Is Google now blocking mobile YouTube from Windows Phone?
Google eventually did what it should have done in the first place and now allows Windows Phone 8 users to access maps.google.com. Funny how Internet Explorer now can handle the site.
But before we could close this case and file it under "L" for lovey dovey, we became aware of a new situation. Since January 10th, it seems that Windows Phone users cannot access the mobile YouTube website. The site, m.youtube.com, uses HTML5 and back in the day was designed for featurephones like the LG Voyager which did not offer Flash, nor had a YouTube client. Since then, the site has been beefed up and offers just about every video that the iOS and Android apps do, and the quality is very close, if not the same. Since Google does not allow Microsoft to offer a YouTube client, the mobile site would be the best place for Windows Phone users to view YouTube videos. Except that those trying to go to m.youtube.com from their Windows Phone handset are being redirected to a page that asks users to "install an app for this task," and when you choose the option to search for one, it comes back saying that no apps can be found.
The problem seems to be when using the Desktop mode in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8. Switching to Mobile view seems to work fine. Those using Windows Phone 7 are out of luck since videos will not play in any mode even if they can navigate to the m.youtube.com site. But the browser on Windows Phone 8 is technically the same as on Windows 8 which can only lead to the conclusion that it is something that Google has done. Changing the browser string to Mobile view allows the mobile YouTube site to play on WP8 just as changing the UserAgentProfile to Android allowed maps.google.com to work on Windows Phone 8.
Once again the ball is in Google's court.