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Google releases standalone YouTube app for Froyo

Google splits another app off from the Android platform and releases it to the market. Designed for Froyo and beyond, it offers feature and interface changes.

A new look for an old favorite. Google

For the second time in as many months, Google has split one of its applications off from the Android platform. Following last September's updated Gmail client, Google has released YouTube as a standalone application.

Available for Android 2.2 handsets and above, the app adds new features such as in-page playback, which allows users to read comments while watching videos. Other options include rotate to full screen, personalized home screen, and shooting videos and uploading them directly from the application rather than opening a separate camera client.

As with pulling Maps and Gmail out of Android and releasing them as apps, this will help ensure the YouTube title can get more timely updates. New functions and tweaks can be rolled out individually rather than waiting for a full OS update.

As mentioned above, users will need a Froyo-powered device to take advantage of the YouTube app. Currently, this leaves roughly two thirds of Android users out in the cold.