Following reports that iOS 6 will remove the built-in YouTube app, Google has now launched its own official standalone YouTube app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Although Apple has included a native YouTube app on the iPhone since the beginning, the built-in version was developed by Apple rather than Google and has generally seen only modest updates as new iOS versions are released, failing to keep pace with newer YouTube features. Recent iOS 6 betas now suggest that the built-in app will disappear when Apple releases iOS 6 later this month, and while Google introduced an iPhone optimized web version of YouTube back in 2010, this still relied on Safari and like many web apps lacked native iOS integration.
The new YouTube app has been developed for the iPhone and iPod touch to provide a more integrated experience along with improved performance and exploration features, allowing users to access YouTube either as a guest or with their own YouTube account, view playlists, subscribe to video channels, and discover content via a new integrated YouTube channel guide. Users can also play videos via AirPlay and share on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Messages and e-mail. The new app also provides access to a greater range of content by allowing users to view videos with pre-roll advertising—a requirement that barred many videos from being displayed in the built-in app. YouTube is an iPhone and iPod touch app requiring iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. An iPad optimized version is reportedly under development and expected to be available in the coming months.