Apple Removes Native YouTube App From iOS Beta
The Next Web has an excellent round up of today’s news that the native iOS YouTube app will likely be removed from the upcoming iOS 6 operating system which was reported by both Macrumors and 9to5Mac. The article includes the expected generic PR response from Google and a few more details from Apple they obtained in a statement issued to The Verge.
Panzarino makes some excellent conclusions on why this change was not only inevitable, but beneficial for both companies. I won’t spoil the entire article because it is definitely worth the read however he makes one point specifically that matched my first thought when I heard the news:
Remember, though, that Google’s YouTube app will likely be at a disadvantage to Apple’s native one. The hooks that normally direct a user out to the app will now simply play in Mobile Safari, rather than bumping people out to the app.
There will be tradeoffs to an App Store specific version of YouTube made by Google and many of those tradeoffs will effect us as users. The app will likely see more frequent updates that reflect the growing features of the website, however now they are at the mercy of Apple’s rigorous approval process. Other changes, as Panzarino mentioned, include the fact that users will be redirected to Mobile Safari instead of the official app, much like the experience of clicking links for Twitter. This will likely be a negative for most users however I don’t think I will personally mind the change in which app opens to play the video. I enjoy the Mobile Safari experience and with HTML5 progressing so far, there are fewer downsides to the YouTube web app experience. I am far from a YouTube power user and find myself enjoying other services more, e.g. Vimeo.
This could change again before the final release of iOS 6, however for the reasons Panzarino mentioned, I feel this change is permanent. Nevertheless, the native YouTube app is in good hands being developed by Google. I feel Google proved they can ship a polished, native iOS app in their recent release of Chrome for iOS and I look forward to the direction they take their mobile video offerings. Perhaps they can even woo me away from my aforementioned preferred service Vimeo if they don’t flood mobile users with too many advertisements.