YouTube fans who love using their Apple iPads can now get their favorite media player back onto their devices with a newly-released Google YouTube app built and optimized for iPads.
The YouTube app for iPads has been awaited ever since Apple debuted the new iOS 6 operating system in mid-September, which didn't include a built-in YouTube app. Google quickly released a YouTube player for iPhones and iPod Touch devices running the new iOS 6 platform back in September, but said an iPad version would come later after it was completed.
Now, that day has arrived as the new YouTube player for iPad was announced in a Dec. 4 post by Horia Ciurdar, a YouTube software engineer, on The Official YouTube Blog.
"Just in time for the holidays, now you can download or update the YouTube app with a look designed for the iPad and iPhone 5, enhanced AirPlay support, videos that start faster and play more smoothly, and improved accessibility with VoiceOver," wrote Ciurdar. "Enjoy Tastemade on iPad in full screen glory, or hours of flipping through Ryan Higa videos on your iPhone 5 or iPod touch."
The move to ready a YouTube player specifically for the size and power of the iPad was big for Google, wrote Ciurdar, since more than 25 percent of all YouTube viewing occurs on mobile devices. When the YouTube player for iPhone and iPod Touch was released in September, it was the most downloaded free app in Apple's App Store for two months, he wrote.
A YouTube app previously had been built into iOS since the first iPhones were introduced in 2007, but was dropped earlier this year as five-year licensing agreements between Apple and Google expired. Also dropped under the expired agreements was the Google Maps app that previously had been loaded on iPhones. That led to big problems for Apple when its new native maps app hit the marketplace with a thud when it was released in September.
In August, Apple announced that it dropped built-in YouTube support from its iOS 6 Beta 4 device operating system.
YouTube gets about 1 billion views from mobile users a day, according to Google.
When YouTube debuted on iPhones, it appeared before there even was an Apple App Store, giving the YouTube and Apple an early opportunity to work together on the emerging feature.
A major benefit of the new stand-alone YouTube apps, according to a YouTube spokesman, is that Apple device users will now have access to more content than they had previously. In implementing YouTube as part of iOS in past versions, Apple didn't permit ad-sponsored content to be viewed, which kept users from seeing many forms of content, said the spokesman.
That content, including ad-supported music videos and more, will be viewable on Apple devices through the stand-alone player.
Apple and Google appear to have taken on a more adversarial tone since Google developed Android, which is continuing to gain market share and users. At the same time, though, it is notable that the new YouTube app is being offered through Apple's own App Store.
Google continues to make other improvements to the popular YouTube service for users. In November, Google announced that it is expanding its automatic video captioning services for deaf and hearing-impaired viewers and for those who speak foreign languages. YouTube has added support for six more languages—German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch—to the automatic-captioning services that debuted in 2009.
To use the service, viewers can click the red closed-caption ("CC") button on the task bar of a YouTube video and then select the language they want to use. Viewers can also choose to use a translation feature, which is presently in beta form, to translate the video's audio track into their native language.
So far, the automatic captions are available in 10 languages. About 200 million videos on YouTube have automatic and human-created captions, and the number continues to grow.