A Microsoft-authored YouTube app is back in the Windows Phone Store, hopefully pitting an end to the long-standing Google-Microsoft rivalry that prevented Windows Phone users from accessing Google's video service.
The new YouTube app notes, specifically, that it was developed by Microsoft, and has nothing to do with either Google or its video-sharing subsidiary. Nevertheless, some users have still complained that it taps into the HTML5 mobile site that YouTube developed, making it a Web app, rather than the "true" app that some have hoped for.
Nevertheless, the new app appears to be the product of a Google-Microsoft partnership. The two buried the hatchet at the end of May, promising to jointly collaborate on a new Windows Phone app. Microsoft has always hoped to build a proper YouTube app, but had complained that Google hasn't provided the necessary APIs to allow it to do so. In early May, Microsoft released a new YouTube app that it developed, eliminating ads and allowing users to download the videos themselves. Those ads now show up when playing YouTube videos, paying the content creators--and Google. That app got the thumbs-down from Google.
The new YouTube app released Tuesday comes with a new list of features, including the ability to pin videos, playlists, or video channels to the Windows Phone screen as Live Tiles. In addition, video can now be uploaded directly to the YouTube service from within the app itself.
Each user also has access to his or her unique YouTube page, where profiles can be managed, including those of children; the app takes advantage of the Windows Phone "Kids' Corner" functionality, and allows profiles to be set up that will only show age-appropriate videos. A quick-access search bar makes finding those videos easy. Finally, those videos can be emailed, texted via SMS, and shared over social networks.
Although Microsoft's Bing Videos provides a basic equivalent to YouTube, YouTube's scope--more than 100 hours are uploaded every minute--makes YouTube a must-have for virtually every platform. For owners of a Windows Phone, let's hope that the two companies have buried the hatchet.