YouTube for iOS Gains Support for Lower Latency Chat and Live Streaming iPhone’s Display

YouTube for iOS is gaining a new feature that will allow iPhone users to stream video directly from their device screen, reports TechCrunch.

This will allow YouTubers to stream iOS games and apps on their iPhones directly to YouTube without having to use the standalone YouTube gaming app.


The screen-streaming feature has been available on Android for some time, but to implement it on iOS, YouTube needed to add support for the Apple ReplayKit API, which it has now done.

In addition to a feature for live streaming what's on the iPhone's screen, YouTube is also gaining lower latency streaming for better creator/watcher chat interactions and improved chat moderation tools.

YouTubers can quickly pause chat with a new keyboard shortcut and they can opt in to an automated chat moderation system that will cause YouTube to flag and hold potentially inappropriate messages until they can be reviewed.

YouTube says its new features are rolling out to users around the world today. The YouTube app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Apple Pulls Popular Third-Party YouTube App ‘ProTube’ From the App Store

Hugely popular third-party YouTube app "ProTube" was quietly removed from the App Store by Apple last week. Apple's decision to pull the app followed several takedown requests from Google that were received by the app's developer.

ProTube was hailed by users during its three-year reign for several features either not available in the official YouTube app or not offered by other third-party apps, such as the ability to play videos in 4K at 60 frames per second, background playback, and an audio-only mode. Over its lifetime, the $5 app reached number 1 in the paid app charts in 11 different countries and the top 10 in 57 countries.


In a statement on his website, developer Jonas Gessner said he was "very sad to announce that ProTube was removed from the App Store by Apple on September 1, 2017". The action reportedly came "after multiple requests and threats by YouTube which ultimately led Apple to suddenly pulling the app from the App Store", said Gessner.
YouTube first requested Apple to remove my app well over a year ago, initially just stating that my app violates their Terms of Service. This was a generic takedown request they sent to many YouTube apps at once. They later started going into more detail, even stating that I could not sell the app as that alone violates their ToS. They basically wanted me to remove every feature that made ProTube what it is – that includes the player itself that allows you to play 60fps videos, background playback, audio only mode and more.

Without those features ProTube would not be any better than YouTube's own app, and that is exactly what they want to achieve. YouTube wants to sell its $10/month [YouTube Red] subscription service which offers many features that ProTube also offered for a lower one time price, so they started hunting down 3rd party YouTube apps on the App Store.
Gessner said he initially considered several options to end the dispute with YouTube, including removing all the contested features and making the app free, but ultimately he decided against this because "everyone who paid for ProTube's standout features would suddenly get an app update that removes all those features, resulting in a useless app".

The developer also tried to negotiate with YouTube to come to some sort of agreement, but found the process "very difficult" and claimed he was unable to get a direct response to his questions. After threats of legal action, "I knew that getting sued could cost me more than I ever made with ProTube," he said.

"While it is absolutely awful seeing ProTube getting pulled from the App Store, it was the best solution when it comes to the users that already purchased the app," admitted Gessner. "I was getting screwed either way but I at least didn't want to screw my users."

Many other third-party YouTube apps on the App Store have been targeted by YouTube with takedown requests, according to the developer, who signed off by thanking ProTube's "big and passionate fanbase" and warning that dozens of fake ProTube apps have appeared on the App Store since it was removed.


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YouTube Updates Logo and Announces New Features for iOS App and Desktop Site

YouTube today announced a few changes coming to the company's mobile apps and desktop site, including a visual update for the well-known YouTube logo. Instead of emphasizing the "Tube" part of the branding, the new icon places the TV-like icon to the left of the company's name.

Designed for our multi-screen world, the updated Logo combines a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and Icon, creating a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens.

Why’s it more flexible? When room is limited (say on a smartphone) you can use the brightened up Icon as an abbreviated Logo, which will be seen more easily and read more clearly. You’ll see the new Logo and Icon roll out across mobile and desktop today, and across all our other apps and services soon.
Additionally, the company announced a few updates coming to its iOS and Android apps including improved navigation, more gesture controls (like swiping left and right to jump between videos in a playlist), the ability to speed up or slow down videos, and a dedicated player for vertical videos. There's also a new way to browse more videos while in the YouTube player, by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to see suggested videos.


Both the app and desktop site are being updated to Google's Material Design aesthetic, which will refresh YouTube with a "simple and intuitive user experience that lets content shine," according to the company. With the new update to the desktop site, users will be able to turn on an official Dark Theme so they can browse YouTube more comfortably at night. The Verge reports that Dark Theme will be available on the YouTube mobile apps as well.

Many of the iOS, Android, and desktop updates will launch today, along with the all-new YouTube logo which users should begin noticing across mobile apps and online throughout the day.

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YouTube Rolls Out New Sharing and Chat Features to All iOS Users

YouTube today expanded new chat and sharing features to all YouTube users around the world, making it easier to share and discuss videos right within the YouTube app for iOS devices.

The video sharing functionality was first launched earlier this year in Canada and for some users in North America, and it is now available for all users worldwide.


YouTube's new sharing and chat features allow YouTube users to select a video to share with friends and family and then chat about those shared videos with text, emoji, and more. Group messages discussing shared videos can include up to 30 people.

The sharing features are accessible through a new "Shared" tab in the YouTube app for iOS, which replaces Activity. Sharing a video can be done by adding friends via a text message or sending them a link through email or another social network.
Starting today, you can share videos with your friends and family directly on YouTube. Not only can you share and receive videos in the app, you can also chat about them right on YouTube, reply with another video, invite others to the conversation, and more. We think it'll make sharing easier, faster and more fun on your phone. And if you want to continue sharing videos through other apps, you can still do that too.
YouTube can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge).

Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract new subscribers.

The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn’t more popular with music users. He didn’t address whether or not the two apps would merge — but it seems very unlikely.
By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service.

Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already combined.


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Removal of Built-in YouTube App in iOS 6 Was YouTube’s Decision to ‘Take Back Control of Our App’

In August 2012, iOS users began noticing that the default YouTube app had been removed from Apple's software in iOS 6 Beta 4, becoming permanent with the public debut of the software in the fall of 2012. For the five years prior, YouTube was a mainstay on the iPhone, launching as a default app on iPhone OS as far back as the original iPhone in 2007.

Animosity between Apple and many Android smartphone makers has been well-documented over the years, becoming abundant in 2012 through an ongoing lawsuit related to Apple's suing of Samsung for copying the iPhone design with Android devices, as well as an Apple lawsuit aimed at Google-owned Motorola focusing on Slide-to-Unlock.

Now, in a series of Tweets, former YouTube employee Hunter Walk has said that it was YouTube and Google's decision not to renew an agreement with Apple for YouTube on iOS, so that the company could "take back control of our app" (via Business Insider).



Walk sent out nearly one dozen Tweets on the topic last night, starting off by explaining how Apple approached Google for YouTube on the first iPhone, Apple's control of building the app, the lack of an official "YouTube" name on the icon, and the overall success of the app as a way to entice customers to buy an iPhone for video streaming.

When the license agreements ended five years later in 2012, Walk said YouTube's time to take back the app came, so the company -- "still operating pretty independently from GOOG at that time" -- made its move. Walk went on to Tweet that the decision paid off, with most consumers reinstalling the YouTube app from the iOS App Store upon noticing that the default app had disappeared.

The former YouTube employee ended his series of Tweets, which he said was possible because the "statue of limitations on any nondisclosures" had expired, by stating that this period of YouTube was "one of the most interesting & consequential series of product decisions during my time at YouTube," emphasizing that it was, "Not w/o controversy internally."

Google remains the default search engine on iOS devices, and in 2016 it came to light that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to retain that status on iPhones and iPads. In 2012, Apple removed another default Google app from iPhone -- Google Maps -- and replaced it with Apple Maps in iOS 6.

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YouTube at VidCon: New VR Format, Mobile App Update, YouTube TV Rollout Continues

YouTube made several announcements at the annual VidCon convention in California on Thursday, covering VR, YouTube TV, new original series, and a number of changes coming to the YouTube web and app interface.

First up, YouTube announced a brand new high resolution video format called VR180 that it said would make VR content easier to create. VR180 works on both mobile and desktop, and focuses on what is in front of the viewer, allowing them to turn 90 degrees either side of their field of vision.


The videos transition to a VR experience when viewed with Google Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which enable users to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far.
For creators, you’ll be able to set up and film your videos the way you normally would with any other camera. And, soon, you'll be able to edit using familiar tools like Adobe Premiere Pro. From vlogs, to makeup tutorials to music videos - your videos will work great in VR.

But supporting the format is just the beginning. We want to make cameras that are easy to work with too. The Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180. These cameras are not only great for creators looking to easily make VR content, but also anyone who wants to capture life’s highlights in VR. They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras, for around the same price. Videos and livestreams will be easy to upload to YouTube.
YouTube said that cameras were on the way from YI, Lenovo, and LG, with the first ones making their way onto the shelves this winter. The company is also opening up a VR180 certification program, with Z CAM announced as one of its first partners. Content creators can learn more and sign up for updates at vr.google.com/vr180.

Elsewhere, YouTube said it would be bringing an update to its mobile app in the coming weeks that would allow the interface to dynamically adapt to whatever video size is being watched, whether vertical, square, or horizontal, in order to make better use of screen space. It also said it would be making its mobile video sharing feature available in Latin America and across the U.S. over the next couple of weeks.


Moving on, YouTube said that in the next couple of weeks it would be expanding its YouTube TV service to ten more markets in the U.S., including Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne and Charlotte.

The streaming television service that was first announced in late February before rolling out to five cities in early April. The service costs $35 and is already available in in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

A new slate of YouTube Red originals were also announced on Thursday. The company shared details on 12 new projects coming to the ad-free, all-access $9.99 per month subscription model, bringing the number of original series and movies launched on YouTube Red to 37.

Finally, the Google-owned video hub took the opportunity to reveal that 1.5 billion users now log in to YouTube every single month – the equivalent of one in every five people around the world. It said that, on average, viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone.


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‘YouTube Red’ Free Three-Month Trial Ends July 4

Google is currently promoting a free three-month trial of YouTube Red, its ad-free video service offering subscribers uninterrupted music, background app play, and offline access to YouTube-hosted content.

In addition to allowing users to test out the personalized stations via the new YouTube Music mobile app, the trial provides access to original programming produced by YouTube creators as well as the full range of YouTube Kids channels.


A free Google Play Music account is also included as an extra perk, offering access to an extensive catalog of streamed music and unlimited storage for uploading their existing music library.

After the free trial concludes, subscribers pay $9.99 per month. Users can cancel their YouTube Red trial and full membership at any time. It's also worth noting that if users cancel their Google Play Music subscription they lose access to YouTube Red and no longer qualify for the free trial.

The limited time offer is open to U.S. residents only and ends July 4.

(Thanks, Nick!)

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YouTube TV App for iOS Devices Gains Support for AirPlay

YouTube TV, the streaming television service that launched in April, was today updated with support for AirPlay, allowing video streamed from the iPhone or the iPad to be played on an Apple TV.

The service has been available on the iPad and the iPhone through a YouTube TV app since it launched, but YouTube has not yet made an app available on the Apple TV.


Prior to today, Chromecast was the only way to broadcast content from the app to a television set, but with AirPlay support, YouTube TV content is also available through the Apple TV.

Priced at $35, YouTube TV is only available in a limited number of cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

YouTube TV is a standalone streaming service that's focused on a mobile first experience, and it is separate from the YouTube Red premium service. It includes access to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, Disney, ESPN, FX, USA, and dozens of other major cable channels, alongside standard YouTube video content. Premium channels like Showtime are available for an additional fee.

For customers who want to try YouTube TV, the service includes a one-month free trial. YouTube TV can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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YouTube to Spend Millions Producing Free-to-View Original Content

YouTube has announced plans to produce a raft of original programming beginning this year, as the Google-owned video site moves to counter the rising tide of premium streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

The difference in YouTube's approach to original content is that its shows will be free to view on its website and apps through an ad-supported format, rather than being tied to the company's ad-free $9.99 YouTube Red subscription service.


The company will make a multi-million dollar investment in more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. YouTube hopes that high-profile stars will feature in the content and that this will in turn attract bigger advertisers to sponsor the programming.
"We're working with YouTube stars and big celebrities that we know have global appeal, advertiser appeal and are largely established on the platform," Susanne Daniels, YouTube's head of original content, said in an interview.
YouTube has signed up comedian Kevin Hart and TV host Ellen DeGeneres as its first two high-profile celebrities. Hart's show will be a workout-based series, while DeGeneres' program will give fans a peak backstage into the making of her talkshow.

Katy Perry and Demi Lovato also announced behind-the-scenes shows with YouTube, while TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest confirmed his involvement in a music competition called "Best.Cover.Ever", which will debut on the site later this year.

YouTube's original content plans were announced at the annual digital NewFronts conference in New York on Friday.

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