MicroSoft are sending out an update to their recently revamped and improved Official YouTube app for Windows Phone in an attempt to pacify Google, who last week demanded the app be removed from the Windows Phone Store for violating YouTube terms of service in regards to playing videos which were restricted from mobile viewing, removing ads from the start of video clips and allowing clips to be downloaded for offline viewing.
The update will disable the video download feature and no longer play clips not meant for mobiles, and is said to be rolling out today (22nd May). The update will not address the lack of ads though, presumably due to lack of access to API’s.
I am curious to see what happens if I do not update my app, hopefully the features which are set for removal will continue to work, unless MicroSoft have a “Kill Switch” to force users to update to the more abiding version. While I can understand YouTube not wanting their terms of service breached, it seems counter-productive to threaten such action on a platform for having an app which is too good, and forcing them to degrade their viewers enjoyment . Especially as other apps on Windows Phone and other platforms must also breach the terms.
In a statement to ZDNet a MicroSoft spokesperson said the following:
“Microsoft updated the Windows Phone YouTube app to address the restricted video and offline video access concerns voiced by Google last week. We have been in contact with Google and continue to believe that our two companies can work together to hone an app that benefits our mutual customers, partners and content providers. We’re earning new customers every day, with IDC reporting recently that Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year gain among leading operating systems. We look forward to working with Google to maintain a great YouTube experience for the growing number of people who rely on both of our respective products.”