youtube, windows phone, mobile

Windows Phone 8 customers, following several false starts, now have access to an official YouTube app. This week, Microsoft posted its updated tool for using the popular video site in the Windows Phone store -- now with Google’s approval.

The app allows a user to upload videos from a Windows Phone device, view YouTube live streams and search by voice. There is also the ability to pin videos, playlists, channels and search queries to the Start screen as updatable Tiles, to manage playlists, and to find channels or videos with the quick-access search bar.

Microsoft’s Mobile YouTube App Issues

Users are also able to share videos via social networks, email or text messages, and let kids maintain their own profile or view age-appropriate videos.

In May, Microsoft announced with Google a joint effort to build a version of a native YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 that would conform to Google requirements. An app that Microsoft had built and released earlier in May was found to have violated Google's terms of service because it did not serve ads but allowed video downloads. Google rejected the software and sent Microsoft a notice of its actions.

Microsoft revised the app so that it no longer allowed video downloads, but, since it still did not serve ads, that app was again rejected. This latest incarnation meets Google’s requirements.

In January, Microsoft had complained that Google was preventing it from offering consumers "a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone,” because Google allegedly provided Android phones and iPhones with access to metadata from YouTube for searching video categories and other functions, but blocked such access for Windows Phone users.

Windows Phone = #3

For its part, Google has been clear that it wanted to develop its own YouTube app for mobile platforms that it supported, and it indicated late last year its reluctance to develop apps for Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 because of the then-relatively small installed base for each.

But that argument against Windows Phone 8 may need to be revised. A report released this week by industry research firm Gartner said that Windows Phone has taken a clear third-place position behind Google's Android Platform and Apple's iOS platforms, pulling ahead of BlackBerry.

Windows Phone is still only showing a market share of 3.3 percent, compared to Android's 79 percent and iOS's 14.2 percent, but this is up from Windows Phone's 2.6 in the same quarter last year. Research firm IDC has also found Windows Phone moving into third place. This positioning as the most popular option to Android and iOS’ commanding positions among mobile platforms could help Windows Phone 8 build as BlackBerry and the other mobile platforms with small market share drop further behind.

Image courtesy of  Yuriy Vlasenko (Shutterstock)