If you have been following Apple and Google’s slow divorce proceedings, you’ll know that this is technically YouTube’s first home-grown iOS app, as all iDevices used to come pre-installed with Apple’s stock version of YouTube. The tech giant decided to axe the app in the latest version of its operating system (iOS 6), and build alternatives to other G-products like Google Maps, which means that users with iDevices running iOS 6 will need to visit the App Store to download a Google-made app. The decision to debut the new app just a day ahead of the new iPhone launch (yes, it’s tomorrow) is pretty well-timed, since it has been all but confirmed that the next-gen phones will be running iOS 6.
The app is available for any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later, but head of YouTube mobile Andrey Doronichev says that the team is “working on an optimized version of the YouTube app for iPad in the coming months.” He also took the opportunity to casually share that YouTube videos now accumulate 1-billion mobile views a day. Nice.
What does this app do? Um, it lets you watch videos on YouTube… and, as TechCrunch pointed out, serves up some ads alongside. But this also means that more videos will be available on the Google-made app, because videos which included pre-roll advertising were not included in the old version. Some other features include:
- A new channel guide: Simply swipe from left to right to access a screen with all your subscription information, so you can quickly jump to your favourite channels.
- Assisted search and navigation: The search bar comes with an autocomplete function which suggests videos or channels you may be looking for. You can also look through related videos and read comments while watching a video.
- Social sharing: Of course, Google+ is top of the list, but you can also share a video via Twitter, Facebook, email, messaging or just copy the link to your clipboard.