allowing you to find things faster. Tap on a downloaded stream and it starts playing! It is also quite easier to wipe all your downloads by using the new button in the app bar.

Unfortunately, we needed to release this version as quickly as possible due to a critical bug and therefore not all download improvements reach you with this version. For the same reason, we did not have time to provide a release candidate for testing and finding bugs. Hence this release might contain some more bugs as usual. In case you find one, please see below to learn more on how you can report it.

Support for Android JellyBean dropped

From this version on, NewPipe requires at least Android KitKat (4.4). The app has been quite unusable on devices with Android 4.3 and below due to several bugs which only occured on these specific Android versions. Fixing these crashes would have been time expensive and therefore not appropriate for the small number of users these versions command.

In addition, the video player library ExoPlayer which is used in this project only supports Android 4.4 and later. For this reason, NewPipe still had to provide an old player for these older devices. This could be removed starting with NewPipe 0.15.0.

To allow the development team to reduce the maintenance overhead and fully concentrate on bugs and features on newer Android versions, we decided to drop support for devices with Android versions lower than KitKat.

Critical bugfix

As mentioned in the introduction, YouTube changed their systems, and we had to adapt NewPipeExtractor and release a new version containing the changes.

This is not the first time we run into a situation like this. NewPipe 0.14.1 was released a couple of days after the regular release of 0.14.0, also because of changes on YouTube.

Like last time, we tried to finalize and publish a fix as soon as possible. Please be patient, we are aware of the problem, a fix is released, and as with all our updates, it will take some time until stores like F-Droid build and publish the packages. We will update the post once the binaries are available.

Further changes

Thanks to @agarwalakash06 it is possible to remove streams from the current play queue by swiping them to the right.

@beNitinhere and @Ping20002015 fixed a nasty null pointer exception causing NewPipe to crash when minimizing the main player.

Get the new version

We recommend you to install the F-Droid app as it notifies you as soon as an update for NewPipe is available.

Please let us know what your experience of the latest release is, especially bugs in need of fixing. As usual, you can reach out to us via IRC (#newpipe on freenode), open issues on GitHub or ideally use our built-in crash reporter to send us machine-readable issue reports, or send in fixes yourself.

See also:  release  |   pinned  |   announcement

Let us know what you think!