Who killed YouTube on the iPhone -- Apple or Google?

The YouTube app will no longer come standard on iOS. That's exactly the way Apple and Google want it.

Did Apple kick YouTube to the curb, or did Google have a part in its disappearance from iOS? Screenshot by Ben Parr/CNET

YouTube will no longer come standard on the iPhone and iPad, and the Internet is jumping to conclusions as usual.

The next version of Apple's mobile OS -- iOS 6 -- will be missing the familiar YouTube app from its home screen. Instead, users will have to download a new YouTube app from the App Store. Apple claims it's simply because its five-year deal with Google has expired, while Google isn't even talking about the circumstances of YouTube's departure from Apple's devices.

Apple and Google don't exactly like each other, and Apple has been systematically purging Google's influence from its flagship OS. Earlier this year, Apple announced that iOS 6 will remove Google Maps in favor of Apple Maps.

That's why everyone seems to be concluding that YouTube's disappearance from iOS is all Apple's fault. It fits the pattern, after all. And people are understandably upset:

I'm upset too. YouTube is a huge reason why I got an iPhone in the first place, but I actually think this move is for the best. For the past five years, Apple -- not Google -- has been the sole developer of the YouTube iOS app. Yes, that's right -- Google had nothing to do with its development. This was the price it had to pay for five years of prominent placement on the iPhone.

Now that Google is in charge of the YouTube app again, I suspect it will become a lot faster, smarter, and feature-rich. On the downside, it will probably come with an array of advertising that it couldn't previously serve to millions of iPhone users.

Advertising is the reason why I'm not indicting Apple for the crime of kicking YouTube to the curb. As part of Google's five-year deal with Apple, Google was not allowed to run any kind of advertising on the YouTube app. There was no way it could deliver ads -- Apple controlled the app. Now that the deal has expired, Google is finally free to monetize millions of mobile eyeballs and cat videos.

Here's the truth: both sides wanted this deal to end. Apple wanted to purge itself of Google's influence from its devices, and Google wanted to run ads. Now both sides will get what they wanted all along.

 

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