For the first time since it was released, the iPhone’s native software will not include a YouTube app the next time it is updated. This news was released at Apple’s WWDC earlier this year. It is also moving away from Google Maps in its native software bundle. These steps are being taken as Google and Apple become more competitive against each other in the smartphone market.

Today, Google released a YouTube app for iPhone to help combat this move by Apple. I was very pleased with interface of the app. It’s clean and easy to use. The side bar menu – similar to what Facebook has – makes it easy to find videos by category. To use, you simply swipe your finger across the screen to unveil it.

The search function includes a voice recognition, separate from the built-in iOS voice recognition software, although you can use it, too. When you open a video you want to watch, the video shows up in portrait view with all the details below. It also gives the user the option of “suggested” videos and “comments” in this view. When the user flips the iPhone to landscape view, the video flips to be wide screen and fills the screen. In this view, it’s very easy to give a thumbs up or down, share it or even send it over AirPlay to your television.

I actually find this app much more desirable that the regular website. It’s easier to navigate and my subscriptions are found much easier that on the website.

I usually hesitate to suggest Google products over Apple, however, in this case, I can highly recommend the Google designed YouTube app for iPhone.