It has come to light that Apple’s license to use YouTube has expired which means that users will no longer see the client on iOS devices. Thankfully, the absence of the native app will only affect iOS 6, so as long as you remain on iOS 5 or below, you can still use the client. The revelation was made when developers downloaded the iOS 6 Beta 4 where the app was seen missing, to everybody’s surprise.
The company’s decision to not include the player in iOS 6 is rather strange, especially considering that the license can be easily renewed without much hassle. But maybe this is Apple’s way of going its own way, as it did with Apple Maps, ditching Google Maps. It is however believed, that Apple will allow Google to launch a YouTube app on the iTunes AppStore, so it’s not the end of the road after all. It won’t be as stable or tightly integrated with the OS as the native client though. Google will have to make the new YouTube app available in the AppStore before iOS 6 is made public.
Although there’s no reason for panic yet, it’s not long before the OS is launched for the public. Usually, Apple makes the latest version of iOS available to existing device as soon as a new iPhone is launched or maybe a week after that. The native iOS browser (Safari) can still play YouTube videos without much hassle, but users will be certainly deprived of the versatility of a native application.
Apple was pretty excited when it ditched Google Maps in favor of Apple Maps, though it can be considered a downgrade coming from G Maps since some features are missing. However, the Siri integration and other fancy features shouldn’t make it that bad. Apple is slowly shying away from Google products, which is clear from the developments seen over the course of the months. While the switch to Apple Maps is understandable, the absence of the native YouTube app will really hurt the company’s cause in a major way. There are still a couple of months until the latest and stable release of iOS 6 is announced and made public, so a lot could change by then.