One Month After Being Kicked Out, YouTube Is Back On The iPhone
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Early last month, Apple shocked iOS app developers when they shipped a beta version of iOS 6 without a familiar icon on the home screen: YouTube.
Soon after those in the peanut gallery of the Internet began to make a fuss about this absence, Apple issued a statement to All Things D, saying: “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.”
Today, that app has landed in the App Store, just one day away from Apple´s unveil of their first device to ship with iOS 6 installed, and while an iPad app is still under development, this free app is currently iPhone-only.
With their licensing agreement at an end, Google can finally do something they´ve always wanted to do with their YouTube iPhone app: make money.
While the new YouTube app ushers in some new UI tweaks and design choices, it also allows advertising to be shown before videos, an option Google never had whilst under Apple´s thumb. This restriction prevented some content, such as music videos, to be unavailable on the natively installed YouTube app.
Google now hopes this ability to bring ads to the Apple platform will be a win-win situation not only for content providers, but possibly even for iOS users, who have been unable to watch the same videos as their Android counterparts.
“We are offering a better user experience to iPhone users,” said Francisco Varela, YouTube’s global director of platform partnerships, speaking with CBS News.
“We will now have content parity on all our mobile platforms.”
Google has always been able to show ads on the iPhone and iPad, of course. Anytime a video is seen in the browser, Google has the ability to preface the content with a commercial. Today´s release simply brings these ads directly to the app, increasing the number ads they´ll be able to sell.
The iPhone version of the YouTube app is available today, with an iPad version to follow in the next few months.
“You´ve already shown us you love YouTube on mobile–to the tune of 1 billion mobile views a day–so we can´t wait to see what you think about this new experience,” writes Andrey Doronichev, head of YouTube mobile on the YouTube blog.
In addition to ads, the new YouTube app also includes:
- “Tens of thousands” more videos
- A suspiciously Facebook-esque layout, complete with a new channel guide which can be accessed by swiping to the right in much the same way the menu can be accessed in the Facebook app.
- Improved searching, which takes a Google predictive search approach to searching for videos
- Better ways to share videos through email, Facebook, Twitter, text message and, of course, Google+. Sharing a video through text message is incredibly helpful, as until now, sharing a video in a text involved choosing to send an email, then copying the video´s link and pasting into a text message.
One interesting note: Users who want to send videos through AirPlay will get a message telling them to enable mirroring in order to watch these videos through the Apple TV. It´s an interesting choice, especially considering this functionality is present on both the native YouTube app as well as videos watched through the browser.