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YouTube is reportedly being bumped from the menu of pre-installed apps on the next version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, apparently reflecting the growing hostility between Google and Apple. But Google has struck back with a new app, and is urging fans to download it from Apple’s App Store.

The changes come after Google, which owns YouTube, and Apple didn’t renew a five-year licensing agreement that established YouTube’s video service as one of the built-in applications in the OS that runs the iPhone and iPad.

But YouTube is likely to go MIA in the latest version of iOS, which could be released today, US time, along with the latest iPhone model.

Google made a pre-emptive strike with yesterday’s release of a revamped YouTube application. The app – now downloadable from the Apple App Store – is claimed to make it as easy as possible for iPhone and iPad owners to continue watching YouTube clips, even if not encouraged to do so by Apple.

“The new app is available worldwide and unlocks tens of thousands of official music videos, as well as bringing lots of new features to improve finding and sharing awesome videos and channels,” Google cooed yesterday.

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