Microsoft’s app purge doesn’t seem to be limited to Windows apps by third party developers, it seems the firm is taking an opportunity to look inwards and remove one of the most shameful apps ever to feature on Windows phone – the YouTube “app”.
After a half-decade of languishing in the Windows store as a link to the YouTube website via I.E or Edge, Microsoft has now finally removed its inferior (to both official and third party clients) YouTube app for Windows phone.
The app – mundane and boring as it became in the end – wasn’t always so awful. There was a brief period in 2013 when Microsoft created a full featured Windows phone app for the platform, only to get it shut down by Google not once – but twice.
At that time period, Google gave the following statement:
“We’re committed to providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience across devices, and we’ve been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, 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. It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines.”
While Windows phone users and Microsoft fans were quick to point the finger at Google in that case, it is worth noting that even after Microsoft made the “made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience,” on Windows Phone 8.1, the firm did not attempt to release a new Windows phone app to the platform, nor did they attempt to improve the bookmark like app that persisted in the store with their improved support for web-apps. It’s also worth noting that Google provides a similar web-wrapper like experience for YouTube users on its Windows 10 universal Windows app, which provides a web-wrapper version of its apps including Google Maps, Photos and YouTube itself.
“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. “ Microsoft said “Nonetheless, we are committed to giving our users the experience they deserve, and are happy to work with Google to solve any legitimate concerns they may have. In the meantime, we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app”
[We’ve reached out to Google and Microsoft for comment, and will update if necessary]