Users of the new iOS6 (Beta 4), released earlier this week on iPad or iPhone may have noticed something peculiar on their iDevices. No YouTube. Well, not pre-loaded, at least. In the midst of increasingly sour relations with Google, Apple announced will not be including YouTube in their upcoming operating system release. This marks the first time since 2007, when the first version of the iPhone came out, that YouTube will not be included with the operating system.
But this news is not all that bad.. For the consumer, this means more app choices and future functionality. But what does this say about Apple’s direction for the future? What specifically do the app changes mean? And who is ultimately the winner in this move: Apple or Google?
It is clearly Apple, as it continues to show why it is what I will dub, “The Top Anti-Google Machine of the World.”
App Changes And What It Means For You
Specifically, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch will not have the regular YouTube app pre-loaded. Old devices including up until iOS5 are not affected.
The official excuse:
"Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended," Apple said in a statement.
It added, "Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the app store."
So, instead of having the Apple version of the YouTube app pre-loaded, Google will be offering its own version in the App Store. Why is this not bad news? Because the old YouTube apps were not particularly noted for being spectacular. The exclusion of YouTube from the OS opens the gate for more third party YouTube apps to be introduced into the competition to create a superior YouTube app. Not only that, but this lack of ‘woven-ness’ will allow Google to create a more functional YouTube app that will be easily upgradeable. It will be able to copy areas of functionality that work better in popular third party YouTube appsand integrate into its own version..
As Sascha Segan of PC World puts it, the original YouTube app was "undeletable clutter" anyway--bloatware that should have been just the first of many unnecessary apps Apple needs to scrap. It is certainly reasonable to ponder why we are still forced to keep the “Stocks” and “Weather” apps when there are much better alternatives available in the App Store. Why does Apple feel so strongly we must carry this clutter with us, which it might have spent five minutes creating?
Message to Apple: Let us choose our own app-destiny.
As one option, you can turn to the popular third party app TubeBox, a highly-reviewed replacement for the YouTube app, which also allows you to watch save videos to watch offline.
The second option would be to simply go to the YouTube website and hit “Add Website to Home Screen.” Within a few seconds, you now have a YouTube button on our home screen again.
Apple Maps: A Proof of Apple’s Business Savvy
Apple is not a company that is lacking in business acumen. This move has been given lengthy consideration to have a net benefit for their company over any possible ‘negative publicity’ and relations that may come from the exclusion of the Google software.
I will explain one example of its savvy and preparation illustrated with the release of the new iOS6 Maps app.
Apple has been stocking mapping technology companies for a while, having had three acquisitions of mapping companies in the past three years. It has been a long time in the making that Apple would come out with its own app strong enough to replace Google Maps. Primarily, last October they acquired 3D mapping company “C3 Technologies”.
Continually, Apple has had Google at wits end, as exemplified with its impressive technology in the Maps app, spurring Google to launch a bugged version of its own 3D mapping technology just five days before Apple was set to unveil its. Worse, Google even presented its new technology on an Apple iPad instead of its own Android device. The mockery of a presentation crashed many times during the failed unveiling.
On the other hand, we have the newly refined Apple Maps, which will have many cool features including: new vector-based 2D map elements, 3D Maps, detailed traffic conditions, and even turn-by-turn navigation with a dynamic 3D camera perspective. Sound sweet? To make the deal even sweeter, the entire platform will be fully compatible with Siri, giving you directions even while your iPhone or iPad is locked.
What’s more, Apple knew that even if Apple Maps somehow flopped, it would have Bing or OpenStreetMap to fall back on. Earlier in March, Apple replaced Google Maps with OpenStreetMap in its mobile software for devices outside of the United States. The move toward pursuing its own software in areas is well justified, and Apple is not going to rely on any company, especially not Google. In fact, it seem to be cleansing Google of anything related to Apple. As Apple Insider notes, among other Google-cleansing examples, Apple has removed Google Places support in their new Maps software, instead opting to partner with Yelp.
Additionally, the new Mountain Lion OS of this summer has introduced new system-wide support for Vimeo instead of YouTube. Until now, the default site you were forced to use when uploading a video on your iPhone was YouTube. Now, we Mac users and iDevice owners will all be getting a little bit more familiar with Vimeo, to some of ours’ dismayal. How Vimeo handles all these changes will be a big test for their future success, but at least they won’t have to compete with YouTube to be Apple’s darling.
It seems that the net effect of all this is a hit on Google, while Apple gets the chance to develop their own softwares further and strengthen former partnerships. The lack of a native YouTube app is not going to stop anyone from buying an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Is the force of Apple too strong? It seems like it. Is Apple taking an insurmountable lead? We will have to see, but from what we have seen mounting up recently, Apple is easily the company who should be donning the widest smile.
Google will have to be on their best work if they want to be able to compete with “The Top Anti-Google Machine of the World.”
The anticipated date for the iPhone 5 release (September 12, 2012) is rumored to be the same day that iOS6 will be coming out. It makes sense for them to release it on the same day, anyway. The release perfectly aligns with the holiday shopping season, the iPad Mini, as well as the new iPods coming out over the holiday season.
Over 200 new features will be available in the iOS6 release, and needless to say, there will be a lot to look forward to and play with in it.