Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Google updates YouTube for iPhone, first major iOS update since December

In context: Google has issued a bug-fixing update to its YouTube iOS app, which marks the first major iOS app update since Apple’s new privacy rules came into effect in December. The move comes after many speculated that Google was withholding app updates in protest over Apple’s privacy “nutrition labels” in the App Store.

Following the 15.49.6 update, privacy details for the YouTube app are now appearing on the App Store.

“The developer, Google LLC, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handing of data as described below,” the page reads. There, it adds that data used to track users includes “contact info” and “identifiers,” along with a wider range of data which may be linked to users’ identity.

So far, YouTube is the only Google app to receive an update since December. Other apps including Gmail, Search, and Docs, received their last update before December 8, meaning they didn’t have to comply with Apple’s new privacy features.

Apple is hoping to equip users with a better understanding of how their personal data is being used, and to allow iPhone and iPad owners to opt-out of tracking on a per-app basis.

The news didn’t go down well with ad firms or social media giant Facebook, which went so far as to take out two full-page newspaper ads slamming Apple’s privacy policies and claiming that such a move would be “devastating for small businesses.” Critics were quick to question Facebook’s motives, however, given the company’s history of questionable privacy practices.

For iPhone and iPad users, the good news is that we should expect to see further Google apps receive bug-fixing updates in the coming days and weeks. Like we said, YouTube’s latest update is available to download now on the App Store.

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