Apple removes YouTube app from iOS with beta 4 release of iOS 6 [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple on Monday afternoon released the 4th beta of iOS 6 to developers and in the process appears to have nixed the inclusion of the once-standard YouTube app in what appears to be an escalation of tensions between the company and rival Google.

The release originally began cropping up as an over-the-air update at around 1:00 p.m. Eastern but was mislabeled as beta 3 and temporarily removed. As of press time, Apple has re-issued the beta with the appropriate labeling.

Upon installing the release, people familiar with the software confirm that the Apple-developed YouTube app is no longer part of the distribution -- potentially a sign of increased tensions between the two companies which are facing off against each other in both the mobile and connected television segments.

Google owns YouTube.

Update: in a statement issued to Reuters Apple said:
Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.



Apple's partnerships with Google to work around Flash

At the release of the original iPhone in 2007, Apple partnered with Google to develop a native, bundled YouTube app for the iPhone that would allow users to access Google's vast library of user-created videos.

Without work on Google's side to make those videos available using the open H.264 codec, its YouTube videos would not have worked with the iPhone because Google's player and distribution formats were tied to Adobe Flash, a software platform that wasn't functional on smartphones and wouldn't be made available by Adobe in a partially-usable form until 2010, and then only on brand new hardware powerful enough to run it.

Because of the proprietary nature of Flash, Apple would have been severely constrained in any of its efforts to create an in-house compatibility layer to support it. It would also have required significant resources and introduced new limitations on Apple's iOS.

Rather than taking on the nearly impossible task of supporting Flash on 2007-era mobile devices, Apple decided to instead provide alternative workarounds that minimized the feature loss of not having Flash available.

Because the primary valuable uses of Flash revolved around simple web site animations and video playback, Apple focused on providing rich support for advanced HTML techniques and began promoting Flash-free, direct H.264 video playback, two features that became prominent capabilities of HTML 5.

After initially supporting YouTube playback on the iPhone, Apple TV and later the iPad by converting its huge library to enable raw H.264 video downloads, Google began an attack on the H.264 standard because it incorporated licensed technologies that put it at odds with free software advocates in the open source community, particularly Mozilla.

Google acquired its own proprietary codec (renaming it WebM) and made the specification "open" in the sense of requiring no licensing fees to use it. However, the MPEG Licensing Authority, the standards body behind H.264, insisted that Google's new specification infringed upon the technical patent portfolio already developed by the global community for H.264.

Concerns around the legal legitimacy and infringement risks of Google's own WebM codec, as well as the codec's serious technical shortcomings (including a lack of mobile hardware acceleration support) has caused it to fail to gain any serious traction in the market since, even despite Google's removal of H.264 playback support from its Chrome web browser.

Over the last five years, Apple's support for HTML 5 and H.264 video has made both open standards (one freely licensed, the other requiring licensing from the MPEG LA) the new foundations of web development. This is particularly the case in the global market for mobile devices, about half of which are now produced by Apple.

Adobe has canceled Flash development on mobile devices, and its middleware platform is now becoming increasingly irrelevant on the web as HTML 5 takes over more and more features formerly served by Flash. After YouTube's switch to serving H.264, other prominent video distributors followed suit, to the point where most of the world's web videos do not require Flash to work, an unbelievable scenario back in 2007.

At this point, iOS doesn't need a special app to access YouTube videos, and as Apple indicated in its comment to the media, Google has terminated its license to access YouTube videos natively, rather than via Google's website.

Apple evicts Google from iOS 6

While Apple no longer needs to direct attention to YouTube videos in a special iOS app, the removal of its YouTube app sends a strong message when combined with other, related efforts Apple has made to exclude Google from its once intimate position on Apple's iOS platform.

New "Share Sheets" Apple introduced for iOS 6 and this summer's OS X Mountain Lion specifically support Google's YouTube competitor site Vimeo (shown below), but not YouTube.



Apple has also added support for Yahoo's Flickr photo site but not Google's Picassa, and has added or announced new social link features for Twitter and Facebook, but conspicuously not Google's own competing services Buzz and Google+.

One of the most significant features of iOS 6 is Apple's new Maps, which erases its former support for Google's mapping services and establishes Apple's own in-house services in their place.

Apple's new Maps app for iOS 6 (below) similarly avoids any support for Google's Places, instead partnering with Yelp, and makes no effort to incorporate Google's Latitude location sharing, having introduced Apple's own device location and Find My Friends services tied to iCloud.



Apple's removal or lack of support for Google's services (particularly given the support of its competitor's) is apparently an intentional distancing effort Apple has initiated as a response to Google's increasingly intense competitive efforts, which include Google's Android software platform, legal efforts to challenge Apple's infringement complaints with offensive use of standards essential patents through Google's new Motorola subsidiary, and most recently, efforts to take on the iPad and Apple TV with Google-branded hardware devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 144
    macosxpmacosxp Posts: 152member


    New feature: Delete YouTube

  • Reply 2 of 144
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member


    It isn't a very useful application anyway.  Google should at least be paying for that application placement.  Maybe Apple has something better in mind.

  • Reply 3 of 144
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Makes sense to me. Google can just upload it to the app store. All the web links seem to take you to a mobile web version now anyway. No need for this to be built-in.
  • Reply 4 of 144
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member


    It sucked anyway. 


     


    Just bookmark it and drag it out to your screen.

  • Reply 5 of 144
    kavokkavok Posts: 51member


    According to Macrumors, Apple has released a statement saying that their license with Google to include the YouTube app has expired. 

  • Reply 6 of 144
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    As long as the 'YouTube' app remains available for iOS this amount to little more than Apple trying to make some kind of anti-Googee statement while needlessly inconveniencing current iOS users who expect the app to be there when they upgrade/buy a new iOS device.
  • Reply 7 of 144
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member


    Quote:



    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    As long as the 'YouTube' app remains available for iOS this amount to little more than Apple trying to make some kind of anti-Googee statement while needlessly inconveniencing current iOS users who expect the app to be there when they upgrade/buy a new iOS device.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kavok View Post


    According to Macrumors, Apple has released a statement saying that their license with Google to include the YouTube app has expired. 



     


    DaHarder is always on top of things.

  • Reply 8 of 144
    studentxstudentx Posts: 112member


    iTube

  • Reply 9 of 144
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    As long as the 'YouTube' app remains available for iOS this amount to little more than Apple trying to make some kind of anti-Googee statement while needlessly inconveniencing current iOS users who expect the app to be there when they upgrade/buy a new iOS device.


     


     


    Terrible! WHAT AN INCONVENIENCE. NOW EVERYONE WILL GET AN ANDROID DEVICE. 


     


     


     


     


    Keep trying. 

  • Reply 10 of 144


    This is starting to get ugly. I've been an Apple customer since 1983. No longer being the hungry underdog, they are now telling users what to like and what to not like. I haven't used the new "Maps" for iOS 6, but I am familiar with and have used "Maps" for the last 3 or 4 years on the iPhone. I can only wonder now with the elimination of the YouTube application (yes, I know it will still be available through Safari for the iPhone, which some people may even claim has more features) that Apple will replace it with something called "iTube". It's only a matter of time before they start restricting what pages Safari will load, and what pages its customers should and should not see.

  • Reply 11 of 144
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


    This is starting to get ugly. I've been an Apple customer since 1983. No longer being the hungry underdog, they are now telling users what to like and what to not like. I haven't used the new "Maps" for iOS 6, but I am familiar with and have used "Maps" for the last 3 or 4 years on the iPhone. I can only wonder now with the elimination of the YouTube application (yes, I know it will still be available through Safari for the iPhone, which some people may even claim has more features) that Apple will replace it with something called "iTube". It's only a matter of time before they start restricting what pages Safari will load, and what pages its customers should and should not see.



     


     


    *Not sure if serious*

  • Reply 12 of 144
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    As long as the 'YouTube' app remains available for iOS this amount to little more than Apple trying to make some kind of anti-Googee statement while needlessly inconveniencing current iOS users who expect the app to be there when they upgrade/buy a new iOS device.


     



     


    ------>  Bookmark -----> drag to home screen. 


     


    (since all us iOS yokels use mobile Safari anyway.)

  • Reply 13 of 144
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kavok View Post


    According to Macrumors, Apple has released a statement saying that their license with Google to include the YouTube app has expired. 



     


    I don't think the removal of Google Maps and Youtube as built-in apps five years after the original iPhone release is a coincident. This is most likely the extent of the original contract Apple signed with Google when they released the original iPhone.

  • Reply 14 of 144
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,748member


    TheVerge is also reporting Apple's statement that it's no longer included because the license expired. "Escalating tensions" may have nothing at all to do with it. In addition the Verge thinks it's a blessing in disguise if you're a YouTube user since it's been a long time since Apple made any updates available for it. Apple also announced Google will be introducing a standalone app for iOS, another sign this had little if anything to do with bad blood.


     


    From Apple's statement:


    Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.


    http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/6/3223775/apple-youtube-ios6


     


    so nothing to see here folks. . .

  • Reply 15 of 144
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member


    I never use the YouTube app - it has worked perfectly well within Safari for over a year.


     


    This is nothing to do with 'escalating tensions'.

  • Reply 16 of 144

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post



    As long as the 'YouTube' app remains available for iOS this amount to little more than Apple trying to make some kind of anti-Googee statement while needlessly inconveniencing current iOS users who expect the app to be there when they upgrade/buy a new iOS device.


     


    In typical fashion, you make this out to be a negative...  Companies and People discontinue outdated services all the time -- for instance we no longer have a land-line phone service & are looking to become a TV cord-cutter as soon as practical.


     


    Virtually every link you get takes you to the web site -- so the app is no-longer needed and would be unnecessary legacy bloat!


     


     


    I suppose you get regular coal deliveries in the winter and visits from the iceman in the summer...


     


    Get real!

  • Reply 17 of 144
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 446member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


     


    I don't think the removal of Google Maps and Youtube as built-in apps five years after the original iPhone release is a coincident. This is most likely the extent of the original contract Apple signed with Google when they released the original iPhone.



     


    If Apple is burning the midnight oil, it isn't doing it trying to figure out how to keep apps based on the infrastructure of their chief competitor in the mobile device OS space on iOS. I'm sure it's no coincidence and they likely do also happen to have contracts that are expiring as well. :)


     


    The good news is that there's probably a fair chance that Google will make more off of Android users than iOS users in the not-too-distant future; the bad news (for Google) is that it doesn't mean Google will be bringing in more revenue, just that they pissed in their own well when they decided to compete directly with Apple in this space.

  • Reply 18 of 144
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


     


    I don't think the removal of Google Maps and Youtube as built-in apps five years after the original iPhone release is a coincident. This is most likely the extent of the original contract Apple signed with Google when they released the original iPhone.



    We'll know they are serious when they no longer allow Google search on iOS and remove the GMail choice in the Mail accounts. Apple gets paid big $ for Google being the default search, not that Apple really needs the money. Those contracts are probably coming up soon too.

  • Reply 19 of 144
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,281member


    YouTube in Safari is much better than the app.


    The YouTube app has long been in my iOS folder called "waste", full of apps I can't delete, and never use.

  • Reply 20 of 144
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    Good riddance. I'd much prefer to stay in Safari to view the content. Now if only Apple would let us delete some of the other useless Apps that some of us don't use, like Stocks, Weather, Game Center, Newstand. IMO these should be optional installs.
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