Way back in 2013 Microsoft was involved in a fracas with Google over Microsoft’s implementation of a YouTube app on Windows Phone, which eventually resulted in Microsoft replacing the app with a link to the YouTube website, downgrading the user experience of Windows Phone users.
It seems Amazon was equally powerless against Google’s monopoly on online video, and also had to back down. Amazon was recently forced to disable their implementation of YouTube on the Amazon Echo Show, which was optimized for voice use, with Google saying “Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. ”
Amazon has now replaced their app with what is clearly a link to YouTube, offering the same desktop interface and clearly much lesser usability, dare I say “creating a broken user experience.”
Voicebot.ai reports while the old interface was fully voice controlled, the new one actually required users to touch the screen to select a video. It also now no longer plays full screen, unless you use the Zoom voice command, which is rather sad. Playback can fortunately still be controlled by voice.
Fortunately the old user interface is still somewhat available when you voice search for a video, ironically powered by Bing. Actual playback is however still in the borked web YouTube interface, though you can back up to the Search screen by saying “Alexa, back.”
Probably eager to rid themselves from dependence on Google for online video, Amazon said the company was committed to providing several sources of video content to Echo Show users and would offer “video content from sources such as Vimeo, YouTube, and Dailymotion on Echo Show,” with more being added over time.
Google is currently facing antitrust action from the European Union for Android, having already lost a case regarding online shopping ads and search results, having been fined a record €2.42 billion. Somehow I suspect a case involving YouTube will not be far behind, if Jeff Bezos has anything to say about it at least.