Guest post by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
When the very first iPhone shipped, literally changing the world as we knew it, it carried a little Trojan horse inside of it called YouTube. The app for Googleâs video sharing site comes standard with every single iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, but all of that ends with the next version of Appleâs mobile operating system, iOS 6, as noted by The Verge and just about every other tech blog.
Introducing the New YouTube Mobile Website
âOur license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended,â said Apple in a statement. âCustomers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.â
Appleâs decision not to renew that license âwhatever its reasons might be â carries at least three major implications for the music app scene:
1. Big Chance for Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody
If you want to summon a song and play it on the iPhone in your pocket right now, you simply need to tap the YouTube app and search for the song, and youâll hear it almost instantaneously. (You can even play the song via AirPlay on your nice speakers.) Starting in iOS 6, you wonât have that option anymore, so youâll have to install something. Tell me, what will it be?
Sure, it could be the YouTube app Google is said to be working on, but at least youâll have to think about it this time around. If youâve been building up playlists in the free desktop version of Spotify or MOG, you could find yourself deciding to take the leap and subscribe, the way millions of other people already have done, rather than relying on YouTubeâs piecemeal, song-by-song approach.
2. Shot in the Arm for HTML5
As mentioned above, Google is hard at work on a YouTube app, which it will submit to Appleâs iTunes app store alongside all the others. However, as the New York Times (which recently linked to Evolver.fm as a source) noted in June, Googleâs new mobile website already âmakes the iPhone YouTube app obsolete.â Sure, some folks will track down whatever iOS app YouTube releases in the coming weeks. Others will simply direct our browsers to YouTube, as Apple suggests we do, bookmark it, and add that bookmark to our iPhone home screens, where it will look exactly like an app.
If millions of users suddenly realize how easy it is to load HTML5 apps within their iPhoneâs Safari browser â even adding those HTML5 apps to their home screens alongside their iOS apps â it could be a major turning point for HTML5. After all, it can do most of what iOS apps need to do.
If you think about it, platform-specific apps are like DRM-ed music, in the sense that they tie you to your device platform. If youâve spent $50 on iOS apps, youâre probably not going to turn around and buy an Android. However, if if you purchased $50-worth of HTML5 apps (which is possible, if they sell accounts that require a log-in), suddenly, youâd be able to hop between iOS and Android and bring those apps with you.
That world is still far off, but at the very least, the lack of a native, bundled YouTube app on iOS will cause more people to realize that HTML5 apps such as YouTubeâs can be a viable replacement for platform-specific apps â especially because the HTML5 version of YouTube can do more than the iOS version can (see video above).
3. Vimeo: The New Online Concert Destination?
When I shot this concert footage of my brotherâs band, my iPhone encouraged me to upload that video to YouTube, as it still does today. In iOS 6, Appleâs default video destination of uploads will be Vimeo instead, as Mashable points out.
Have you been to a concert lately? There are a lot of iPhones there, many of them shooting audio and video footage. It wonât happen overnight, but gradually, Vimeo will replace YouTube as the place to see concert videos uploaded from iPhones.
(Front page image courtesy of Flickr/Claudio Montes)