Not that this was unexpected, but Google launched a new-and-improved YouTube app for the iPhone today, and you can download it now for free from the App Store. The move comes after Apple and Google failed to come to an agreement on how to integrate the popular video platform into iOS after their five-year licensing deal expired.
Once Apple unveils and releases iOS 6, it will spell the end of YouTube as a “core app”, meaning that it won’t come pre-loaded on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch anymore. The pre-loaded version of the app was designed and maintained by Apple. Unfortunately, the app hadn’t seen an update in years, and they also limited what Google could add to the app. For example, videos with ads weren’t allowed, and now all videos that weren’t accessible before have been added.
Subscriptions to YouTube channels will now be maintained, and with ads openly running, content creators (and especially Google) can reap some financial benefits from having millions of extra eyeballs watching. Some copyright holders refused to allow their videos to work on Apple’s version because there was no way for them to be paid. This puts the iPhone more in line with Android devices when it comes to what videos can be viewed.
Useful features like AirPlay, voice search, ratings and comments are readily available here, making this app more like the actual site than Apple’s version is. You may not like that ads will pop up more often, but that’s how the actual site runs anyway.
It should be noted that this new app is designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and not the iPad. The iPad version of the app is said to come in the next couple of months, so for the time being, you would either have to watch through a Web browser or double the size of the current app, while also dealing with pixilated images.
This move finalizes another wedge between Apple and Google, who used to work closely together, but are now competing for the top of the heap in the mobile space. In the meantime, you can now watch whatever is on YouTube without any real limitations.
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