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Apple removes YouTube app from iOS

9to5Mac has revealed that the next version of iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch won't include a native YouTube app by default. In a statement issued to Reuters, Apple said its license to include a YouTube app in iOS had ended, and noted users could still access YouTube via a web browser. It also stated Google was working on a standalone app, which presumably will subsequently be available via the App Store. Google later confirmed to The Verge it was "working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users".

Apple's relationship with Google turned frosty with the onset of Android, and we in March reported that Apple had moved from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap in iOS iPhoto, and Apple's default mapping app is set to follow suit. iOS and OS X sharing sheets also omit Google services (sharing video to Vimeo), leaving Google web search as the sole major Google hook in iOS and OS X – something Apple could easily enough switch to Bing if it wished. However, from a user standpoint, pundits suggested Apple removing its YouTube app might be beneficial. "Let Google be responsible for updating and maintaining the YouTube app for iOS," said writer Harry Marks, adding that it will "be good to have one less stock iOS app cluttering up my home screen".

Writing for iMore, Rene Ritchie also thought removing the default YouTube app was a good thing: "Removing the Google-powered apps from the built-in apps – apps that only get updated when Apple updates the entire iOS firmware stack, if Apple chooses to include them in that update – would let Google update them themselves, hopefully faster and more frequently. If Google releases proper Google Maps and YouTube apps into the iOS App Store, due to past federal scrutiny, it would be hard if not impossible for Apple to reject them. It would also allow Google to be Google, and Apple to be Apple, and let iOS users once again enjoy the best of both worlds."