On Aug. 6, Beta 4 of iOS 6 came out with one huge gaping hole: Apple’s YouTube app. There was speculation on both sides of the fence that Apple might have pulled it because of the ongoing war with Android or perhaps Google pulled it because it wanted more control of the app and/or it wanted to show more ads. In reality, it was probably a little of both.

Whatever the case, just a month after being pulled and just a day ahead of Apple’s iOS 6/iPhone 5 event, Google has released its own homegrown YouTube app into the App Store. It is formatted for the iPhone only (an iPad version is in the works), but it already has many features that its Apple-built counterpart lacked.


Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign in to access your subscriptions, playlists, uploads and more.

Features: ✓ Enjoy YouTube’s vast video catalog, including official music videos ✓ Find videos and channels more easily with voice search and query autocomplete ✓ Subscribe to channels and instantly access your subscriptions with the channel guide UI ✓ Read comments, browse related videos, enable subtitles and more – all while watching ✓ Easy video sharing to Google+, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter

Did Google throw this together in just one month or did it have some advance warning? We are thinking the latter; it is already receiving some good reviews and appears to be a well-polished product.

As TheNextWeb points out, it is not certain how you will upload videos to YouTube in the new app. Matt Panzerino postulates that Apple will allow YouTube to be granted rights in iOS to have a file handling menu option. We are not so sure that Apple cares if you can upload to YouTube natively (see Mountain Lion) from the OS. We are thinking that you will eventually need to open the YouTube app manually, browse to the video, and do it the old-fashioned way.

The more important question now becomes: where is the Google Maps app for iOS?

More… including a walkthrough YouTube video below:

The New York Times runs down some of the new YouTube app’s features:

The new app has more videos and features than the Apple version. Since that one was introduced in 2007, it has hardly been updated. Meanwhile, YouTube has been adding features to its Android app and mobile Web site — like channels and the ability to browse other videos while watching one — that it will now include in the iPhone app.

For example, the iPhone app will have tens of thousands more videos than it did before. That’s a small number in YouTube’s universe, but these include some of the most in-demand videos, like Lady Gaga’s official videos. That’s because videos for which the video creators chose to make money by showing ads have not been appearing on the original YouTube iPhone app.

The new app will also have more sophisticated search and features like swiping to view the channel guide. And it will have new ways to share videos, including on Facebook and Google Plus and via text message.

…and there’s more on the YouTube blog post:

The new app is built by YouTube engineers, to give our iPhone and iPod touch users the best mobile experience. Here’s what you’ll find:

Tens of thousands more videos: Watch official music videos like Taylor’s latest hit.

New YouTube channel guide: Swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to reveal a guide with your subscribed channels on YouTube, giving you instant access to everything from Alli Sports to YOMYOMF.

Find awesome videos faster: Get to videos like “Gangnam Style” faster with new search tools that give suggestions while you type, and let you sort through videos or channels. Flip through related videos, comments and more info, all while watching a video.

More ways to share with the people you love: Share that incredible video you found on YouTube on Google+, Facebook or text message in the app, as well as from Twitter and email.

There’s even more to explore with the new YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch, available for download from the App Store today. We’re working on an optimized version of the YouTube app for iPad in the coming months, and stay tuned for more details.

You’ve already shown us you love YouTube on mobile—to the tune of 1 billion mobile views a day—so we can’t wait to see what you think about this new experience.

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Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.

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