A few days ago we posted details of the “new and improved” YouTube app for Windows Phone made by Microsoft. We all assumed it was the version that Google and Microsoft had worked on together to meet Googles requirements.
Since then the web has been awash with frustrated Windows Phone users having problems with the new app. As the problems escalated it became apparent that Google were blocking the app from their end. Google confirmed this to The Verge. Here is what they said…
Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service
Google have blocked the API key that Microsoft were using to access YouTube, effectively disabling the new app.
It all sounds straight forward really, Microsoft are not doing what they’re told to by another enormous company. But, as always there is two sides to every story. Microsoft posted their side of the argument onto their Technet blog. Here are some of the key pointers in the retaliation response…
We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users
Google’s objections to our app are not only inconsistent with Google’s own commitment of openness, but also involve requirements for a Windows Phone app that it doesn’t impose on its own platform or Apple’s
We enabled Google’s advertisements, disabled video downloads and eliminated the ability for users to view reserved videos
There was one sticking point in the collaboration. Google asked us to transition our app to a new coding language – HTML5. This was an odd request since neither YouTube’s iPhone app nor its Android app are built on HTML5
At the end of the day, experts from both companies recognized that building a YouTube app based on HTML5 would be technically difficult and time consuming, which is why we assume YouTube has not yet made the conversion for its iPhone and Android apps
Because of the difficulty with a HTML5 version of the app, Microsoft published the updated non HTML5 version instead, apparently in line with all of the previous requirements from Google. Google obviously don’t like disobedience and have blocked it. The other issue is advertising. Microsoft had the following to say about it.
Our app serves Google’s advertisements using all the metadata available to us. We’ve asked Google to provide whatever information iPhone and Android get so that we can mirror the way ads are served on these platforms more precisely. So far at least, Google has refused to give this information to us.
Nice one Google, Google have also ludicrously mentioned a degraded experience with the new app. I find this laughable as the new app is miles better than the previous version. That existed for years and years on Windows Phone 7 and apparently wasn’t a degraded experience. Microsoft close their statement with the following:
We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users, and that their objections are nothing other than excuses.
So this doesn’t look like it’s going to get fixed in the short term. I’ll continue to use MetroTube instead and this argument will obviously continue. If you want to read the full Microsoft statement head over to the Technet link at the bottom.
What’s your thoughts on the whole farce? Personally I think Google are just being awkward, which is odd as the more people being shown adverts the more money Google get.