It seems like only yesterday that one of our readers was bemoaning the poor playback quality of the iOS YouTube app, and wishing that Apple would do something to fix it. Given that YouTube is a Google property, and the two former BFFs aren't on the best of terms nowadays, it's no wonder that the video playback app has languished. Mobile Safari does a bang-up job with most YouTube videos, so it seemed logical that the days of the standalone app might be numbered.
In the iOS 6 beta 4 build released today, that number appears to have come up. The Verge noted that the YouTube app is missing in action (per 9to5Mac) and got an official statement from Apple on the topic: "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." Engadget's Darren Murph expands on that, as Apple told him the existing YouTube app will not be removed from iOS 5 devices.
Goodness. As the first iPhone shipped in the summer of 2007 with the YouTube app onboard, it looks like there was a five-year countdown on the bundling arrangement. Google's new App Store app for YouTube seems likely to debut with iOS 6 this autumn.