Microsoft has updated the YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 platform almost two months after bickering with Google over it. However, the sad part is that this YouTube app is more of a downgrade for users than an update. It has been reverted to the older version that is restricted as a webplayer and offers very generic functionality that uses the browser to open YouTube video links and also lacks notification support.
The saga of the YouTube app on Windows Phone started when Microsoft launched an unofficial YouTube app and Google pulled it back after claiming that Microsoft blocked Google ads on videos and violated its terms and conditions. And though Microsoft re-launched the YouTube app in August saying that both the companies have worked together on that version, Google soon blocked the app again stating that Microsoft again violated Google’s terms and conditions and it didn’t run on the format that was decided.
Now Microsoft seems to have surrendered to Google and returned to the webpage version for the app. This is not good for users, as it will open the YouTube video links in the browser instead of the app itself. Basically, tapping the YouTube icon on Windows Phone will redirect the user to the YouTube mobile website in the browser.
The spat between Microsoft and Google has been very public with Microsoft accusing that Google isn’t itself making a YouTube app for Windows Phone and at the same time is placing restrictions on Microsoft that makes it impossible for them to create an app that provides a user experience comparable to that on Android and iOS. Google wants Microsoft to create an HTML5 version of the app while it itself has apps with native code for other platform.
So far, Google has stayed away from developing apps or providing its services on Windows Phone. Earlier this year, it stopped supporting Microsoft Exchange for Gmail, which broke push email support on Windows Phone devices. Google justifies its actions by claiming Windows Phone does not have enough users for it to invest its resources on the platform.