[From ZDnet] Google Obsoletes iTunes App

One of the most interesting things about the original iPhone was that it came with a dedicated YouTube app that allowed you to view your favorite videos in the palm of your hand. Steve Jobs said at the time:

iPhone delivers the best YouTube mobile experience by far… Now users can enjoy YouTube wherever they are—on their iPhone, on their Mac or on a widescreen TV in their living room with Apple TV.

While this may have been true in 2007, it’s no longer the case in 2010. Google has released a major update to its mobile YouTube experience (m.youtube.com) that beats all of the discrete YouTube apps out there — including the iPhone variety.

A video demo of the new YouTube Web app is embedded below, complete with dramatic music:

For starters, the new Web app is completely based in HTML5, it has a slick UI and it loads fast. But the defining difference is the quality, the Web app simply looks better and will soon feature more content than the dedicated iPhone app.

TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid noted that “it wasn’t hard to detect some tension between YouTube and Apple” during a presentation by YouTube product manager Andrey Doronichev. He made it clear that the new web app is superior in just about every way.

The web app offered a number of advantages, including auto-complete in search and a UI that’s more consistent with the latest version of the YouTube webpage (the iPhone app still uses YouTube’s 5-star rating system, which was abandoned in January in favor of a binary ‘Like’ system). Most important, the video quality of the web application was leaps and bounds ahead of the iPhone app — Doronichev explained that this was because the iPhone app still uses a video streaming format that was developed for Edge, not 3G. Video on the HTML5 app looked much better, and was snappier to boot.

It looks like Google’s recent embrace of Web apps — witness Google Voice and Buzz — could be retaliation for Steve Jobs’ comments that Google’s corporate mission was “B.S.” and for it banning Google Voice from the App Store.

Apple’s unwillingness to work with Google is just another example of how its bridge burning hurts customers in the end. It’s pretty clear that Google probably won’t release any new iPhone apps — or updates to existing ones — ever again, which is allowing Android to catch up with, and surpass the iPhone.

Apple’s silly feud with Google means that iPhone customers will be stuck with substandard native apps (like YouTube and Maps), no new Google apps (ListenShopperGogglesSkyMap and Translate) and be forced to pay extra for navigation apps from the App Store rather than getting the killer Google Maps Navigation for free.

Read ZDnet story here

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YouTube Says HTML5 Not Ready for Prime Time

YouTube fired off another shot in the battle for the future of online video this week by underscoring its support of Adobe Flash over HTML5. John Harding, a YouTube software engineer, said that currently Flash offers many useful features not found in HTML5. “There’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video.” HTML5 proponents still have high hopes for the standard, which is still “a work in progress.”

Read the entire article from technewsworld.com here

Despite predictions to the contrary, Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) Flash won’t be supplanted any time soon as a major video distribution vehicle on the World Wide Web, according to a software engineer at the Net’s largest video sharing site, YouTube.

“[W]hile the <video> tag is a big step forward for open standards, the Adobe Flash Platform will continue to play a critical role in video distribution,” John Harding wrote in the YouTube API Blog this week. He was referring to prognostications that a new version of the language to create pages on the Web, HTML5, will “kill” Flash as the primary video distribution technology on the Internet.

Doing what a service such as YouTube does requires more than what HTML can do, Harding maintained. “We need to do more than just point the browser at a video file like the image tag does — there’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video,” he noted.

Content Protection Not in Cards

One limitation of HTML5 cited by Harding is its lack of support for a standard video format. YouTube converts its videos to the H.264 codec which can be viewed in Flash, a technology that works in most browsers. “Concerns about patents and licensing have prevented some browsers from supporting H.264,” he explained. “This in turn has prevented the HTML5 spec from requiring support for a standard format.”

Those licensing problems may be eliminated with a new video standard backed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) called “WebM.” It could also provide HTML5 a standard to hang its hat on. “We are looking at it to see if it’s a viable option for HTML5,” Philippe Le Hegaret, interactive domain leader
for the World Wide Web Consortium, told TechNewsWord from his office in Cambridge, Mass.

Flash, Harding also asserted, provides a more effective and reliable means of delivering video to a browser. “Simply pointing the browser at a URL is not good enough, as that doesn’t allow users to easily get to the part of the video they want,” he wrote.

He also pointed out that HTML5 doesn’t provide any way to protect the content of video producers. That’s something likely to remain missing from the HTML standard in the future, too. “That’s not something we have been looking into, or we are planning to look into in HTML5,” Le Hegaret observed.

Begging for Full-Screen Display

Another advantage of Flash over HTML5 is its ability to embed video on a Web page, Harding contended. “Flash is the only mechanism most websites allow for embedded content from other sites,” he wrote.

It is easier to embed video in pages with Flash than with HTML5, Le Hegaret conceded. “HTML5 does not provide you with an easy way to embed the player,” he explained. “The player has to be part of the page. With Flash, it’s a package and you can point to the package from the page itself.”

Harding also contended that the inability to display full-screen video in a browser is another HTML5 deficiency. “HD video begs to be watched in full screen, but that has not historically been possible with pure HTML,” he wrote.

The current HTML5 spec doesn’t support full-screen video for security reasons, Le Hegaret acknowledged. “However,” he added, “some of the user agents have innovated ways to do so. Safari, for example, lets you do full screen.”

Camera and microphone support is another missing element from HTML5, Harding maintained. “Flash Player has provided rich camera and microphone access for several years now, while HTML5 is just getting started,” he stated.

“You have to realize that [HTML5] is a work in progress,” Le Hegaret countered. “It could be described as being in beta.”

Motivation and Productivity

Money is not the motivator we tend to think it is. This visual treatment of Daniel Pink’s presentation at the RSA is brilliant on many levels.

What is iPad, Really? [spoof] (via teqnolog)

As a web developer it seems we are perpetually a few simple tools, and small compliance fixes away from a workflow that no longer necessitates creation of separate versions for each brand and flavor of browser. Well, with iPad things haven’t gotten any easier. The Safari implementation is weak to the web at large, offering No flash playback and no alternative media playback solution. Add to that problems with Safari’s implementation of CSS standards and conversion to touchscreen of mouse events make it wait-and-see for me as a consumer. There is a big immediate opportunity for a clean media playback solution that works across the platform divide.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3825745&dest=-1] Check out this parody of Apple’s “What is iPad?” commercial. See the original ad on YouTube. … Read More

via teqnolog