Monday, October 7, 2013

Microsoft's Windows Phone app reverts back to web link

It looks like Microsoft might be finally giving in on battle they are having against Google over a YouTube app for the Windows Phone platform, at least for now.

It is now reported that a new app update in the Windows Phone store does not actually update an app at all -- it instead replaces the YouTube app that Microsoft was in the process of working on with the previous web link that was used instead.

This move comes after Google has repeatedly denied access to YouTube's API, citing a number of reasons. One of those is that it doesn't display the ads that YouTube uses to generate revenue, as well as keep the service itself alive. Microsoft's own YouTube app also allowed users to download videos directly from the app, which Google apparently frowns upon. (Despite there being numerous services that you can use to download YouTube videos as .mp4's for free)

Google has asked Microsoft to make their YouTube app solely on HTML5 technologies, a move that doesn't quite make sense because Google's own YouTube app for Android and iOS use (superior) native code. Nevertheless, Google hasn't budged despite Microsoft now trying to cooperate.

So, for now, Windows Phone users will yet again only be able to use YouTube through YouTube's web interface. I personally use both the YouTube app and the web interface on my Android device, and I find both of them to work pretty well. However there is times where a native app is more useful, and I believe that Google is in the wrong for forcing Microsoft to create a HTML5 YouTube app, and Microsoft was in the wrong for allowing users to view videos without ads.