Apple has removed the YouTube app from the latest beta of iOS 6 and has confirmed that it will not exist at all when iOS 6 officially releases to the public.
The YouTube app, if you’ll remember, has existed since the original iPhone. It’s been removed in iOS 6 beta 4 for the iPhone and iPad, but it still exists for Apple TV. Apple’s official statement:
Our licence 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.
Once a marquee feature of the iPhone, and still widely used by many, the YouTube app had actually been long surpassed by its web app counterpart. That web app was made by Google, the native app was made by Apple.
Of course, with the iPhone no longer offering an app for YouTube, and YouTube being owned by Google, it’s more evidence that the two companies are butting heads with each other. But this is actually a good thing for users. If you’ve spent any time with the iOS YouTube app, you’d know how terrible it is. The 3G video quality was poor, the features were limited, the buffering times were slow. It was inconvenient and unpleasant, basically the opposite of what YouTube is. After highlighting the app as a key feature for the original iPhone, Apple was letting it rot.
Ultimately, this actually may be a case where everyone wins. By having Apple kill its native app, iOS users don’t have to be saddled with a piss poor YouTube app. By not having to maintain a native YouTube app, Apple steps out of the awkward handshake licensing agreement it had with a competitor. By making its own YouTube app, Google gets to control its own properties. And although Google doesn’t exactly have the track record of building awesome iOS apps (ahem, Gmail), the excellent web app is proof that Google gets YouTube. [The Verge]