Official YouTube app for Windows Phone now available

An officially Google-sanctioned YouTube app for Microsoft's Windows Phone is finally available for download from the Windows Phone Store.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

On August 13, after three months of limbo, a new officially sanctioned YouTube app is in the Windows Phone store.


"We’ve released an updated YouTube app for Windows Phone that provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads," said a Microsoft spokesperson via an official statement sent via email late on August 13. "We appreciate Google’s support in ensuring that Windows Phones customers have a quality YouTube experience and look forward to continuing the collaboration."

The new app includes the ability to upload videos from your phone, live streaming of YouTube live streams, voice search and voice activation from the Home screen. Here's the Microsoft-provided list of key features:

  • Pin videos, playlists, channels and search queries to the Start screen as Live Tiles
  • Manage your YouTube profile with your unique My YouTube page
  • Manage your playlists, uploads and video lists
  • Find channels, videos and playlists with the quick access search bar with new search suggestions
  • Share videos to social networks, e-mail and text messages
  • Let your kids enjoy age appropriate videos in Kid’s Corner and keep their own profile
  • Enjoy Live video streaming 
  • Upload videos from your Windows Phone

Google and Microsoft jointly announced on May 24 that they were going to build together a version of a native YouTube application for Windows Phone 8 that would meet Google's terms of service. The new app will be available in the Windows Phone Store in the "coming weeks," according to a Google spokesperson.

In early May, Microsoft fielded a YouTube application that it built itself for Windows Phone 8. The problem: The app violated Google's terms of service by not serving ads and allowing video downloads. Google sent Microsoft a cease-and desist; Microsoft subsequently updated its app, ceasing video downloads but still not serving ads. in late May, Microsoft and Google said they were working together on a new YouTube app for Windows Phone that would comply with youTube's terms of service, including enabling ads.

Microsoft has been complaining that Google has been withholding access to application programming interfaces (APIs) it needed to create a fully-functional YouTube app for Windows Phone. This is Google's public API for mobile app vendors wanting to build YouTube mobile applications. I've asked Google and Microsoft whether this is the same API the pair will use to jointly develop the new app. No word back so far.

Google, for its part, has made it clear that it intended to be the one developing any native YouTube apps for mobile platforms. Users of mobile platforms Google didn't support were supposed to use Google's mobile YouTube site. Google also made it clear it planned not to release many applications for Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8, citing low market acceptance for the platforms as the cause.

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