Just in time for tomorrow's iPhone event, Google has released its first standalone YouTube app for iOS devices following Apple's decision to drop its own YouTube app in iOS 6. The new app appears almost identical to its Android counterpart, but offers significant upgrades over Apple's version. For example, channels can now be viewed by simply swiping from left to right on the display, revealing multiple new options including sharing videos with friends, Facebook and Google+.
Apple announced in August that its contract with Google to use YouTube had expired and its beta release of iOS 6 removed the app. YouTube had been present in every iOS iteration since the first iPhone launched in 2007. Although Apple initially built the app following YouTube's instructions, the company eventually tightened its grip on the software's development.
For instance, a global ban on advertising within the app made it difficult for iPhone users to access copyrighted content such as music videos on their devices. "Over the years that resulted in a more limited experience for our users, and lots of frustration," said Francisco Varela, YouTube's global director of platform partnerships. "We're going to get rid of that."
With users watching 1 billion videos a day on mobile devices, the presence of ads will help Google reach a new audience. Google doesn't plan to stop there, either. It also wants to release a YouTube app for the iPad soon, and it eventually wants to offer paid movies and TV shows through Google Play.