Google, ProTube and app development

Apple and Google have had a very strange relationship over the years, however recent news seems to have changed the angle away from Apple and aimed squarely towards app developers. Popular app Protube has been pulled from the App Store at Googles request, but the outcry is aimed at Apple for some strange reason.

Some users have been out spoken against Apple pulling the app, and even making the demand that Apple refund users. All when Apple has very little say in the matter and all of the hate should be aimed directly at Google instead.

In fact Google have been fighting with ProTube regarding features for over a year according to the developer Jonas Gessner. Google have not asked for the app to be removed due to copyright as many people have claimed. Protube used the YouTube API perfectly legally which should leave little room for complaints from Google. Yet they have asked that features such as background playback and an audio-only mode be removed – proving that the request is simply to do with YouTube revenue.

The second assumption is that Google simply does not make the app that users desire. Blaming lack of understanding or development power. This again has nothing to do with a lack of development talent at all. Google has many other motivations other than creating the best app it can provide for all of its services.

They choose which features to support based on their own market ideas and income aspirations. Not supporting features of new iOS releases is not a choice based on ability, but based on the company making money. Not supporting things such as ‘picture in picture’ means that they are more likely to sell its own YouTube Red service (or whatever it’s called his week).

ProTube screenshots

YouTube Red enables background playback of YouTube videos and also the ability to download to play them off line. PIP and an audio only mode allows users of the iOS app to receive background playback without paying the 9.99 subscription service Google request.

After a lengthy battle and lack of communication from Google, Jonas caved and allowed the app to be pulled from the AppStore. This allows users that have already paid for the app to use all of the features they have currently and end the fight with Mountain View. So the app disappearing from the appstore has little do with Apple, nor the developer, and everything to do with money for Google.