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.
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.
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