I thought Jesse Noyes might have fallen into Steve Jobs’ famed reality-distortion zone when he reported in today’s Herald that the Apple iPhone will be able to play YouTube videos. After all, the iPhone is already supposed to come equipped with a full-featured version of the Web browser Safari. How could this be news?
Turns out that Noyes is on to something. Here’s what Apple says:
iPhone has a special YouTube player that you can launch right from the home screen. So now you can access and browse YouTube videos wherever you go. And when you find a video you want to send your friends, iPhone can even create an email with the link in it for you.
But what does this mean? Is Apple saying that YouTube will work better with the “special YouTube player”? Or is it saying that YouTube won’t work at all without it? If the latter, how can Safari for the iPhone be billed as a fully functional browser? Again, here’s what Apple says:
With its advanced Safari browser, iPhone lets you see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, then easily zoom in by simply tapping on the multi-touch display with your finger.
I’m scratching my head.
Update: Geoff gets to the bottom of this. Safari for the iPhone won’t support Adobe Flash, at least not in its first incarnation. (So much for its being a full-featured Web browser.) YouTube and a slew of other sites — including NYTimes.com, featured in iPhone ads — use Flash video. So there you go.