3rd generation Apple TV’s devices will no longer officially support the YouTube application because the company decided to do so. In the absence of alternatives, the only way to watch videos on the platform through these devices will be AirPlay.
YouTube discontinuing 3rd generation Apple TV app
Apple TV models prior to 2015, from the 3rd generation backwards, don’t have tvOS. It is the operating system that Apple created for its TV box for that year.
Today, those devices are already discontinued, so they are not officially supported. In the absence of any special agreement to extend support for these devices, the YouTube application suddenly stopped working.
As there is no built-in web browser on Apple TV and the ability to run apps from external sources is extremely restricted, the only way to watch YouTube content from these devices is through AirPlay. It is Apple’s wireless media streaming and screen mirroring technology found on devices running iOS and macOS.
Devices with tvOS can still use the YouTube app
For their part, those devices of later generations, such as Apple TV HD (fourth generation) and Apple TV 4K (fifth generation), will continue to support the YouTube app. Unlike their predecessors, these two models run tvOS and have a built-in App Store.
This is an unfortunate situation. The short life of these devices, contrasted with their characteristically high price, inevitably makes one want to buy “TV Boxes” or “TV Sticks” from different brands.
In addition, it is worth noting that smart TVs in recent years, in addition to supporting a wider ecosystem of applications, especially those that incorporate the Android TV operating system, also natively support AirPlay and Chromecast technologies, making these accessory devices less and less essential.