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Yes, YouTube is gone from iOS 6. So what?

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Updated. Don’t expect to find a YouTube(s goog) app on your iPhone(s aapl), 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.”

45 Responses to “Yes, YouTube is gone from iOS 6. So what?”

  1. The old youtube App was a million times better then the one you have to download from tha app store. The new one has a horrible user experience, finding videos, clarity of picture, basic layout all are terrible with the downloadable app. I hate paying for apps, but would pay a couple of bucks if youtube would sell the old app as it was for download on the new ios release…. Malarky.

    • dont waste your breath ive already tried, i even called an apple company and they said no matter what you cant take away the iOS 6. now. the fact is Apple is to cheap to make any of this better.

  2. At least there should of been a warning before new OS upgrade in regards to YouTube. I would of liked to back up my favorites.
    I don’t have a google account and my favourites are all lost

  3. Cazzinculo

    iIOS 6 sucks!!! No street view anymore no youtube …newstand icon always around not flash player yet etc… WTF?? Better they improve something ’cause I’m gonna fuckin’ sell this shit!

  4. Lucke1Charm

    Great, I paid 2$ for a piece of shit app on my iPad that used to be free. Not only that I don’t get my subscriptions on that app so I gotta play YouTube online, except for the fact that apple doesn’t put in adobe fash, so that doesn’t work either. Thanks apple

  5. That is horrible I want my you tube app back it is one of the main resons why I got the iPad to upload videos . Someone should have wormed us before we clicked update. It’s time for apple to work with google .

  6. I wouldn’t be quite as pissed about this if I could actually watch videos from my subscriptions on the YouTube mobile site! All I get is the typical notice that “Flash is required to watch this video…”. So no, you actually aren’t able to watch videos from your subscriptions. Only if you get a direct link to a video can you watch it. Add to that not all videos are playable either! Getting an iPad 2 is one of the biggest buying mistakes I have ever made… It’s a “tablet”, but it can’t even do the most standard of tasks that a tablet must be able to do nowadays! What a bunch of bulls**t.

  7. I want youtube back! That’s all I do on the ipod, and now it’s gone, and it’s hard to get quick access to it! If you think this is better for the ipod, your wrong, we want youtube.

  8. This is a disgrace to Steve Jobs. You people suck without him….the update is terrible!! My apps keep crashing, so does the App Store, I can’t download apps because it won’t open, I have to scroll back to the song I was in in my playlist since it goes back to the top automatically, they give you this “passbook” that’s really stupid and some people don’t even need it!! You could give us the option to delete it. Hate hate hate the new update! LET ME UNDO IT!

  9. Can you play the sound on a youtube video without using the youtube app that came with iOS 5? I used to be able to start a video and then doubleclick my circle button and scroll over to music and keep playing the audio… is that possible now? It doesn’t seem to be working the same way the old app used to..

    • Nope it’s not. I used to be able to play a YouTube video, then hit the sleep button, double click my circle button and hit play again, so I could listen to what I wanted on YouTube and still have my iPod in sleep mode. Not anymore since this shit was updated.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Dheeraj

    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

    • 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:

      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.

  13. Matt Eagar

    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.

  14. SuckItApple

    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.

    • Dheeraj

      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

    • khorosho20112

      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.