By Jonathan Charles | Aug 07, 2012 10:32 AM EDT
Apple contacted Engadget to tell the gadget blog that YouTube is not included in iOS 6, the next major version of the iOS software. Apple cites the end of a licensing agreement between itself and Google as the reason.
Apple said users can continue to use YouTube via the Safari web app, presumably while they wait for the YouTube app, which Google is "working on." Whether the app arrives for the iOS 6 launch remains to be seen, given Apple's notoriously strict vetting process. "We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users," a YouTube spokesperson said to Engadget.
Shiva Rajamaran, product manager at Google, told TechCrunch that native apps are the preferred experience, without confirming the news, which broke as TechCrunch conducted the interview. Rajamaran also said mobile web "is a core part of the YouTube experience".
Some observers hope that this may provide an opportunity for Google to redesign the YouTube app for iOS, which is currently lacking compared to Android's version and the web interface. Videos viewed on iOS often are not identical to the desktop version, and comrments appear in a list without top rated comments and threads, which are both major features of the Google-owned video service. It remains unclear whether the new YouTube app will be exclusive to iOS 6, but Google's control over the service makes exclusivity unlikely, so much-requested features may finally arrive.
YouTube will continue to exist on iOS 5 and earlier across iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
The end of the licensing agreement also saw the introduction of Maps, Apple's replacement service for Google Maps. It provides turn-by-turn navigation, Siri integration, and collects results from Yelp and TomTom. Maps launches with iOS 6.
iOS 6 releases this fall, possibly on September 21, according to recent rumors.
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