Technology giant Apple has removed the default YouTube app from the latest version of its operating system, in a bid to distance itself from the video-clip site’s owner, Google.
Set for release on Monday, iOS6 beta 4 will mark the end of YouTube as a built-in app within the iOS homescreen. Users will now have to access the site either by going through the Safari browser, or by visiting the app store. In addition, any video content filmed on an iDevice will not, in future, default to uploading on to YouTube; instead, it will select its main rival, Vimeo.
Apple’s move has surprised tech observers, who had not expected such a strong sign of separation to emerge from a new software platform. However, the strategy is thoroughly in keeping with management aims to reduce Apple’s dependency on Google products, in order to differentiate itself and compete against the Android Operating System. Back in June, Apple confirmed that it was eliminating Google Maps from its default screen and starting its own mapping service, having acquired a trio of companies that specialise in this area.
For most users, the change will be virtually invisible. But for Apple – which is keen in the long-term to own and control its own set of technologies – these are clearly the opening steps towards dispensing with Google-related features altogether.