After months of unnecessary bickering, Amazon and Google have finally decided to let bygones be bygones. With the two tech giants finally deciding to become friends again, it is indeed is great news for us consumers. This means that Google’s official YouTube app will be made available on Amazon's Fire TV devices, and the official Amazon Prime video app will be available on Android TV as well as add support for the Google Chromecast streaming stick.
It was in late 2017 that Google pulled the official YouTube app from Amazon’s Fire TV devices. It is believed that Google was unhappy with Amazon’s decision to not sell a number of their hardware products, including the Chromecast and Google Home, on their platform. The Chromecast in a way competes with Amazon’s own Fire TV and Fire TV 4K streaming sticks, while the Google Home line-up of smart speakers competes with Amazon’s own Alexa based Echo smart speaker line-up. Important to note that Amazon also doesn’t sell the Apple TV media player and the HomePod smart speaker. It was only late last year that Amazon started selling the Chromecast device.
Both companies have now released statements on the matter, reflecting what the consumers were perhaps thinking over the past few months.
“We’re excited to bring the Prime Video app to Chromecast and Android TV devices, and to give our customers convenient access to the shows and movies they love. Whether watching the latest season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, catching teams go head-to-head on Thursday Night Football or renting a new-release movie, customers will have even more ways to stream what they want, whenever they want, no matter where they are,” said Andrew Bennett, Head of Worldwide Business Development for Prime Video, in an official statement.
“We are excited to work with Amazon to launch the official YouTube apps on Fire TV devices worldwide. Bringing our flagship YouTube experience to Amazon Fire TV gives our users even more ways to watch the videos and creators they love,” said Heather Rivera, Global Head of Product Partnerships at YouTube in an official statement.
While the official YouTube app had disappeared from the Amazon Fire TV devices, users had to deploy a workaround to access YouTube from the Amazon Silk or the Mozilla Firefox web browsers on the Amazon streaming devices—but the experience was far from ideal, and also offered no support for 4K streaming. The cold war also meant that if you owned a Google Chromecast, you couldn’t stream your favorite movies and TV shows to your TV from the Amazon Video app on your smartphone or tablet.
While Google is doing all that, Amazon will add the Google Cast support for the Amazon Video app on phones and tablets, and also release the official app for Android TVs.
After the official YouTube app is released for the Fire TV devices, Google says that the YouTube Kids and YouTube TV apps will also be released later this year. These apps will also be closely linked with Alexa, to enable voice searches.
But if you are expecting to switch on your Fire TV or your Amazon Prime Video app today to notice the changes, you may be in for a bit of disappointment. Both companies say these changes will roll out in the coming months—your guesses about an exact date for the rollout would be as good as ours. However, this could be great news for Amazon Video and YouTube, as they will face stiff competition from Netflix and will have to contend with competition from Disney+ and Apple TV+ as well, later this year.