The Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV no longer supports in-app purchases. This means that users can no longer use the app to buy or rent movies or TV shows, or subscribe to the company’s Apple TV+ streaming service.
As reported by FlatpanelsHD, the app’s latest update has replaced the buy and rent options on movie pages with a “How to watch button.” When clicked the button opens a page with a message saying that “You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices.”
It’s still possible to watch any purchased content on the app or access Apple TV+ with an existing subscription. But overall, the Android TV/Google TV app is now in the same state as the Apple TV app on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, which has never supported movie purchases and rentals.
According to Apple expert John Gruber, the reason behind all this is Apple and Google failing to reach a revenue-sharing agreement on in-app payment commissions. Because yes, Google was taking a cut on all in-app purchases made in the Apple TV app.
“Until this update, Apple had been running on an exemption not to use Google’s IAP. The exemption expired, so Apple TV on Android TV is now “reader only”. Apple TV on Amazon’s Fire platform has long been “reader only” as well for the same reason: Apple would rather not sell or rent any content at all on these platforms than do so while paying Google/Amazon the commissions they demand,” Gruber claimed.
In recent years, we’ve seen many TV manufacturers such as Sony, Philips, or TCL embrace Android TV as their Smart TV platform. Android TV is also what powers the Nvidia Shield, one of the most popular and versatile Android TV-based digital media players on the market.
While the Apple TV app is now slightly crippled on Android TV/Google TV, the app still remains attractive thanks to its large collection of movies and TV shows in 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision. If you use Android TV for entertainment purposes though, you’ll now need to buy or rent that Apple TV content elsewhere.
Tagged with Android TV, Apple TV, Apple TV app, Google TV