*This is a reversion post, which means it’s highly opinionated, extremely sensationalist, but most of all, it’s right. It’s already up for 3 BAFTAs, and a Tony Award, ya know.
Well, that is a pity. Apple rips out their YouTube app from a beta build of the next iPhone/iPad OS — iOS 6. Apple released a statement talking about how their license with Google expired, and Google will be making their own app, and so on.
Well, isn’t that magical. The built-in app was handy to just sit back and load up videos at your own pleasure; now it’s gone, and both Apple and Google will reap the benefits of this, while the user loses out. It’s commendable of Google to make apps for iDevices — they are pretty awesome apps — which provide users with services, and access to them, in a way that Apple never really understands, or does.
Apple’s apps in iOS which provide a service for 3rd-party companies never really get much attention. It’s understandable since Apple would like to push their own services, but Apple either doesn’t have those services, and when they do, they don’t really work too well, and offer less features. Among the reasons for Apple creating the YouTube app was to push HTML5 video. They did this quite successfully, while everyone else did the actual work of getting HTML5 working on their platforms.
Apple never really bothered to maintain the YouTube app over the years; with a few adjustments here and there, it just languished, hinting at what could be possible if they updated it to match the experience you could get by viewing YouTube in Safari. The YouTube experience is far batter in Safari, and offers you much more than the native app, however, it’s Safari, it’s an awful browser to do much in.
The reason why all of this sucks, for me, is dependant on one thing — will Apple remove all the integration between their own apps and YouTube? See, the arguments going around just now flip between it’s a good thing, and a bad thing, that the app has been removed. That misses the point for me, since one of the major features of YouTube integration was being able to shoot a video, edit it, then upload it directly to YouTube with minimal hassle. If that goes, then the freedom to do these things will be removed, and the iPhone will go back to acting like a “dumbphone,” where one has to jump through hoops to do something that was fine in the fist place, and a major move forward from the past.
The web today — the many services, and easiness for people to enjoy things like YouTube — sounds like it’s being deconstructed due to simple huffiness. Apple’s in a mood with Google, so they’re taking their toys home. If the integration goes, then it’s a big step backwards for opening up a mobile phone to enjoy the varied online services we have today.
Apple could have pushed the YouTube app further, for what is a major joy to many — sharing videos online. Of course, Apple doesn’t have its own video sharing service, so no point in thinking they would actually bother to make things more enjoyable for folks. Apple would rather make people think YouTube is no longer relevant, or exist, than to actually embrace it.
That’s what Apple does; on so many occasions they are great for suggesting something, then don’t actually do much about it. HTML5, for example; At first, people decried the lack of Flash on the iPhone, and Steve Jobs took to the Apple site in a plea to humanity why Flash was rubbish, and HTML5 was the best way forward. While the web moves towards HTML5 for many things, Apple still doesn’t do jack-all in helping folks. They put forward their proposal, then apply it, while standing back smiling that it’s done in order to further their own locked-in platform. It’s one thing to whine at Adobe for Flash, but I don’t see Apple pushing out any web authoring tools to create HTML5 content.
It’s big business, and for-profit companies will choose what’s best for them, and that’s fine, but it’s not a good choice for the consumer.