Upon release of the newest version of Apple’s iOS 6 beta on Monday, users noted the absence of a long-time staple of the iPhone suite of preinstalled apps, YouTube. Since the first iPhone in 2007, the YouTube app has been a permanent fixture and could not be deleted.
Some have claimed that this is just another step in the infamous Apple rivalry with Google, which has owned YouTube since purchasing the company for $1.65 billion in 2006. Apple’s biggest public strike against Google also comes in iOS 6 with an announcement that Apple will begin using its own map software, dropping Google Maps which it has used since the first iPhone.
Easing some debate over the iPhone’s YouTube app, an Apple spokesperson released a statement explaining that their “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.” Google confirmed this, releasing its own statement saying that “We are working with Apple to make sure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”
Regardless of past feuds between the two tech giants, this news is still unsurprising and logical. By preinstalling YouTube on every iPhone, Apple had been forcing users to keep the app whether they wanted it or not. It could not be deleted, and for anyone who did not use it, the app just sat around taking up space.
Now, as Google develops its own YouTube app, users are able to choose whether they want to download it. Additionally, this gives Google more control over the YouTube app, giving the company the ability to easily develop and implement updates on its own, which is how apps are usually managed.
Having a mandatory YouTube app on the iPhone was a special case; removing it does not make Apple a bully. If Apple is “supposed to” have a YouTube app, by that same logic, Google should force everyone to have an iTunes app on their Android phones. Having YouTube is simply a matter of preference that should not be forced upon users.
In the end, this move is a win on all fronts. Users are able to decide whether or not they want to have a YouTube app, and Google is able to manage its YouTube app more closely through the App Store.