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Google resumes updating its major iPhone and iPad apps, starting with YouTube

The vast majority of Google’s iOS apps have not been updated since early December. A trio of smaller Google applications saw new versions towards the end of the last month while YouTube for iPhone and iPad was just updated this evening.

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Following the last YouTube release (15.49.4) on December 7, iPhone owners this evening are seeing version 15.49.6. The release date is officially February 13, making for a very odd weekend update by Google. As usual, the YouTube team continued with its practice of using generic release notes:

Fixed bugs, improved performance, drank way too much coffee 

While it’s normal for tech companies to pause work over the winter holidays, updates usually resume by mid-January. Some speculated the lack of releases was due to app nutrition labels, but YouTube filled out the App Privacy section long before this update today.

In fact, the YouTube family (Music, TV, and Studio), save for Kids, was updated with the Apple requirement in early February. Google publicly stated its commitment to add labels, and the current count is at over a dozen apps:

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. 

The YouTube update comes as iPhone owners earlier this week encountered a “This app is out of date” message when attempting to sign-in with a Google Account. There was no actual security issue, and the warning was quickly removed.

Hopefully, other Google app updates will follow soon. The latest Chrome for iOS is notably 24 days late, though feature parity was not lost given the server-side update nature of most Google services. For example, the Google app got a major redesign of how Search results are displayed last month.

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