The Curious Case of the Missing YouTube App
Yesterday Apple released the latest beta version of iOS6, and with that the blogosphere went a little crazy over conspiracy theories as to why the YouTube app is no longer part of iOS. There were lots of speculations, but I think the case is clear cut. It had much less to do with the history between Apple and Google, and much more to do with Apple’s decision to not include Adobe Flash when the iPhone was released.
When the iPhone came out in 2007, it was the first one of its kind. It was truely the first smart phone; where you could do more than browse WML sites (remember those?) and store contacts with more than just one phone number. But, Apple had decided that Flash was too resource intensive and it would not be part of the OS. At that time, nearly 100% of all video on the internet was using Flash and the only way to get around that was for Apple to work with Google to include the most popular video site of the time (YouTube).
It is now 2012 and even Adobe has given up on Flash for mobile, not to mention that most video sites on the internet now make sure to support video formats that are compatible with the iPhone due to its popularity. Case and point, Apple does not need to write a YouTube app. YouTube works perfectly well through Safari, and if Google feels compelled, it can provide an iOS specific YouTube app. Furthermore, as some bloggers have pointed out, this is much more beneficial to Google since it can now monetize YouTube on iOS by including ads.