Apple is right on-schedule with its latest update to iOS 6, and three weeks after beta 3 arrived, developers are now seeing Apple start distribution of iOS 6 beta 4. Obviously, there are a lot of little fixes, but some of the most attention is being paid to what’s absent, instead, with Apple yanking YouTube from the system’s included apps.
In order for Apple to distribute YouTube as a bundled application, it needed to work out a licensing deal with Google. As it turns out, that license just expired, and for whatever reason, it appears that Apple won’t be renewing it. This could be part of the company’s larger efforts to decrease its reliance on Google, as highlighted by Apple abandoning Google’s imagery for the newest Maps.
Apple released a short statement to clarify that YouTube’s not gone forever, and that Google is preparing a new YouTube app that will eventually be available in the App Store. When that comes, though, it won’t be a bundled app. For the interim, Apple suggests users take advantage of Safari’s in-browser YouTube support. Interestingly, Apple TV still appears to keep YouTube with this release, but Apple may have a separate licensing deal in place for AppleTV due to the nature of the product.
With the clock ticking-down on the rumored iPhone 5 announcement, Apple doesn’t have much time left to finalize iOS 6 and get the software ready for release on those existing iOS models which will support it. While just when that might be seems to continuously be in flux, some of the latest rumors have been focusing on Apple’s event taking place September 12, with the actual hardware becoming available on September 21.