A month after Apple scrapped the YouTube app that had come pre-installed since 2007, it’s back – bigger, better, and coming courtesy of Google itself.
Last month, the latest beta release of iOS 6 was discovered to lack the pre-installed app, because Apple hadn’t renewed its license with Google. Google said it was working on its own native version for the iPhone and iPod – and here it is.
While the app will work on the iPad, the company says it’s also working on a specially-optimized version.
The most noticeable improvement over Apple’s version is the inclusion of tens of thousands of additional videos. As in the Android version, this is possible thanks to Google’s decision to allow advertising in some of the clips – allowing major labels to reap a financial reward when their videos are played.
Browsing has also been improved, so that users simply need to swipe across the screen to see a list of channels that have been subscribed to. New search tools give suggestions while you type, and let you sort through videos or channels.
Sharing’s also been made easier, via Google+, Facebook or text message in the app, as well as Twitter and email.
Until now, YouTube itself had little input into the iOS app – apart from helping to build it in the first place – and it was rarely updated. Now that Google’s got free rein, it’s brought the same look and feel of the Android app to the iPhone. Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave.