Earlier today, Apple released iOS 6 Beta 4 to iOS developers, moving the new iOS release one step closer to launch. The update is available for previous iOS 6 Beta users both over the air and as a standalone download from the developer portal as usual. The version bumps the build number up to 10A5376e, and updates the baseband version to 3.0.0 on the iPhone 4S. 

iOS 6 B4 on iPhone 4S (left), iOS 6 B4 without YouTube (middle), iOS 5.1.1 (right)

In addition to the usual bugfixes and subtle changes to APIs, iOS 6 Beta 4 removes the Apple-built and maintained YouTube.app from the software bundle. The stock YouTube app has only seen a few updates since release with the original iPhone. The initial YouTube app's purpose was to serve as a gateway for the small catalog of MP4 and 3GP (MPEG-4 and H.264 encoded) format videos in the YouTube catalog, as opposed to FLV video. Much of this was motivated by the need to match YouTube's catalog to the video format compatible with Apple's hardware decode blocks. Since then, nearly every SoC's video decoder can handle H.264 well above even the 1080p YouTube format.

As time has gone on, playing back YouTube videos directly from the web in MP4 has become the new norm, with Google's improved YouTube web player for iOS being the most common workflow. Apple and Google both issued statements to The Verge, noting that Apple's license to distribute the YouTube app has ended, and that Google will build and distribute its own YouTube application through the App Store. The end result is more control for Google over the YouTube experience thanks to the decoupling of YouTube from the OS. 

WiFi Plus Cellular (left), Upload to YouTube in iOS 6 B4 (middle, right)

Another subtle change is the inclusion of a WiFi + Cellular data tab under cellular settings on iOS 6 B4. No doubt this enables applications to transact data over cellular when WiFi is spotty. iMessage for example on iOS transacts all data over cellular even when attached to WiFi. 

Update: Some readers asked, and interestingly enough the upload to YouTube functionality from either Camera.app or Photos.app remains intact. I tested and was able to upload a video just fine. No doubt Google's YouTube application will extend or replace some of this remaining OS-level functionality. 



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  • KitsuneKnight - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    Did you even read the article? The YouTube app that's been around for years was built and maintained by Apple (not Google).

    The Gmail app is little more than a wrapper around the mobile website (it's not like Google has tried to keep it secret or anything), and it was only around a month ago when Google finally decided to support Notification Center, and included text with the push notifications (so you don't get merely a sound and a badge).

    Are you confusing iOS with Android? Because it sounds like you are...
  • area5x1 - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    He might be, as Google apps on Android like Gmail and YouTube are quite amazing. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    We've shown in the past that iMessage preferentially selects cellular data for all messages (to mitigate MITM with SSL / all APNs vulnerable to this vector) unless you completely disable cellular. The point I'm trying to make is that in a WiFi+Cellular connected situation, cellular is preferentially selected for all APNS traffic on the iPhone. That's my only point. I'm betting that this API is now being extended to other applications as well.

  • LeoListens - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure about you guy's opinion, but frankly I think this is great. Google can more actively manage the YouTube app they bring to the appstore, and hopefully they will bring it up to date with the web app....iOS YouTube app got almost no love from apple.

    This way it will be up to date, and HOPEFULLY give us options on what quality video to watch, especially over 3G or crappy Wi-Fi
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    Yea, I think this isn't a loss in any way, saves us from the app opening when clicking a youtube link. Now we need Google to do a proper app or fix the mobile site though, at the moment it's pretty useless with it's two quality settings being 'highest possible' (which takes ages to load on a slower connection) and 'so shitty it might as well be audio only'... Reply
  • Strat09 - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    I don't even use that app... I use the web version because it's better. Also for people who want the youtube icon back as a shortcut app on their home screen just use safari to do so.

    ALSO ALSO... iOS 6 can be downloaded by non developers and installed through iTunes by Restoring your iOS to the stock version and selecting set up as new device, getting all the way to your homescreen on startup on your iDevice, agreeing to iTunes terms, signing in... yadiyada.... and installing an ispw beta file you can search for in the internet by clicking the check for update button while holding shift on your keyboard, and selecting the iOS 6 beta .ispw you downloaded. Afterwards you can do ota updates from your device.
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    Isn't that built into those apps?

    I may be wrong, but iOS is not like Android where apps can send data from one app to another. Camera app or Photo app would not be able to invoke Google's Youtube app to upload - they would have to call Youtube's API and do the upload themselves.
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    That or the youtube upload sharing option is built right in to iOS and available as a sharing option for all apps. Reply
  • nancylewis905 - Thursday, August 9, 2012 - link

    Check out RapidProtect-- A best app to track your family, friends and business members with lots of advanced collaboration features. App is available at rapidprotect DOT net Reply

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