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Google updates YouTube app on iOS, first update since December

Google is said to have resumed updating its major apps on iOS Google is said to have resumed updating its major apps on iOS
Google is said to have resumed updating its major apps on iOS (REUTERS)

Google’s lack of updates to its major applications on iOS was seen as effort to evade Apple’s new privacy labels. 

Google has rolled out an update to its YouTube app on iOS. It is the company’s first update to a major Google iOS application since December. It was speculated that Google has delayed or stalled the updates to its major iOS apps to evade Apple’s stringent privacy policies. Google, however, has maintained it was not the case.

YouTube update

According to 9to5Google, YouTube’s last update on iOS was on December 7. The latest update started to roll out on February 13. The release note does not reveal much.

“Fixed bugs, improved performance, drank way too much coffee,” says the update that brings the version to 15.49.6.

The report notes that Google had also updated its YouTube apps (Music, YV, and Studio) in early February in line with Apple’s new privacy policies.

Apple’s privacy policies

Back in December, Apple introduced new privacy policy labels on the App Store. The labels are essentially an easy-to-view summary of data in any form that an application that collects from users.

All the applications on the App Store are required to show this privacy information. It applies to all major Apple platforms including iPhones, iPads, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Even Apple’s own apps are required to show the labels.

Controversy

Facebook was one of the first companies to object to Apple’s new privacy labels. The company said that Apple’s privacy update could limit its ad targeting capabilities.

In a rare jab at Apple, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the iPhone maker was fast becoming a competitor. Zuckerberg also pointed out that Apple “has every incentive” to use the platform to interfere with how rival apps work.

“Apple may say that they are doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests," Zuckerberg during a call with investors recently.

Before Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook published full-page newspaper advertisements to attack Apple’s iOS update.

Google’s position

Amid the tiff between Facebook and Apple, Google had mysteriously paused updates to its major applications on iOS. The halt was widely seen as an effort to evade Apple’s stringent policies. Reports suggested Google was exploring alternatives to the anti-tracking features.

Google, however, maintained it would comply with Apple’s new update.

“As Google’s iOS apps are updated with new features or to fix bugs, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details. These labels represent the maximum categories of data that could be collected—meaning if you use every available feature and service in the app,” said the company.

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