Google’s YouTube app has been a staple on the homescreens of iOS devices around the world. Not anymore. Continuing its anti-Google stride and following up on the removal of Google Maps from iOS 6, Apple has announced the YouTube app will no longer come preinstalled on devices running iOS 6; it will remain on iOS 5 and below devices.
For those YouTube fans out there ready to cry your heart out, don’t worry. Apple is no longer preinstalling YouTube on iOS 6; it will instead be available from Apple App Store. According to Apple, YouTube will still function through the Safari browser and Google is working on a standalone, App Store version of YouTube for iOS 6 which will be downloadable from Apple App Store soon as it is released.
Officially, Apple is stating the reason for this removal is Apple’s licensing of YouTube ran out:
Our licensing 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 in the App Store.
Interestingly enough, Apple provides no details on if it attempted to re-license the app or not. Indeed licensing may just be an excuse to further dump Google from iOS. Alternatively, Apple’s reasoning may be less nefarious — it may just be tired of maintaining the iOS YouTube app (as per the agreement between Google and Apple, Google developed the app but Apple maintained it) and has decided to let Google take care of its own work. Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is iDevice fans will have to now manually download YouTube on devices running iOS 6 or higher. An inconvenience, yes, but the silver lining is now that Google is responsible for maintaining the app, we may see new features added in the future.