Youtube on iOS

If you're connected to the Internet, you've probably heard that Apple has dropped support for their Youtube app in the upcoming version of iOS. You might have even heard that it's part of the vast thermonuclear nonsense that the late Steve Jobs started against Android, and other eye-grabbing headlines.

It's not.

Youtube has been one the the most popular applications for iOS since the beginning, and was even featured in the first round of iPhone commercials. Everyone loves Youtube, even Apple. We poke a lot of fun at Apple, but they would never remove a feature and user favorite from iDevices. This isn't part of the feud between Apple and Google, it's a way to provide a better experience with less work.

Previously, Apple wrote its own Youtube app and bundled it into iOS. And when compared to the Android version, it sucks. There was no monetization (ads), which means plenty of content was missing -- music videos from Vevo, for instance. As Rene mentions over at iMore, many users preferred to use Google's web player over the bundled app. If users (hey, that's you and me!) would rather use mobile Safari than your app, it's time for some changes. If those changes mean less work for the iOS development team, that's a win all around.

There is a bit of weirdness surrounding today's news though, and that's the part where Apple says they had to stop because their license expired. We aren't privy to what goes on between Apple and Google, and there surely is some sort of agreement between them concerning Youtube, but you don't need a license to make a Youtube app. A quick peek at Google Play will show you that anyone can build one using the public APIs, and plenty of folks with less resources than Apple have done just that. Apple is pretty hush-mouthed over this sort of thing, so we're not going to read too much into it, but they could make a Youtube app if they wanted to, with no strings attached.

Thankfully, they aren't. They're leaving it up to Google to make one and put it in the Appstore, where it can be downloaded by anyone who wants it -- which we're guessing will be everyone. A quick look at the Google+ app for iOS tells us Google can make an app that showcases HD content and looks beautiful, just like the latest Android app, and we're glad to see it happening. In the meantime, iOS 6 beta users can use Safari, and be glad that Apple did the right thing this time.

More: iMore


Reader comments

Apple removes Youtube app in iOS 6, but it's not a shot at Google


further explanation i feel is needed:

normally when we see apple pics on android sites its something bad. the worse the news the less joking the picture.

a close up of the ipad, and i was expecting "apple bans all android tablets in the US, ipad consumer's only option" or somethign like that.

i get pessimistic about apple.....

What is the purpose of posting this "news" here at AndroidCentral?

I thought I was one of the minority who owns both iOS and Android devices.
(4 Android phones, 3 Android tablets, 1 iPhone, 1 iPad)

To head off any BS in the forums about Apple dissing Google by ditching the YouTube app. Their relationship doesn't have much to do with it.

Very good post, and very true, too. I, as an iPad owner and avid user of the YouTube app, at first, was upset over this. After this post, though, I do realize its probably for the best. Now I just cannot wait for Google's YouTube app in the App Store.

I sure hope it's Google flexing their muscles - first Google maps & now this, iOS without these 2 things is soooo much worse - GIVE THEM NOTHING!

Yes it was. Google withheld features from the backend from iOS and Apple also wants to disrupt the massive revenue Google gets from iOS users, and they didn't feel bit based maps were as good as vector based. This is a blow to Google since so much of their revenue comes for iOS users using Google services. Backends from other apps such as Yelp will also use Apple maps and Apple is open sourcing the maps. You mess with the bull you get the horns. Amusing that people think Google is giving Apple You Tube and Google maps on iOS when Apple wrote the front end to both and Google really, really, wants iOS users to use their services. Between Siri and Apple maps this is going to cost Google billions because all those iOS users will stop using their services.

Google did not withhold anything, Apple withheld features for your protection. Then turned to spin their position as something Google did to offend iOS users.

Apple withheld Google services because:
1. They could not get every bit of revenue from it.
2. If they allowed a Google service(s) to deliver the same great experience Android gets iOS fellows might just consider a competitor on their next mobile purchase.
3. They need to dull down anything "Google" to make their offerings appear better.

Now open you wallet and get back in line, the next iPhone with iOS6 will only bring the most magic to those who stand in line.


Uh yeah, that's not true. Google withheld features because Apple would not allow them to monetize their apps on the platform more extensively. So Apple refused to update them to the extent Google probably would have liked. Once their contract was up, Apple ended it.

I think you mean Google wanted to make fair revenue on services they created and provided. In my opinion, Apple made a mess out of the deal by not playing fair. Truth is just the perspective one chooses for the argument.

Google was making hundreds of millions of dollars every year off of iOS users. In what world is that not fair?

Google doesn't need IOS, they can get along very well without them. Have you seen what their Map application is like these days, it's pathetic no matter how they want to spin it. The I-Phone owner who uses this app is pissed off. Apple is just pissing in the wind and telling everyone it's raining out. The I-Sheep believe it. Baaaaaaaa
Baaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaaa

Yeesh. Apparently you missed the part where google makes more off iOS than they do on android.

You also apparently didn't read the story above.

You better read up on Apples vector based maps which are much better than Google bit mapped maps. Apple is also open sourcing them. Google is going to lose massive amounts of revenue from this. It is certainly not their choice. Apple always wrote the front end to google maps which is most of the iOS app. Google made a lot of revenue from users of Google Maps on iOS and this is going to hit them hard in the pocketbook. They will be free to make their own Google maps app but i doubt many iOS users will use it because Apples are much better.

Hey snookie, could you put a number on the "massive amounts of revenue"? Because I think Google will survive just fine ;)

Read up on it...Good luck Apple :) All the Google Maps negatives cited by "appleInsider", are really an iOS thing.

Good on Apple for finally trying to catch up to Google maps though. Will they finally deliver turn-by-turn voice navigation (like every Android device has had for three years)? Will they deliver 3D maps? What about "street view"?

Google held those features from iOS. Apple would have included them if google allowed them to.

Oh, and iOS is responsible for over $2 billion in revenue for google since 2007. If google won't feel that, you're kidding yourself.

Thanks for the reply snookie...

I'm pretty sure I said that Google will be just fine.. They might just squeak by. The Google Maps team will all have jobs tomorrow. I know, I Googled it.

The correct thing to do would have been to have the Google YouTube ready and in the Appstore before removing it from iOS propper but then that may end up bring the case before iOS is released to the public. We shall have to see.

Note that the app is ONLY removed in iOS 6, which won't be released until September or October. Google will have YouTube ready by then, and it will be better than what iOS has now. (which is the whole point of Apple EOLing their app)

Good point sir! I would +1 you if allowed.. :)

1. Google makes very little from iOS directly, aside from license contracts.
2. Google makes no money from Android directly.
3. Google makes very little money from Android enabled hardware, aside from license contracts. All in all, ~5% profit from these combined.
Say hypothetically Google made 3 billion in revenue, and iOS related direct sales revenue is 2.5% = 75 million in loss if Apple dropped all Google licensed Apps from iOS.

Google makes greater than 95% of all profits from adSense and adWords. A reported 52% of that ad revenue comes from mobile sources, making me guess (by market share) that ~25% of that could be iOS related.
On both my iOS and Android devices, the mobile versions (unlike the browser based versions) of Google maps have no ads taking up precious space on the "small screen", therefore this is a value added mobile application that makes little to no ad revenue for Google at all. This is why Apple switching to it's own map service will not really hurt Google. Any use of Google Maps through Safari will still generate ad revenue, as it does now, and this will continue on into iOS6 (or unless Safari starts restricting Google sites directly).

The YouTube app for iOS whether authored by Google, Apple, or other licensed second party, will still generate just as much overall "hits/clicks" to youTube as before. Every hit/click is ad revenue for Google. They will survive and all will keep working fine.