Windows Phone finally gets its YouTube app back

After feuding, Google and Microsoft work together to create official app

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 14, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3157

Hey, remember that spat between Google and Microsoft from a few months back over whether or not Microsoft was damaging Google by creating its own YouTube app? Well, good news for all you Windows Phone users out there: you have an official YouTube app again, as all finally seems to be forgiven between the two companies.

The official Windows Phone YouTube app made its appearance on Tuesday, complete with new a slew of new features, including the ability to pin videos, playlists, channels and search queries to the Start screen as Live Tiles. 

Users can also manager their YouTube profile, playlists, uploads and video lists, and share videos to social networks, e-mail and text messages. 

The app also comes with updates search capabilities, including suggestions, as well as a Kid's Corner, for children to only view age appropriate videos.

“We’ve released an updated YouTube app for Windows Phone that provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads. We appreciate Google’s support in ensuring that Windows Phones customers have a quality YouTube experience and look forward to continuing the collaboration," Microsoft has said in a statement to various news outlets. 

So what caused the problems between Google and Microsoft in the first place?

It all started when Google refused to develop an app for Windows Phone, which would have allowed those users to connect directly to YouTube. In response Microsoft decided to build an app by itself, without Google's permission.

Googe was, of course, unhappy about the development, and so Francisco Varela, Director of Global Platform Partnerships at YouTube, wrote a scathing letter to Todd Brix, General Manager of Windows Phone Apps and Store, demanding that Microsoft to take the app down.

Google cited three specific issues it has with the app: it let users download videos from YouTube, it prevented ads from being displayed in YouTube video playbacks and it played videos whose owners have set to only play on certain platforms. 

"These features directly harm our content creators and clearly violate our Terms of Service," Varela wrote. 

Not allowing ads to run in videos hurt creators moniterily, while the video playback problem violated specific agreements some of them had with third parties.

"In addition to violating those provisions of the Terms of Service, your application also uses YouTube's protected trademarks in ways that likely confuse consumers as to the source of the application and whether it is affiliated with or approved by YouTube," she said.

After the letter became known, Microsoft and Google announced publically that they would be working together to resolve the issues at hand. And the new app is the result.

Of course, Microsoft could have just used YouTube’s iFrame API in the first place, and would have avoided this mess entirely.

Google has good reason to want to bring YouTube to the Windows Phone platform: it is rapidly becoming a strong number three platform, right behind iOS and Android, according to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) earlier this month.

While its overall market share did not see much of an increase, going from 3.1% to 3.7% year to year, it saw a huge increase in shipments: going from 4.9 million to 8.7 million. That is an increase of 77.6%.

Windows may be still be lagging away behind, but it is seeing tremendous growth. And for Google that can only mean more eyeballs on its advertisements. 

(Image source: http://mashable.com)

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