Google’s reasons to block Microsoft’s YouTube app for Windows Phone are “are nothing other than excuses”, according to Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel David Howard.
This isn’t the first time Google has removed the app. In May, Google objected to the app and requested that it includes Google advertisements, and disables video downloads and viewing of reserved videos. After Microsoft had fulfilled Google’s requests, the app was relaunched this week but was soon taken down again.
Howard voiced his frustration in a blog post, accusing Google of intentionally inhibiting the company from releasing the Windows Phone app.
“We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users,” he wrote.
“Google’s objections to our app are not only inconsistent with Google’s own commitment of openness, but also involve requirements for a Windows Phone app that it doesn’t impose on its own platform or Apple’s (both of which use Google as the default search engine, of course).”
According to Howard, Google is now requesting Microsoft to change the app to 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.
“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.”
A Google spokesperson said it has been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5.
A Google spokesperson also said that the app doesn't comply with its terms and conditions.
"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," said the spokesperson.
“What Google really means is that our app is not based on HTML5. The problem with this argument, of course, is that Google is not complying with this condition for Android and iPhone,” Howard wrote.
Other issues Google has with the app are that it doesn’t serve advertisements based on conditions imposed by content creators, the branding of the app may not seem clear to users, and there’s a degraded experience, said Howard.
Howard rebutted all of Google’s objections, saying that Google refused to hand over information from iPhone and Android so it can mirror its ads the same way, have “taken additional steps to clarify” Microsoft is the author of the app, and users reviews show that the app experienced has improved.