YouTube API not working with iPad / iPhone / non-Flash device

This piece of code works great in DESKTOP browsers (code courtesy of @Rob-W), click the thumbnail and the adjacent video will start playing, using YouTube's API.


<div id="tabs2">
    <img class='thumb' src=''>
    <iframe id="frame1" width="640" height="390" frameborder="0" title="YouTube video player"type="text/html"src=""></iframe>

        <img class='thumb' src=''>
   <iframe id="frame2" width="640" height="390" frameborder="0" title="YouTube video player"type="text/html"src=""></iframe>


#tabs2 div {
    position: relative;
/* For security reasons, an element cannor be placed over a frame */
/*.thumb {
    position: absolute;
.play {
    border: 3px solid red;


function getFrameID(id) {
    var elem = document.getElementById(id);
    if (elem) {
        if (/^iframe$/i.test(elem.tagName)) return id; //Frame, OK
        // else: Look for frame
        var elems = elem.getElementsByTagName("iframe");
        if (!elems.length) return null; //No iframe found, FAILURE
        for (var i = 0; i < elems.length; i++) {
            if (/^https?:\/\/(?:www\.)?youtube(?:-nocookie)?\.com(\/|$)/i.test(elems[i].src)) break;
        elem = elems[i]; //The only, or the best iFrame
        if ( return; //Existing ID, return it
        // else: Create a new ID
        do { //Keep postfixing `-frame` until the ID is unique
            id += "-frame";
        } while (document.getElementById(id)); = id;
        return id;
    // If no element, return null.
    return null;

// Define YT_ready function.
var YT_ready = (function() {
    var onReady_funcs = [],
        api_isReady = false;
/* @param func function     Function to execute on ready
         * @param func Boolean      If true, all qeued functions are executed
         * @param b_before Boolean  If true, the func will added to the first
                                     position in the queue*/
    return function(func, b_before) {
        if (func === true) {
            api_isReady = true;
            for (var i = 0; i < onReady_funcs.length; i++) {
                // Removes the first func from the array, and execute func
        else if (typeof func == "function") {
            if (api_isReady) func();
            else onReady_funcs[b_before ? "unshift" : "push"](func);
// This function will be called when the API is fully loaded

function onYouTubePlayerAPIReady() {

var players = {};
//Define a player storage object, to enable later function calls,
//  without having to create a new class instance again.
YT_ready(function() {
    $(".thumb + iframe[id]").each(function() {
        var identifier =;
        var frameID = getFrameID(identifier);
        if (frameID) { //If the frame exists
            players[frameID] = new YT.Player(frameID, {
                events: {
                    "onReady": createYTEvent(frameID, identifier)

// Returns a function to enable multiple events
function createYTEvent(frameID, identifier) {
    return function (event) {
        var player = players[frameID]; // player object
        var the_div = $('#'+identifier).parent();
        the_div.children('.thumb').click(function() {
            var $this = $(this);
            if ($'play')) {
// Load YouTube Frame API
(function(){ //Closure, to not leak to the scope
  var s = document.createElement("script");
  s.src = ""; /* Load Player API*/
  var before = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];
  before.parentNode.insertBefore(s, before);


The problem is that it fails to play on iOS devices (because of the lack of Flash player, I think, it just hangs).

I can force it to play by tapping the video once more, which prompts it to play using QuickTime.

But how do I get it to play with QuickTime automatically?



I'm sorry to say this is not possible in iOS. According to Apple's documentation,

"...embedded media cannot be played automatically in Safari on iOS - the user always initiates playback."

The restriction is consistent regardless of network connection as it is both a bandwidth decision as well as a user experience decision.

Update, October, 2016: It's worth noting, now that iOS 10 is out and gaining significant market share, that people can leverage changes in the way video playback works on iOS 10 to get autoplay behavior. If the video has no audio tracks or the tag is muted, autoplay can be possible. More information is available in this webkit blog. The YouTube API may handle this nicely soon.


Beginning in iOS 4, UIWebView has the mediaPlaybackRequiresUserAction property. I can’t tell if you’re implementing this on the Web or in a native app, but setting that to NO in a native app should allow auto play to work.


You can use the YouTube iFrame API on iOS.


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