Apple this week released iOS 6 beta version 4 to developers and one very interesting bit of information was discovered in the changelog by BGR. The latest version of iOS is going to remove support for the native YouTube app that has appeared on all earlier versions of iOS.
Apple has recently taken many steps to reduce its reliance on Google with its iPhone and iPad products. Google Android is currently Apple’s main competitor in the smartphone and tablet markets and has been the source of a number of lawsuits between Apple and companies including HTC, Motorola and Samsung.
With the unveiling of iOS 6 Apple revealed that it would be removing Google Maps as the basis for the iPhone Maps app, and instead replacing it with TomTom map data. It will also introduce a new 3D flyover mode but will not come with support for Street View or Google’s public transport information.
Apple has stated publically that the removal of the YouTube app is merely due to its license with Google expiring, although it would be a rather simple affair for a company with more cash than the US government to renew this licence, suggesting that Apple has no plans to do so any time soon.
YouTube has not been banned from iOS altogether. Users will still be able to access the video streaming service through Safari, and Google has announced its plans to launch a new iOS app to be released into the App Store. This newer app will not come as a standard feature of the iPhone 5, and there is every possibility that Apple will reject the app from being published in the App Store.
As the newer version of the YouTube app will have to undergo the same rigorous vetting procedures as all other apps on iOS there is every chance that Google will go to great lengths to improve it – which can only be a good thing for iPhone and iPad users who watch a lot of YouTube videos. Rejecting any YouTube app put forward by Google may give Apple a temporary feeling of smug satisfaction but in the long run would be a disastrous move that would not benefit users or iPhone sales. Whether Apple likes it or not, YouTube still remains one of the most popular online destinations and an essential feature for any modern smartphone.
The latest beta version of iOS 6 also makes a number of other improvements, most notably to the new Facebook integration, iTunes, Dictionary and support for Apple TV. The removal of the native YouTube app will not affect older versions of iOS – but most iPhone owners are expected to update their phones when the final version of iOS 6 is released alongside the iPhone 5 next month.
Many of the rumoured features of the iPhone 5 now have a lot of weight behind them, as reported on Best Mobile Contracts. There is no doubt that this will be the first phone to deviate from the 3.5 inch screen size found on all previous iPhones (expanding to a larger 4 inch screen with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio), and will most likely see a new 8 pin dock connector replacing the current 30 pin design. The iPhone 5 is also likely to see LTE and NFC support included, and could even benefit from a fingerprint scanner and Nano-SIM cards. The iPhone 5 is due to be unveiled alongside a new 8 inch iPad at an event on September 12th, and released in most markets on September 21st.