Video search engine Truveo has released an updated version of its iPhone app with new features and ‘Intelligent Query Completion’ to improve the search functionality.

Since iPhones are sold with YouTube pre-installed, the app already has some strong competition to overcome, though users have viewed some 3m videos through the app since it launched in July last year. I’ve been trying out the updated version of Truveo’s app and seeing how it compares to YouTube.

Mainly US-focused, Truveo searches videos from a range of sources, and has channels from content providers like HBO, MTV and others. The free iPhone app presents a trimmed down selection of these channels and categories, but still has a good range of content to search through.

Truveo featured videos

A few featured videos are displayed on the main screen, or you can look through categories, ‘what’s hot’, channels, or enter a search term, which is a better range of options than the YouTube app, making it more browsable.

Truveo categories

The ‘Intelligent Query Completion’ for searches sounds like Google’s auto-suggest feature, and starts to complete your search term as you type, and this kind of help can be useful for mobiles, though the ability to provide alternatives for obvious misspellings would be an improvement.

Apart from this feature searching has been improved by providing ways to modify the query and narrow down the search, something that YouTube doesn’t provide for iPhones, and which makes it easier to get accurate results. Searches can be restricted to videos of a specified duration, or by most popular or most recent:

Truveo video search filters

As on YouTube, the videos move to play horizontally to make full use of the iPhone’s screen, and can be adjusted by volume, forwarded, or paused. The quality of video and streaming were good for the clips I viewed, though much will depend on the strength of your connection:

Truveo iPhone app

Other new features include the ability to discover related videos on the app, displaying related content after each play:

Truveo iPhone app - related videos

While YouTube has a broader range of content on offer, especially for UK iPhone users, as much of the content on offer in the various channels is from the likes of Fox and CBS, the Truveo app performs better than YouTube on this mobile.

The loading speed of both the different pages, as well as the videos, is a big improvement on YouTubes’ iPhone version. Whereas it can be slow to start up and play videos, the Truveo app responds instantly.

It’s an impressive video app which makes good use of the iPhone’s features and has improved on the YouTube app by adding more functionality which allows you to search and browse effectively, making it more usable.