45 Comments

Summary:

So long YouTube; Apple has pulled the app from the latest iOS 6 beta. Of course, you can still watch YouTube in Safari and Google is reportedly writing a YouTube app for the iTunes App Store. Maybe we see a better YouTube experience as a result.

Image 1 for post Condensed version- YouTube, iPhone( 2007-06-20 17:17:05)

Updated. Don’t expect to find a YouTube app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch if you update it to iOS 6; the company has pulled the app from the latest beta version of its software. This might be a subtle swipe at Google, which Apple is indirectly fighting through Google’s Android partners in the courts. Or it could be nothing more than what Apple has said: It’s contract with to include YouTube in iOS has expired and hasn’t been renegotiated. Frankly, I  think it doesn’t matter.

I’ve verified on my own iPhone 4S that beta 4 of iOS does remove the YouTube app. But I’ve also verified that it really doesn’t change anything. Links to YouTube videos open up YouTube’s mobile web app and play just fine. I can see my channel subscriptions in the web app as well as all of the videos I’ve marked to “Watch Later”. Is the experience stellar? No, but it’s not terrible, either. And this gives Google an opportunity to make the YouTube experience better anyway: Apple provided the following statement to AllThingsD:

Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended. Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.

My colleague, Janko Roettgers has reached out to Google to confirm that statement, but hasn’t received a response yet. The quote makes sense though. Why should Google keep working with Apple to include a default YouTube app at this point? It could create its own — one that’s presumably better the original — and offer an improved YouTube app in the iTunes App Store for free. The money Google earned from having YouTube on Apple devices is definitely a lost cause in this situation, but I don’t think Google will lose that much sleep over it considering its activating a million Android handsets per day and can likely include ads in its own version of YouTube.

If the year was 2007 — or if Apple had a comparable user-generated video service — I’d likely feel otherwise. That was when the iPhone was introduced with a mobile YouTube app and it helped propel YouTube from a desktop to a mobile phenomenon. Fast forward to today and all the people who didn’t know about mobile YouTube five years ago likely do now. Put another way: Google isn’t likely to gain more YouTube exposure by paying to include the app on future iOS devices. It can do that on its own now, with more freedom, and the mobile web app will suffice until a native app arrives.

Update: We received the following statement from a YouTube spokesperson: “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”

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  1. New Apple motto: “You can’t do that”.

  2. But what about the ability to sign in and quick upload to YouTube? Is this still there or is it gone too?

    That was a good function of ios 5.

    1. I don’t know what Apple will do for the final release of iOS 6, but in this beta, you can still share/upload

        videos to YouTube.
    2. I agree! Annoying to have to access it via the web.

  3. Typical Apple Fanboy…

    “And this gives Google an opportunity to make the YouTube experience better anyway”

    Are you fucking kidding me? Get your head out of the goddamn sand. Apple has become everything they swore not to become.

    1. This post is a disgrace!

    2. What about Google “Don’t be Evil”
      They saw an opportunity to make money on Apple expense. Steve Jobs never said its not about money he went even further that he is gonna go thermonuclear on Google for copying. I’m surprised that you find originality in Google/Android or Samsung

    3. I can understand your frustration but what’s original about Google other than their search engine? They r just copycats

    4. And exactly what is it specifically that they swore not to become? Please provide links to back up your answer.

    5. How in tarnation is that pro-Apple? The existing YouTube app is a pile of something I’m not sure I’m allowed to say here. Having Google manage the mobile website would let them add missing desktop features (read: most of them) sooner. And also require thirty more clicks to add a favorite.

  4. This makes perfect sense to me. The YouTube app was part of the original iOS release because back then there was no such thing as a third-party app. If the App Store had been around since Day 1, then I think it would have been odd to see a YouTube app as part of the OS. In my mind, this is just righting the record.

  5. So what if Apple decides to dump Google as a search engine as well that will be 3 in row on the new iOS. Maps, YouTube, and Search. They came up with there own Maps what’s stopping them with video or search at the moment they have more money, technology and R&D in place than probably GOD

    1. Bingo! This is the direction that I see as well. Google should be very nervous about the potential traffic drop-off over the next two years. Furthermore, there’s an imminent update of the Apple television experience… and I’m sure Apple would be happy to remove YouTube from the video sharing equation (Apple created the H.264 codec after all). Apple’s new iDataCenter in N.C. is massive – one of the largest data centers in the U.S. See: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-story-behind-how-apples-icloud-data-center-got-built/

      With Apple’s strategic investment in Twitter, Facebook should be nervous as well (FB may have already seen its own wave crest). Social is no longer unique to a particular service.

      Apple is just flat-out outflanking all of its competitors. The next two years will be fun to watch.

  6. Wow, and I thought it was the consumer that drives the sales not the company.

  7. Nah… I haven’t seen a better YouTube app other than Apple’s YouTube. It played YouTube clips like no other. No glitches, no unsupported formats. I highly doubt Google can repeat its success without knowing iPhone hardware so well. That’s a risky move for Apple to make.

  8. When the iPhone first came out, having a YouTube app was a draw. As the platform matured, and Apple increased the number of native apps, there is really no advantage to including it out of the box — everyone knows how to download an app, and people that want it can easily get it.

    An interesting tidbit, but not a grand conspiracy. The switch to Apple maps is much more meaningful and interesting. The YouTube faux controversy is a yawn.

  9. Daniel Mullaly Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Hope they dump the Newsstand with YouTube. Worthless.

  10. youtube is wast of space on the phone

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