Google (News - Alert) and Apple have been trading blows for a little while now in the battle for smartphone supremacy. But while Apple is playing hardball in the courtroom with Samsung, the primary seller of Android (News - Alert) devices, more direct plays against Google itself are more low key, taking the form of dropping the Android creator's services from future versions of iOS.
As such, Google now must submit its apps – YouTube (News - Alert), Gmail, Google Maps – to the Apple App Store submission process like any other developer.
Today, Google's new YouTube app for iOS is available for download, marking what could be seen as a pre-emptive strike as it is widely believed Apple will release the latest version of iOS tomorrow with the launch of the new iPhone (News - Alert). As one would expect, the new iOS YouTube app allows users to watch and interact with YouTube content. However, there is one significant change.
The new YouTube app will be able to generate more revenue for Google and video produces as it allows advertising to be shown with videos – something Apple (News - Alert) wouldn't allow of the pre-installed YouTube app.
This also means there will be more content available to iPhone/iPad users, since many videos, largely music videos, won't play unless advertising is enabled.
In other words, this levels the playing field, allowing iOS users access to all the same content as Android users for the first time.
"We are offering a better user experience to iPhone users," said Francisco Varela, YouTube's global director of platform partnerships. "We will now have content parity on all our mobile platforms."
It's possible that, because YouTube will no longer come pre-installed on iOS devices, that Google will see fewer users from the platform, but that just doesn't seem very likely as YouTube is a huge part of the average smartphone user's life.
Meanwhile, Google's attempt to get its update voice search app, Google Now, approved for iOS has still proven fruitless, as the new app contains voice search functionality similar, and potentially superiors, to Siri.
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Edited by Braden Becker