With the release of iOS 6 beta 4, Apple announced that the next version of its mobile OS won’t ship with the YouTube app, that has been part of iOS since the very first version. Actually I’m not really sure if the app ever changed since then, that’s how often I really used it.
From a user perspective I was always pretty annoyed when a link on the web (or from somewhere else) made me switch to that app, because I really prefer the web version. It’s actually one less task switch I won’t have to witness any more.
It’d be a great thing if Apple started to make more apps optional. Nowadays there are so many apps that come preinstalled which will be moved into a separate “Apple” folder as soon as I start using an iOS device. Oh, and Google does the same crapware-preinstall on the Galaxy Nexus 7.
Need some examples?
Dear Apple: can you please nix Stocks and Compass for iOS while you’re at it? I’d love to clean up my home screen.
— Ross Miller (@ohnorosco) August 6, 2012
I’d throw in Newsstand. Even if these apps would still come preinstalled, at least make them removable. Yes, I do realize that it probably won’t ever happen but one can dream, right?
There’s been some debate as to why the YouTube app will be removed from iOS 6. Apple says the license to include the YouTube app with iOS has ended, other people are suggesting that they removed it because Apple is removing Google from its devices entirely.
Either way nobody should be surprised by this move. After seeing OS X Mountain Lion coming without a way to share to YouTube — Vimeo was included — I was just waiting for this moment to come. It’s likely that Google’s own YouTube app will be much better than the one Apple build in 2007 and is still shipping with iOS 5, even though Google’s track record building good iOS apps is rather spotty coughGmailcough.
Matthew Panzarino has some other good points why it makes sense for everyone involved that the YouTube app will be removed and replaced with one that comes directly from the horses mouth —ahem— Google. Especially the one about Google being able to make money by showing ads will be interesting.
Then there are people like Jeff Jarvis coming out now and calling this “the last straw”. Really, Apple removing a 5 year old YouTube app, that hasn’t been touched since, is “the last straw”?
Apple killing YouTube on iPhone just happens to be the last straw. Went into the AT&T store today to begin switch to my Android phone.
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) August 7, 2012
If he had said changing from Google Maps was the last straw, I would have had to agree with him. But this? The lack of public transportation in the current iOS 6 betas is the reason why it’s not on my iPhone yet.
The maps app being completely turned upside down will be an interesting thing to watch unwrap once iOS 6 is released to the masses. Like MG Siegler wrote today, it wouldn’t be surprising if changing the default search engine is next although he sees some problems with a deal like that.
It seems Apple is testing the waters here to see how users will react to changes like this. At some point maybe many things will be discoverable with Siri, but at this point and for the foreseeable future it’s not going to happen. The service is still officially in Beta — whatever that means nowadays — and does too little to serve the average user.
Overall pulling YouTube is not surprising and probably the best for everyone involved, including the user. For Maps though, I’ll reserve my final judgement until I see some apps using the new public transport APIs. For now I’ll stay away from the iOS 6 betas on my daily driver. I can’t wait for Google’s own iOS Maps app either, it’s one of the few things I like about Android.