Prime Video for example, is now gaining full Android TV support and is expected to become available on Android TV “in the coming months.”
Technically, Prime Video has always been available on select Android TV devices as Sony TVs powered by Android TV and the NVIDIA SHIELD both come with the Prime Video app installed. However, this was typically understood to be the result of an arrangement between the specific device-makers and Amazon.
In contrast, virtually every other Android TV device did not come with the app, nor the option to download the app from the Google Play Store. The only option for those device owners was to sideload a version of the app taken from a supported device. This is now what is changing with the Prime Video app gaining full Android TV-wide support.
This will be welcomed news for many Android TV device owners as Prime Video is a staple offering considering it provides access to a wide range of movies and shows at no additional cost to Prime members.
The Google-friendly support does not end there either as the Prime Video app is also gaining Chromecast support in general which will make it even more accessible, on even more devices that support casting.
From the other side, Google has agreed to let the official YouTube app return to the Fire TV platform.
YouTube was previously available on Fire TV devices but once the spat between the two companies escalated, Google pulled official access to the video-sharing app.
Although workarounds remained possible, having unbridled access to the official app will make a big difference to owners of a Fire TV OS-running device. This is not just in terms of device optimization, but also in the advanced features that are available through the app.
In addition to the standard YouTube app, the YouTube Kids app will also be equally available on Fire TV devices before the end of this year.
Ever since these two companies engaged in this mutual lack of support, it has been the consumers of either platform who have ultimately lost out the most.
Opting for either platform has resulted in a lesser experience than it could have been considering both platforms were already capable of supporting the other company’s services but were simply choosing not to.
Therefore, this is not necessarily a win for users of either Android TV or Fire TV, but more so a return to the level of third-party support that should have always been available.
Beyond the availability of the different apps on the alternate platforms, neither Amazon nor Google have provided any details on the deal that was struct to allow this to happen.
Likewise, the announcement did not touch on any of the related issues that have surfaced between the two, such as Amazon’s removal of selling certain Google-related products via the company’s vast retail channel.