It's not much of a surprise since Google already said it was working on something, but the first official, native YouTube app for iOS is here. Up until now, the YouTube app on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was built by Apple.That meant a tight integration, but it meant it evolved little throughout the years as well. It also meant new features made their way slowly if at all into the app.
Finally, it further implied Google not being able to show any ads in the app, which users may have appreciated, but which meant the company was leaving a significant amount of revenue on the table.
This summer, Google and Apple announced that the YouTube app will no longer be bundled with iOS in the upcoming iOS 6, which should be landing any day now, along with the iPhone 5, slated for launch tomorrow.
At the time, it seemed like Apple pulled the plug, like it did with the Google Maps app before.
But it quickly became obvious that Google had a lot to gain out of this, maybe even more than Apple.
And the two companies only said that they wouldn't be renewing the license agreement, they didn't say why.
It could be that Apple was no longer willing to carry the app, it could be that Google wanted to start showing ads and Apple refused.
Either way, it's done, YouTube is no longer built into iOS 6, but the app will be available in the App Store.
In fact, it already is available for download. It's only for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but an iPad version is on its way.
The app is an upgrade over the previous version, it has access to VEVO videos, which were blocked before, it supports channels, it has search suggestions and the ability to share a video.
The only downside for users, of course, is that they may start seeing ads in there from time to time.
Which means Google can start monetizing YouTube on one of the largest mobile platforms out there, outside of its own Android, and quite possibly one of the most lucrative.
Google already makes a huge amount of money from search ads on iOS, it will not make even more from video ads.