iOS 6 Abandons Native YouTube App
The divide between Apple and Google appears to be widening
Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 will not feature a pre-installed YouTube app because the company couldn’t agree a licensing deal with Google.
Instead, Google will develop its own app that will be available as a free download. Apple’s decision was confirmed after the familiar YouTube icon on the home screen was found missing from the release of iOS 6 beta version 4 on Monday.
Change of play
The YouTube app has been included with every iOS release since the debut of the original iPhone in 2007, indicating Apple is moving away from including apps that benefit rivals in its OS by default. Google’s Android operating system is iOS’ chief rival in the smartphone space and is used by millions more users.
Before now, the YouTube app was actually made by Apple using the video platform’s open APIs. As a result, the app looked and felt different from anything designed by Google. One of the most striking differences was the lack of advertising on Apple’s devices that made some video content inaccessible.
“Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended,” said Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. “Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”
“We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users,” Google explained in a statement.
This means that although the YouTube app will not accompany every copy of the iOS 6, it will still remain available to every single iPhone, iPad and iPod user. All it will take to turn back time is spend 15 seconds downloading the app.
Nevertheless, research by independent mobile analyst Chetan Sharma published by USA Today suggests that apps that are part of the pre-packaged lineup from the device maker are used 15 to 20 percent more than the ones that aren’t.
Apple recently ditched another important Google product – Maps. Among 200 new features planned for iOS 6, Apple will roll out its own navigation software, with 3D view, real-time traffic information and local business search. Just like with YouTube, Google is already working on a dedicated Maps app for the iTunes store.
The previous test version of iOS 6 – beta 3 – had introduced the ‘icloud.com’ email addresses which will replace MobileMe services.
The new OS might also feature a social network for hearing-impaired users that could be supported by the “made for iPhone” hearing aids.
iOS 6 will be released sometime in autumn, with rumours hinting at a 12 September launch. Meanwhile, Apple is actively cracking down on websites that sell early access to developer versions of the system.
How closely have you been following the evolution of the iPhone? Take our quiz!