Google launches official YouTube app for iPhone

Google has launched a standalone YouTube app for the iPhone to replace the existing one that will disappear with the launch of iOS 6.

Google has today released a standalone YouTube app for the iPhone in anticipation of the launch of iOS 6, which will see the existing YouTube app discontinued. The new app features an updated design and improved channel browsing.

The less tech-savvy among you might be scratching your noodles thinking: "But I already have the YouTube app on my iPhone, what's the big deal?" Well, you might have it now, but the launch of iOS 6 -- the latest version of the iPhone's software, expected to arrive on Wednesday -- will no longer feature a YouTube app as standard.

Apple said that it won't be blocking YouTube -- it can still be accessed using the Safari web browser -- but to make it even easier to watch all those amazing cat videos, Google has created a stand alone YouTube app.

It's available for free from today on the iPhone and iPod Touch. An iPad optimised version will also be arriving "in the coming months", so keep an eye out and take it for a spin.

The app shows off an overhauled interface that looks much cleaner and easier to navigate than the existing YouTube app. It also puts more emphasis on channels, letting you quickly search for and subscribe to new channels. What's still unknown is how the new app will integrate with iOS 6 -- it's likely that clicking an attached video link in an email will load the YouTube website in Safari, rather than the YouTube app itself.

The removal of the YouTube app was spotted by developers working with early versions of iOS 6. It highlights the increasingly strained relationship between Apple and Google. Apple has also ditched Google Maps, replacing it instead with its own mapping software. Although Apple isn't blocking Google from developing iOS apps altogether, the move certainly indicates that Apple is doing its utmost to keep its main competitors at arms reach.

Are you excited about iOS 6? Will you find the lack of a preloaded YouTube app annoying or are you quite happy to use the new app instead? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.