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Google Fights Back: Official YouTube for iOS Is Here

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Last month, Apple yanked the YouTube app that'd been collecting mold on your iPhone since 2007. On the one hand, nobody will miss it in iOS 6, because it was terrible. On the other, YouTube. But fret not: it's back.


But more important than simply being back, it's back in a proper way, built by people who actually care about YouTube—people at Google, who, after all, own YouTube. The iPhone's original YouTube app was built by Apple, and then left abandoned and dull. Now it's vibrant, and, contrary to the official screenshots up top, will allow you to navigate beyond Train music videos. Google isn't going to let Apple dump it, and that's great news for anyone with an iPhone.

If you're familiar with YouTube for Android, you'll be in familiar territory here should you pick up an iOS device—it's functionally about the exact same. For instance, YouTube Channels are now easily consumed by swiping from the left side of the app, search packs predictive results, and you'll have full access to VEVO's music video library—finally. You can also share out your next favorite awesome/stupid/stupidly awesome YouTube video directly from the app, straight to Facebook, Twitter, iMessage, or, yes, even Google+. If you're on the move, the app will also employ adaptive streaming, meaning your video will adjust to the strength of your data signal, avoiding pain in the ass buffering roadblocks.


A YouTube app might not sound groundbreaking, and, sure, it's not. But like we suggested last month, this is what it looks like when your iPhone becomes better—and an iPad-friendly version is coming up next. Apple and Google have shifted from frenemy to slap-fight status, and dropping YouTube and Maps meant losing serious functionality on your phone. Now, we can be sure Google isn't going to ignore the iPhone. We'll have to give the app a thorough pinching and pointing before we're sure Google didn't lay another stinky app egg a la Gmail—no, we haven't forgotten about that one—but this offering at least looks like it's on solid ground.

The only thing now is wondering (and perhaps hoping) about a native iOS version of Google Maps. It's hard to imagine Apple allowing Google to step on its turf like that, but until the iPhone does mapping as well as Android, we've got our fingers crossed. [App Store]