YouTube App Removed From iOS 6 Because Apple’s Licensing Agreement Is Over

Slowly but surely, it seems as though Apple’s mobile OS is being stripped of search giant Google’s influence. Apple’s redesigned Maps application — due to make its debut in iOS 6 — no longer makes use of Google’s map data, and that trend continues with another recently spotted change.

The latest beta version of iOS 6 (that’s beta number 4, if you’re keeping count) no longer includes the YouTube app, which has been a mainstay of iOS homescreens since the original iPhone. Don’t fret too much though, because Apple reports that Google is working on its own iOS-friendly YouTube app for inclusion in the iOS App Store.

The exact reasoning behind the move was initially unclear, but Apple’s official response (courtesy of The Verge) is about as curt as you would expect:

Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.

Of course, a statement as brief as that raises as many questions as it answers. Did Apple try to renegotiate the licensing terms for the app’s inclusion in iOS 6 with Google? Was that even an option?

For now there’s little to go on, but I imagine most users won’t be hurting because of the change especially considering how much better the YouTube mobile site has gotten over the years. That’s not to say anything of the fact that Google is in a better position to maintain the iOS YouTube app — the Android version of the app seems lightyears ahead in comparison and if only a few of those features (the quality toggle, better caching, the list goes on) make the leap to Apple’s platform it’ll all be for the best.