Yesterday for a few short hours everything seemed to be coming together for Windows Phone, as the updated Youtube app was finally released. Unfortunately the joy and excitement was short lived as Microsoft pulled back the app and the service was shut down (an error now appears saying “something went wrong, we’re not sure what).
It seem Microsoft was once again forced to take down the app due to some “manufactured excuses” by Google. The latest reason being that the app isn’t built in HTML5 as per Google’s request.
There was one sticking point in the collaboration. Google asked us to transition our app to a new coding language – HTML5. This was an odd request since neither YouTube’s iPhone app nor its Android app are built on HTML5. Nevertheless, we dedicated significant engineering resources to examine the possibility. At the end of the day, experts from both companies recognized that building a YouTube app based on HTML5 would be technically difficult and time consuming, which is why we assume YouTube has not yet made the conversion for its iPhone and Android apps.
For this reason, we made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5. We believe this approach delivers our customers a short term experience on par with the other platforms while putting us in the same position as Android and iOS in enabling an eventual transition to new technology. Google, however, has decided to block our mutual customers from accessing our new app.
It appears that Google are just trying to make things difficult for Windows Phone and its users, a real shame as the app was temporarily awesome. Hopefully Microsoft calling out Google’s game and showing the world will have some end result as they claim:
It seems to us that Google’s reasons for blocking our app are manufactured so that we can’t give our users the same experience Android and iPhone users are getting. The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it.
In the end Microsoft have called out Google, stating their willing and waiting to play ball and are waiting on Google to play nicely, hopefully the wait won’t be much longer? For now it’s back to MetroTube I guess
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. 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.
Read more about Microsoft’s response here: