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Google’s legal threat forces YouTube Vanced app to shut down

YouTube Vanced app
(Image credit: Vanced)

What you need to know

  • The YouTube Vanced app has been discontinued.
  • Developers of the app say they had to do it “due to legal reasons.”
  • Currently installed versions of YouTube Vanced will continue to work just fine.

Vanced, a popular YouTube app that enabled Android users to watch ad-free videos without a subscription, has been discontinued. In a statement shared on its official Twitter page, Vanced says it will take down download links from its website in the coming days.

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While the statement doesn’t include any details behind the discontinuation, developers of the app revealed in a Telegram message that they had to do it “due to legal reasons.” 

According to The Verge, the developers recently received a cease and desist letter from Google, asking them to remove all references to YouTube. The owners were also asked to change their app logo and “remove all links related to YouTube products.”

The existing versions of the app will continue to work, at least for now. Since Vanced will no longer push any updates, the app will become outdated in two years or so.

In addition to access to add-free videos, Vanced also supported auto-repeat, background playback, and picture-in-picture features on the best Android phones. While Vanced is no longer available to download, there are still a few other free apps like NewPipe and SkyTube that deliver a “lightweight YouTube” experience.

Unsurprisingly, Vanced now suggests that users consider getting a YouTube Premium subscription to continue watching ad-free videos and unlock other features such as background play, access to YouTube Music, and the ability to download videos.

This isn’t the first time that YouTube has taken action against third-party apps. Back in August, Google forced the Groovy Discord music bot offline. The music bot allowed Discord users to listen to music from YouTube videos. Just weeks later, Google forced the Rythm music bot to go offline. Before it was shut down, the Rythm bot was installed on over 20 million Discord servers.

Babu Mohan
Babu Mohan