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Apple quietly pulled the extremely popular ProTube app from the App Store last week. This comes after Google sent several takedown requests to the developer, Jonas Gessner. The third-party app is a highly-customisable add-on for the YouTube video player.
Before its removal the app, which sold for $5, was the number one seller in 11 countries and among the top 10 sellers in 57 countries. Users could enjoy features such as audio only mode, background playback, and the capability to play videos at 60 frames per second in 4K.
In a recent blog post, Gessner said: “They basically wanted me to remove every feature that made ProTube what it is — that includes the player itself that allows you to play 60fps videos, background playback, audio only mode and more.”
According to Gessner, he at first considered different options to resolve the dispute, including getting rid of all the features YouTube complained about and giving the app away for free. In the end, he decided not to do that because “everyone who paid for ProTube’s standout features would suddenly get an app update that removes all those features, resulting in a useless app.”
He also found that negotiating with YouTube was “very difficult” and that they never came forward with any direct responses to any of his inquiries. After they threatened him with legal action, he said that he “knew that getting sued could cost me more than I ever made with ProTube.”
YouTube has reportedly been targeting several other third-party YouTube applications on the App Store by sending them removal requests, Gessner stated.
He concluded by warning the public not to be deceived by fake ProTube apps that have started making their appearance on the App Store since he first released it, and thanked ProTube’s “big and passionate fanbase”.