youtube app

Today saw the surprise (yet anticipated) reappearance of the Microsoft YouTube app for Windows Phone. This time the app evidently has the consent of Google, who took issue with some of the features in the app and had asked Microsoft to pull the original. The bold move by Microsoft though has evidently paid off—Google has finally agreed to what looks like most of Microsoft’s requests for the app.

Our readership requested a video tour of the app and since we’re here to serve, we have obliged. Granted, we’ve only had the app for less than 60 minutes, but we can show you the basic functionality and even a few changes from the previous 3.0 release.

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Earlier this year, Microsoft surprise its users by releasing its own YouTube app, complete with login and advanced management features of the popular streaming service. At the time, it was thought that Microsoft had come to an agreement with Google over the app, but as it turns out that was not the case. After some back and forth between the companies, Microsoft had agreed to pull the app as they work on a new, compliant version with Google.

Today, version 3.2.0.0 of YouTube is now live on the Store for Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8 devices.

The new app looks a lot like the app that was pulled and even includes an upload feature for posting videos directly to the service. That should reassure customers who believe the app would be stripped of functionality (one feature that seems to be missing is downloading of videos).

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While Microsoft's YouTube app leaves much to be desired (granted, it's not their fault), it seems light is at the end of the tunnel for fans of the video sharing website with HTML5. As IE9 in Mango will be making short work of HTML5 we were hoping that Google would make the mobile version of their media community portal open to Windows Phone Mango.

Alas, it seems as though we've conquered video playback via IE9 in Mango, thanks to Google. This is a massive improvement over what was available to WP7 users. A sleeker interface is present with playlist access, commenting and more. It's still not a full-featured app with account management and more, but hey it's something. Don't forget Lazyworm.

Source: Plaffo (Bing Translate)

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We all know how...unimpressive...the "native" YouTube app is on Windows Phone 7--it's basically just a browser for the site and pales in comparison to Android and even the iPhone. Why that is has always bothered users, but it looks like we may have an answer, or at least one-side of it.

In a blog post by Brad Smith, Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Microsoft, he blames Google directly for the Windows Phone situation. There's no if's and's or but's about it, according to Smith ergo Microsoft:

...in 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.

Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.

Microsoft, in response, is ready to fight against Google, ironically in Europe:

Microsoft is filing a formal complaint with the European Commission as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law. We thought it important to be transparent and provide some information on what we’re doing and why.

This raises all sorts of questions for us, non-legal types who don't understand everything going on behind the scenes, for instance why can HTC and 3rd-parties create superior apps but Microsoft cannot? For example, SuperTube is quite impressive and adds all sorts of advanced features, including streaming in HD and saving files. Then again, in a personal note from developer Atta Elayyan, involved with LazyTube (which just hit 2.0), SuperTube evidently violates several of YouTube's Terms of Service, but Microsoft seems to have looked the other way during the app's Marketplace approval (get out tinfoil hats...now).

Whatever the exact details, gauntlet meet ground, as Microsoft has just thrown down some serious charges against Google. This could get interesting...

Source: Microsoft on the Issues; via I Love Windows Phone!

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