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YouTube on the iPad and Dumping IE6

My wife likes to watch YouTube videos. I was thinking of getting her a new Apple iPad tablet, but apparently the iPad lacks an easy way to do this. Why, oh, why did Apple (AAPL) fail to make it easy to access YouTube on the iPad?

A: Even though the Web browser on the iPad can’t play Adobe Flash video files like the ones YouTube typically serves up, Apple did include a special YouTube app on the iPad, similar to the one on the iPhone, that can play loads of YouTube content. In fact, this YouTube app was shown at the iPad launch. The company says the one for the iPad has been rewritten to take advantage of the larger screen, as have all of Apple’s built-in apps. Apple also says when you orient the tablet horizontally, YouTube videos automatically play in full screen mode. However, Web videos using Flash that must be accessed through a Web browser don’t appear to work on the iPad, just as they don’t work on the iPhone.

I have had Internet Explorer 6 as the browser on my home PC for years. Having heard about the security problem with IE6, I wonder if you would suggest that I keep IE6, download IE8 or download another browser.

A: I definitely recommend that you dump IE6, which is outdated and insecure compared to newer browsers. Its latest successor, Internet Explorer 8, has many nice features and much improved security. But, in my tests, IE8 proved slower than its main competitors. So I’d suggest switching to either Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari for Windows or Google Chrome. The latter two are the fastest Windows browsers I’ve tested, but Firefox boasts many more add-ins and extensions that add extra features.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online, free of charge, at the All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.


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