I had been wondering if/when this might happen. Maybe it’s a glitch with iOS 6 beta 4, but I doubt it.
At the end of the day, Apple and Google are obviously at odds with one another. But if Google still offers a service that Apple deems to be the best for its customers, they’ll use it — see: Maps, until iOS 6, and Google Search still being the default in Safari. But I think everyone can agree that the YouTube app hasn’t been good in a long time. It’s now a weak link in iOS. So why not remove it?
The weird thing here is that while they obviously did it with permission, it was Apple and not Google that built the YouTube app (as they did with the Maps apps of old). So you could certainly argue that Apple was more to blame for the app falling into disrepair as other video apps rose in popularity.
Maybe neither side could come to terms on a new app. Or maybe Apple is okay with Google now building their own YouTube app and simply putting it in the App Store. Maybe Apple learned over time that the app simply isn’t that important in the iOS stack.
Or maybe Apple has something else in mind. Remember, in Mountain Lion, there’s an option to share videos to Vimeo, but not to YouTube…
Update: The Verge got a statement from Apple:
Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.
Makes sense — in line with my guesses above. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some sort of “Send video to Vimeo” menu option in iOS in the future.