What just happened? Folks behind the famous YouTube Vanced app have announced that they're discontinuing the project due to "legal reasons." The decision follows a cease and desist letter from Google that has forced the closure of the platform, alongside halting any further development and distribution. For now, existing Vanced users can continue to use the app normally, that is until YouTube pushes out an update that causes the app to stop functioning properly.

YouTube Vanced has been around for a few years, swelling in popularity as an alternative to Google's official YouTube app, once the latter started sprinkling more, longer ads and sponsored sections in videos. As with browser extensions on the web, Vanced even resurrected the dislike counter on mobile, a feature that YouTube controversially removed from the platform in November last year.

The modded client also gave users free access to YouTube Premium features, including background playback and picture-in-picture mode, as well as added customizations and a dark theme. Ultimately, it had to blip on Google's radar, which it now has.

News of the discontinuation was also posted on Reddit, with The Verge reporting that the Vanced project owners were sent a cease and desist letter from Google, asking them to change the app's logo and remove all references and links related to YouTube products.

Vanced creators note that the app's current version will continue to work, though an official YouTube update could eventually break it someday. For now, Vanced is expected to function normally for two years, after which it'll become outdated as YouTube and its back-end technology continue to evolve.