The Revamped YouTube for iPhone
Rajesh is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
In August, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) pleased its fans by launching the beta version of its upcoming mobile operating system, the iOS 6. However, the good news came along with an unpleasant one. Apple said that it would drop the built-in YouTube support in the iOS 6 as the licensing arrangement with YouTube was about to terminate, and that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) was preparing to develop a standalone version of the same which it would make available in Apple’s App Store. The bonhomie between the two companies started fraying from the time the consumer focus started shifting from PCs to mobile devices. The licensing agreement gave the Cupertino company the right to customize the design of the built-in YouTube app on its trendsetting devices. However, Apple and Google couldn’t come to consensus with regards to the YouTube five-year agreement which resulted in the termination of the licensing arrangement.
The app was a built-in service offered by Apple since the time it released the iPhone back in 2007 and a convenient way of accessing and sharing the content. Under no circumstances Google will let Apple dump its video service for its popular devices. As per the data measurement firm Nielsen, among all the iPhone apps, YouTube is the third most popular one including the preloaded and downloaded apps in June. So now, Google released its own YouTube player app that can run on both iPhone and iPad Touch. The app will have to be downloaded from the App Store as it would not be preloaded in the device.
The app has undergone a remarkable improvement over the older version. The new YouTube version, that will feature advertisements as well, is said to include a number of functions in it.
The blessing in disguise
Google made quite a few changes after Apple ditched it by not renewing the five-year license arrangement of pre-installing the YouTube app. It promises to offer a lot more videos, including popular music videos, than before which were otherwise restricted in Apple’s YouTube version. This revamped version offers more ways of sharing the video content through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, emails and text messages.
The app now has the plain YouTube logo that replaces the ‘50s-era TV put for its icon. A big improvement is that signing in the Google account is much faster than in the older version. Even the player is faster and more convenient to use. The earlier version was pretty bulky and heavily built compared to the new improved version which makes searches very smooth. The menu items come up on swiping the right side. In addition, it also gives quick access to the uploaded videos along with the feeds in the channel.
One negative aspect in all this is that the videos will now feature advertisements as well, which were not allowed by Apple for its built-in version of YouTube. This restriction by Apple disallowed many widely watched clips including music videos as its copyright owners restrict viewing their content unless they get paid for it. The new app removes this limitation. The bad part is the inclusion of the advertisements, but the good part is that the previously restricted videos would be allowed which compensates for the downside. This precisely means that iOS app users would enjoy all the YouTube videos that are already on smartphones and tablets running on Google’s Android. Also, this would increase the earning opportunity for the biggest search engine and generate bulk of revenue from the advertisement clips.
Other than the ads, there is another concern. We know that YouTube videos can also be viewed on Web browsers on the iOS including Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome. So viewers might prefer accessing YouTube through the browsers instead of finding and downloading it from the App Store which could result in losing a section of the audience.
Google is designing a more tailored version for the iPad which is slated to release in the next few months. Also, YouTube is not the only Google service that Apple is dropping, Google maps will also be missing from the iOS home-screen. While Apple decided to bunk Google’s video services, Google decided to cling on the tech giant and present a revamped version. The new YouTube version is specifically customized for the iPhone, though it can run on iPad as well. It has been developed by the YouTube engineers with several new features as a reply to Apple’s unpleasant action. It looks like Apple’s decision to ditch the pre-installed app worked out well for YouTube.
The introduction of the iPhone 5 is an event Apple investors have been looking forward to for months. The stakes are high and the opportunity is huge, so to help investors understand this epic Apple event, we've just released an exclusive update dedicated to the iPhone 5 launch. By picking up a copy of our premium research report on Apple, you'll learn everything you need to know about the launch, and receive ongoing guidance as key news hits. Claim your copy today by clicking here now.
liveinvestor has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.