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Microsoft updates YouTube app for Windows Phone, apparently surrenders to Google as web player returns

Windows Phone users have returned to square one with the 'updated' YouTube app today

A few months ago, Microsoft and Google had a brouhaha over YouTube and Windows Phone. Microsoft appeared to play by Google’s rules in making an app for their customers, but Google said it wasn’t good enough. Despite the differences, Microsoft famously released the app anyway to see what would happen. As it turns out, Google was none too happy and remotely killed the app through its access key.

Fast forward to today, October 7th and the app has finally been updated to version 3.2. Unfortunately, the app has reverted back to its old web-player days, meaning if you click a YouTube link in email, MMS messages, etc. it will open YouTube in the browser. In fact, tapping the installed YouTube icon on your phone will simply redirect you to for that not so premier experience.

No more downloads, no more account management (without logging in), no notifications—just the barebones experience.

Google locked out Windows Phone users

From the looks of it, any discussions between Microsoft and Google may have broken down. As a result, we’re getting the most generic YouTube experience you can imagine on a mobile platform: a web player. If Microsoft is working on an official app, it may have to be in that HTML5 form that Google so desperately wants for Windows Phone (but not for iOS or Android). If that is going to happen, it could take months before we see it land on the Store, if at all.

For now, Windows Phone users are urged to use some of the excellent third-party options like MetroTube, myTube or PrimeTube to get a premium YouTube experience.

Head here to the Windows Phone store to get YouTube version 3.2, though we honestly don’t recommend it.

Thanks, Kevin B., for the tip

QR: YouTube


Reader comments

Microsoft updates YouTube app for Windows Phone, apparently surrenders to Google as web player returns



That doesn't solve the problem. This isn't Microsoft's fault, its Google's for being a pain in the ass. All 1-Starring does is make it so when Microsoft does update the app again, making it a "premium experience" once more, it has awful ratings and hinders people with less decent app shopping skills to avoid the app. If anything, write to Google or delete your YouTube account if you want to do something drastic that could actually have an effect.

Wouldn't had mattered anyways since Google broke the link to it. I tried the same as well. Never worked.

Is it all that bad to watch the video in the web browser?  Doesn't bother me that there isn't a special app for it.  I don't spend much time on youtube, though.

There's more principles than just watching in the browser. Its a blatant disregard to MS because Larry Page has a hate for them.

Time scrubbing in the browser blows. Oh well, I have moved on to metrotube. Google can suck it.

The web player is OK, the main problem is that it doesn't let or read comments or anything else while watching a video.
myTube is excellent though, and MetroTube is good too. But it stings not to have an official app.

I find no issues with the web experience and it's the same for FB when People hub cannot meet my needs.

I hope MS puts a stop to this after google has got it working smoothly. Like they did to the YouTube app :)

MS has been rolling for everyone lately. MetroAg, Sky, Google....... Disgusting that one of the most powerful tech companies is giving up the world like this.

MS should screw Google and not allow Chrome to work on Win 8. Hell with Google. The previous pulled Youtube app was awesome, yet that gets scrapped for THIS weak web crap?!?!?
MS, grow some balls and fight back.

Problem with that: Everyone in the world loves Google, while Microsoft is typically seen as evil. If Microsoft tries to pull that card, the media and everyone in the world will be up in flames about how anticompetitive Microsoft is, and order a mass exodus from their products and services.

I know it's not right nor fair, but that's how things would end up. Just like how everyone had a cow when it was announced Windows RT browsers would all have to be based on the Internet Explorer engine. Windows RT is to Windows as iOS is to Mac OS X, yet does anyone flip when Apple requires all iOS browsers to run on Safari's engine? Nope, not at all.

Umm I hate google with a passion. More than my dislike for apple nowadays. So I guess not everyone in the world.

I agree with, the problem is, the vast majority don't. He media would absolutely slaughter and crucify Microsoft, and they would lose any hopes they had regaining market dominance.

Hell, after the Microsoft vs. Google that would result, Microsoft would be lucky to avoid bankruptcy. So while I think Google is truly evil in their business practices, far more venomous than Apple ever has been, we kinda have to take it unless we want our favored company to die.

nope  just this very small insignificant crowd. this feels great to watch Microsoft struggle for a while. they've done so much harm to other businesses, especially open source.

MS's youtube app would download videos.  This is against the youtube bylaws,,,  Imagine Google releasing an app that allows people to download netflix or hulu videos on an xbox.... The same would apply.

They removed that feature long ago and they added adverts which were the two things Google complained about. Then they complained it wasn't the right adverts. Google are just evil and out to kill MS.

and Microsoft isn't evil?! do any of you Microsoft fan boys read up on Microsoft's history? Microsoft screwed a certain company to get to where they are today. they didn't stop there either. this is karma

Microsoft did some shady sh*t backaways, but they have had their a$$ kicked by various government bodies, paid massive fines and cleaned up their act. The MS of 2013 bears no resemblance to the one from the 90s and early 2000s and I like them as a company these days, whereas I never really cared for them, just used their software out of necessity in the past. I see things that Microsoft were fined for monopolistic practices back in the day and feel a lot of the things that Google do now are far worse, unjust and what's worse hurt us as a customers far more.

With bill gates as chairman and ballmer running the show now, how does it not look like it did all those years ago? Its not just that, but what they just did to nokia as well. That crap was clearly a setup. Also, it was quiet obvious that they told lies that Google prevented the company from making android handsets because nokia really was going to make the android phones but they were obviously stopped by microsoft. You can check out that whole Newkia thing. Then there is also the price that they ask for with their software. Im not even going to look at what they charge for new installs of their operating systems. lets look look at the once bundled office suite. Why the heck do they need that much for something so detrimental? It is something that most think they cannot do without. It even costs the same amount as some laptops. My mother went to college in the 80s and was made familiar with lotus through IBM. She decided to go back to college in 2005 i think and was forced to buy Microsoft office. That crap set her back $250. I think thats what pushed her to dislike microsoft, lol. I also don't want them to be back on top because when they get there they tend to become very lax, and start trying when it has become too late. This is what happened with vista and windows mobile. People either did not upgrade to vista or felt they had to downgrade, and this was on a massive scale. Remember, I'm only doing recent stuff. This lax attitude also put a lot of their oem partners at risk. Motorola was one of their victims of this behavior. Motorola even decided to never make another windows mobile phone again even at the expense of having to pay out to microsoft. They must have felt strongly about it to do that. Then there was HTC. They really tried hard. Remember touch flo 3d? People used to say that htc was just putting makeup on a pig. This behavior as you know can be observed even more recently as well. Nokia also was complaining that microsoft wasn't working fast enough as well. One other thing that I hate about Microsoft is that they never usually listened to their customers until they are in a tight spot. See, they are listening to you guys now arent they? They never used to. I remeber them not ever listening to user input and just pushing forward anyway. What i like about google is that they listen to their user base. They also continue to innovate even though they are on top. They also try to push their users forward as well. Microsoft saw that apple's ios was closed but successful. So what does microsoft do? Dump the more capable windows mobile in favor of the closed windows phone 7. Windows mobile needed fixing but windows phone 7 was not the answer. At least windows mobile felt like the powerful windows desktop os which even had file system support. I dont know how you guys find microsoft to be less evil than Google, i dont even know how you guys have come to like them but i think they deserve this and even more. All this hate over a youtube app. Think about what instagram and others do to third parties. If Google was truly evil, why do you guys still have metroTUBE and others?

Chrome is malware anyway I try to keep it off my network, but users keep installing it somehow even though they're on limited accounts I guess I am going to have to look into a group policy or something. Windows defender should just start killing it in updates.

Yeah i find that too and its extremely annoying. Also the pc's I've repaired that are plagued with viruses have chrome running with as their default browser. One wonders how they could have gotten in even with fully updated av running... But to be honest the average user is lazy (that's the biggest problem also some even disable their av and firewall to install programs! Lol...) they click anything that pops up, always accept without checking and click next to finish when installing programs. Which is why most end up with half a dozen tool bars and spyware on their system.

+1 then they say their computer got virus and slowed down. I need to fix for friends and family.

Some antivirus programs are pretty horrible... mcafee? At work I just went and bought a NAS to backup our computers due to our antivirus program. If I get a virus... Just restore from a previous day. Easier than calling IT and quicker.

Chrome default its installation in a user's home folder, which they have access to by nature, so limited accounts doesn't stop that.

Lol I have chrome but I have Norton so it kinda balances out.
google just added a whole lot of crap though...ugh

don't tell me Norton runs slow bec my computer can easily take it and I only like defender Win 8

I use it for everything but my M14 x takes it like its running a word document.( Norton), uses very little resources to run, and I can still play crisis 2 on High or Bioshock on high. Norton hasn't gotten in the way yet :D
(I also use my laptop for excel, not just for gaming :p )

I have a chrome a long time ago, then I saw in the task manager, there are 9 processes of google chrome. So probably it takes a big amount of RAM and my PC slows down everytime I open that. When I use IE, it doesn't slows my PC down (but it slows down a bit when I use the Win8 version, not the desktop one).

Vimeo will not have the social quality as YouTube. To simply move doesn't matter if none of the video you want to watch are on in.

How many social places do people need?  I rarely use YouTube... and when I do... it's for the video, not the stupid comments people post on there.

I'd say for Microsoft to build/buy their own... but yeah, people won't use it as much as YouTube.  I'm just glad Microsoft bought Skype before Google did.

I think they should build there own - if for nothing else but a place to upload video to link and share elsewhere. That's all I do anyway. I'm not into the 'Youtube community'. I just upload vids and link to them on FB or other sites. Its just a video dump for me. MS could easily build that and it wouldnt matter how many people use it.
I guess I could use Skydrive, but I dont want to eat up my space and embedded sharing is not so easy.

Yeah, pretty much.  YouTube is pretty much the one thing Google owns that you just can't find anywhere else.

Well if we already haven't heard it yet, maybe its time for wpc to review best third party YouTube apps. I have tried a few and enjoy my tube best for clean and simple interface, that's it. I also own a Gmail account and am not blinded by the WP bCrap, others expound!

I use YouTube HD and metrotube only. Very similar but YouTube HD seems more up to date meaning view counts are more accurate were as metrotubes aren't. At least from my end.

I would love to move away from YouTube but unless everyone else does, I won't be able to watch anything. It's not as simple as moving to Bing. I can use Bing because it is not as dependent on a vast social network.

Yeah, since Google getting sucks, I use vimeo over youtube! I think MS should buy Vimeo then make it free without limitation upload (no premium users) just like youtube did.

There are legitimate alternatives to Skype, but not so much for YouTube.  If the content that you want is on YouTube, then that is where you need to go to see it. 

Wow, what a bunch of jerks google can be. Metrotube is good for me bit would expect a first party app for something as big as YouTube (sigh)

Yup... This whole debackle has made me loose a ton of respect for Google.
They have acted very immaturely and deceptively.  After all that they say:

"Gee, that's a really nice YouTube app you go there... even nicer then ours.  Well we can't have that so ... um... You need to toss all that glorious code and rewrite it in HTML5"
What?  They lead Microsoft around by the nose just to cut it off?  Totally dispicable.

Some of us have, i disabled my gmail and youtube account. The main problem with youtube is the content. For example Nokia, wpdaily, wmpoweruser should start a vimeo channel or something then people will eventually follow suit. Youtube didn't grow big over night, it will take time.

It's too bad.  Google has lost most of my business thus far because of this, but Youtube is hard to replace.  I really hope that Microsoft and Google can make peace soon so that users can choose whatever platform appeals to them while still having access to great services.

I'm dropping because of lack of support. I mean cmon man, YOUTUBE?!?! Something as basic as YOUTUBE!!!!! Not even that is supported on this phone. I feel like I'm using a North Korean version of Andriod. Everything is stripped and only 3rd party apps are available. 

I must say, the hardware is superb. Wireless charging is great, camera is uber clear the OS itself is smooth. But I cant use any of that since no apps are available to take advantage of a stable OS. I feel like its potential gone to waste and there is no light at the end of this tunnel. Windows Phone is not a new OS, microsoft has been in the mobile business far too long to not care about its users.

why not simply using the web browser for you tube. works great on windows phone - but well.. go troll some other place

Do you not know of MetroTube? because seriously its light years better than the offical app on any other platform.

My reaction is quite the opposite. I will never go back to Android now, not a chance, not after the way Google behaves. They don't respect me as a customer, because if they did, they would not put me in the middle of their fucking platform war. If it wasn't for Youtube, my Google account would have been deleted by now. Since they pulled me in to this little game of theirs, and I need my account for Youtube, I'm blocking all their ads.
By switching to Android when they behave like this, you are being manipulated to do exactly what they want you to do. That's not me, I turn around and walk away.

Even though it might seem crazy, most of the average consumer won't buy a windows phone just for this reason, there hardly is any official backing of apps. No instagram, no youtube, no vine, no google, etc.

6TAG is a lot better than the instagram app on the iPhone or Android OS...Love being able to switch between different accounts easlily without having to sign out and back in.

You sound like a iOS users. Don't see how a well established company is childish. If anything, not fighting for what you're users want and bending over to the competition is childish. 

well making fun of ios user and ditching WP will not give you a great choice of systems that support youtube natively. but well.. tell us- what system do you have in mind 

All of them except Windows Phone. Btw, whats up with this generation and relating people's personality with the device they choose? Maybe I'm too old for this consumerism non sense.

Bending to the competition?  MS went around Google to give us a great app and Google cried and whined then pulled the access token that let's the app work so it's Google who is to blame here.  MS is trying to get a premium YT experience on WP, but Google only throws technicalities there way because they don't want WP to grow or succeed.  MS even made the app themselves and it was better than the native one from Google on Android for the most part.

LOL! MS went around Google? That's error number 1. MS is a well established company and theyre still gambling with their users? And you're ok with that?

Really? You think Microsoft wasn't fighting for their users when they built an entire market-leading YouTube experience on Windows Phone once it was obvious that Google never would? You think that Google blocking Microsoft is instead Microsoft bending over to the competition? Get real.

Microsoft was gambling with their users. Plain and simple. iOS doesnt have a problem with Google and they go at it in court all the time over patents. Hell, iOS even pulled their official version of youtube and they still came back with a fantastic stand alone version. Why cant MS do the same?

Apple did nothing, Google is forced to bring an iOS app as they have a large market share.  Google feels like they can keep MS down since they don't have that large market share on WP yet.  What don't you understand here?

Google feels like they can keep MS down since they don't have that large market share on WP yet. 

You contradict yourself with that. It's not Google's fault MS has a small market share. 

They did...and Google blocked it...not sure what's ur not understanding. And again...there are 3rd party apps that work wonders. Sounds like ur bitching just to bitch.

Oh NO,NO,NO,NO.. The "official " app on IOS is TERRIBLE. Trust me I have it on my iPod 5. WP YT payer is much better, and rarely freezes, but my iPod's one freezes on my enterprise level WiFi. Please experiment before you make any drastic decisions. Apple was not meant to play YT, I've had several older ipods also plus seen terrible performance on 2seperate ipads that my family has.

please tell me what there is more to youtube than just watching videos and commenting? and metrotube has no ads as well :P

Am I really the only one who prefers to use 3rd party apps? If there is an alternative and its just as good or better I'm all in. Support new developers! comparing an app to a car, that's logical...

You did read the article that there is 1st party YouTube app, right?  If you're so into 1st party apps then use it but don't blame WP for it being lousy.  Google is the one playing like a spoiled brat.  You keep complaining about you don't like 3rd party apps but give no explanation why.  If the app gets you what you want and does what it's supposed to do, why do you care who or where it comes from.  I use MetroTube and SuperTube.  As for your car comparison, if both cars get you to where you want to go, who cares if it's a Mercedes or a Hyundai, not me.  

Yup, I cant keep it from crashing everytime I search a video. I'm already on my 5th Lumia and I still get the same results. 

Ok, you can take as you want. I speak truth, my Lumia 920 suffered the battery drain, camera lens dust and flash disabling. But no one wants to hear that. I'm just a troll.

Nah, highercal is just a frustrated user. A true troll wouldn't answer you intelligently and without name calling. They're entitled to their honest opinion. Just because you don't agree does not mean they're a troll.

Thanks for understanding. I really appreciate it. I came from the Andriod community and trust me, WP trolls are no where near that level. 

Really??? I've never had Metrotube give me any issues...except when Google changes their code and doesn't tell 3rd party programs about it. Down for a few hours is all.

I would think that most people would give up on a phone after the third bad one. I know I would. Seems like a waste of time and effort after that. But hey, thats just me.

Or their Lumias get dust in the FFC, or they brick, or a kid drops it in the toilet. You can't make assumptions as to why someone is on their 5th.

That sure is pure bad luck, but yeah I would really start to question where your phones are coming from Hypercal or the delivery company. Looks like you are either being fobbed off with recycled devices or the delivery company cant give two hoots about your package.

Dude, I'm thinking you shud just go back to a feature phone. The basic concepts of these devices and the competitive market they flourish in are obviously going right over your head. And to put ur nose up at 3rd party apps is ignorant and silly. There are 3rd party apps that blow official apps out of the water for YouTube and other services. Even if u have to pay a buck to get no ads, if it helps the dev to support the app, its worth it. These guys work hard to give us what we want, and to disrespect them is offensive.

i really find this comment hard to beleive, I have had many lumias from low end to my current 925 and never ever had one single issue with at least 7 different models. Also i have never had any 3rd party youtube app crash on me, not ever. and really what is wrong with 3rd party apps???? most of the time they give a far superior experience than an official app.

Have u tried myTube? There's zero crashing for me and its REALLY cool. Not to mention the developer is a friendly, badass dude.

I'm still at my first Lumia (620) for 8 months, and it still runs fine, even only to search videos. What else happens to the phone is the app's faulty development, not the phone itself.

Agreed! I have it on my phone, and I had few problems with it. One problem in particular was the odd time in the past where it stated that it closed unexpectedly or something along those lines despite the fact that I didn't ever see the app unexpectedly shut down. Just  some odd stuff, but besides that I think it's awesome!

Hey buddy, how about not ignoring all the fantastic 3rd party (not a dirty word I hope) youtube apps to enjoy such as metrotube, mytube, primetube, youtube plus etc. C'mon, you mean to tell me that isn't enough and all of them crash. B**** please.

This is what WP user consist of? Am I allowed to update my phone, master? (That's basically how I feel about Amber btw.)

Good lord I had immensely overestimated the size of your brain in my last comment.
That's ok please leave this community, it will be better off without your 'input'

I get your frustration. That said, I personally prefer Metrotube to official app on iOS. I'm sticking with WP for Nokia hardware and less resource intensive, more stable OS (i.e. better battery performance for a non-phablet); but I can't entirely blame you.


OMG! Thank you for your understanding. I agree, hardware wise, this phone is friggin great, but all this potential is going to waste since no dev wants to support it. I've been patiently waiting for at least SOME support and there hasn't been any. I got screwed over with the Lumia 900 but I gave them another chance. It seems that the 920 is going the same route. I still don't have the Amber update :( I just wish more devs cared about this since it's such a great OS with great potential.

Ah, I think the lack for updates is caused by the carriers themselves; so if you pick the contract-free phone, you can get maybe the latest update today.
And, yes, I admit that many devs are underestimating WP, as I felt about the lack of big apps like Path, for example. But I'd prefer to stick to WP, rather than Android (which is laggy and power consumptive), and iOS (too pricey, though it's a great phone).
Again, it's all back to our own opinion, including you, the phone user.

I think this is google negelcting their customers. Not microsoft. On apple and android, google codes excellent apps. For windows phone, Microsoft has to do it. Why is that? Also, why does microsoft have to code their app in HTML 5? None of the other apps on other platforms are in HTML 5. Furthermore, it has been pretty clear that google is not only not willing to make an app for windows phone, they actaully don't want it to have one. No matter what microsoft does, they cannot release a YouTube app for windows phone unless google lets them. And it's been pretty obvious that google does not want the platform to have a first-rate youtube experience.

Yup its blatantly obvious that ms patenting the ui was a pretty sharp move. Given how everything is going flat. If you look at google's prospective all their oems are getting hammered with license fees. The only major trump card they have is youtube, but unfortunately for us this card wont turn to ash any time soon. If only Samsung released tizen, that sure will stir up things for google that's for sure.

I get that we all like WP, but these are some pretty fanboyish reactions. Who cares if someone is fed up with WP, no need to get do defensive.

I'm far from a Fanboy. I do hate people who whine they are leaving and still end up staying and continuing.  I mean to say that MS didn't try to get FB on and absurd.  They even went as far to say F* Google and release the rich app anyways.  They even went as far to to open complaints about Google unfair practices.  But to sit here and whine like this is MS fault is flat out stupid.  MS has tried hard and ended up having to go back to their HTML 5 like they had a choice.  What else was they suppose to do? Keep a broken app up that never will work?  I mean if your out because you hate MS WP or just tired of it, that's one thing.  But to whine becaues of an open app that MS has no control of is yes childish. To each their own. 

I'm not sure yet. I came from Andriod and that was a huge mess. Currently, I'm leaning more towards iOS but this recent update has me worried about secruity. Idk, I'll have sometime to think. Atm, I'm switching back to my old iPhone.

But remember, if you want Office capabilites with IOS, you'll have to buy a 3rd party app for Office (so sad for IOS) unless you get Office 365 (official).

Oh I'm sorry.  You're right.  You really do need an iPhone if money isn't really much of a problem.  The iSheep are waiting for you.

I dont understand how you relate money to iPhone? Shoot, I'd rather buy a 1020 but it'll put me in the same exact place as this 920. Idk about you but to me, iPhones are cheap (start at 649.99 of contract). Andriod are expensive and so are high end Nokias (aka 1020 which cost around $700+ off contract). 

Btw, what's an iSheep? 

So you have to have an "official" app ... Mytube works fine for me.

If you leave and go to Android then the evil empire wins ... and I do mean evil!

Haha, this is hilarious, way to get tons of replies in wpcentral forum. I feel its good to switch OS from time to time, keeps it interesting for the user and keeps the competition going, no need to be loyal.....

Does it need to be "official"? We have metrotube for YouTube and 6tag for Instagram. Heck, they are even better than the official apps!

By preventing the release of an official and rich app, google makes users like yourself to start clamouring for that experience. So much so that you will switch to Android as opposed to IOS. But they can't negate IOS because of the market share and all that sweet delicious data. Market share doesn't grow without users. That's what hombree meant. Pretty much everyone that can stand back and see the picture knows this fact.

He is jst trying to be neglectant... No matter how mch u convince he has setup his mind... What if microsoft stops making apps for android and ios.... They will be screwed... And if doesnt allows google apps to work on wp8.... Metrotube is fantastic nd a complete replacement for the youtube app... Its nt microsoft its google who doesnt care abt users.... And also doesnt care abt their security... Get ur facts straight man... Currently wp8 is more secure than ios and android

I use MetroTube and MyTube. F#ck Google. Even if they finally come out with an official YouTube app I will refuse to use it.

Hearing b*sh!t like this makes me want to delete my entire Google account. Anyone know of another family/friend HD video sharing??

I live overseas from the family and use the share function of skydrive for the photos and videos of my little one. Grandma, Great Grandma, and Great Aunts love it.

And there's always Vimeo if you want something a little more public.

I'm honestly not sure why so many people are recommending vimeo over dailymotion, sure it has some great content but as a YouTube competitor, dailymotion is far ahead In terms of the sheer amount of content.

If Microsoft and Apple teams up, as if Microsoft just did it alone, they wouldn't do well, and makes a similar service like YouTube, maybe it would do well. Currently, vimeo us 2nd place and YouTube is first, and YouTube is FAR better.

I have since reverted to Metro Tube. Stupid ass bickering. Shit I wouldn't allow Google Ad mob to be allowed. But this is all around a failure for the user end