If you own a Windows Phone device, you are probably well aware of the drama between Google and Microsoft regarding a native Youtube app for Windows Phone.
To recap, first, everything started when Microsoft (due to Google's lack of love and support for Windows Phone) came out with its own native Youtube app which was much better than what was available via the web interface for Youtube. It had the ability to play video from Youtube in portrait mode or landscape mode (you could watch the video and view the list of comments or the list of related videos while you were in portrait mode). It also integrated with your Youtube account (so you could still access your playlists and the like) and had some extra goodies such as no ads and being able to download video to play while offline as well.
Google got word of this and claimed that some of the extra features such as the no ads and the video downloading were against its terms of service. It claimed that circumventing the ads were robbing content creators of revenue. It then asked Microsoft to make some changes to the app such as removing the video download feature and add support for Youtube's ads. Microsoft released an updated version of the Youtube app which was more in-line with Google's terms of service, but that wasn't good enough for Google.
Some time after the updated Youtube app was released, Google revoked the api key that the Youtube app was using. This broke the native app and made it useless since it could not download data from Youtube. Google then put up an a new list of requirements that Microsoft's app had to meet such as being totally in HTML5. Google makes no such requirement for the Youtube app for it's own Android operating system or for Apple's iOS operating system.
There was backlash against Google on the internet for these decisions (mostly for revoking the api key) and there still is. Microsoft was willing to make further changes to its Youtube app to meet Google's list of requirements, but one sticking point still keeps Microsoft from meeting Google's demands. Microsoft claims that it cannot (properly) implement Youtube's ads because Google has not made the api for accessing the ads available. Even now, Google still has not given Microsoft access to the Youtube ad api.
Now today, I found an article on Ars Technica saying that with the latest release of the Youtube app for Google, it is implementing features that Microsoft tried to implement and was told were against Google's terms of service. With these moves, Google has created a double standard. Anything goes for it's own Android app, but it refuses to make a proper Youtube app for Windows Phone (or let Microsoft attempt to make one itself). Google cannot continue to disregard Windows Phone users for much longer. If someone wants to make the argument of "just use the website", I will reply back that not all videos are available for playback on the mobile site. I think Google fears the potential of Windows Phone for the future, and that is why it has created a double standard.
As of now, there is a Youtube "app" in the windows phone store right now, but it is mostly a link to the mobile Youtube site. What do you think of this? Please let me know in the comment box below.
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