Amazon Video app may arrive on Apple TV this summer

An Amazon Video app may actually be released on the Apple TV later this year. Sources familiar with the matter tell Recode that the two companies “are close to an agreement” to bring the streaming service to Apple’s set-top box. They expect the app to be released in the third quarter of this year. That would align nicely with when we can probably expect to see a new 4K version of the Apple TV released.

Amazon has resisted releasing a video app on the Apple TV and Android TV devices due to the 30% cut that each device’s respective appstore forces on digital goods and subscriptions, like Prime membership and video purchases. Amazon went as far as to pull all Apple TVs, Nexus Players, and Chromecasts from Amazon in protest. Amazon circumvented Google’s policy on the NVIDIA Shield TV by working directly with NVIDIA to add an Amazon Video app to the Shield TV through a software update. It seems they may have come to an agreement to get a similar app on the Apple TV.

The big question is if an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV will be as crippled as the one on the iPhone and iPad. To avoid giving Apple a share of their transactions, you cannot purchase/rent any content through the iPhone/iPad Amazon Video app. It can only be used to watch content you already own or content available through Prime Video.

If an Amazon Video app is released for the Apple TV that allows you to directly purchase content or sign up for Prime, it’s very likely that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were able to reach a truce on the matter that gives Amazon special privileges on the platform.

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15 comments
  1. Mike U says:

    To be honest I don’t really care too much if I can’t rent/buy on the Apple TV. I never use that option on the Fire TV I keep around but would like to consolidate down to one device instead of switching back for forth. Prime Video is the only app missing for me.

  2. eyekey says:

    As soon as this happens I will buy an Apple TV.
    Sort it out Apple&Amazon!

  3. Jay says:

    I’m wondering if Amazon is thinking that they’ll let the new 4K Apple TV be the high end box on which to watch Amazon Video. They could then concentrate on the less expensive Fire TV stick and other cheaper hardware alternatives.

    That would be similar to what Amazon has done over the years with their tablets. There was a time when Amazon produced more expensive tablets with much higher resolution screens, only to abandon them for tablets with lower specs but also a much lower price.

    Whatever they’re thinking, I’m elated to hear the news!

  4. Richard says:

    I was a longtime Apple TV user… have both a first gen, second gen, and current Apple TV. But I essentially completely moved over to the fire tv system because I just plain hate the new Apple touch screen remote. Trying to navigate by sliding your fingers around is annoying as hell… and unlike any rational remote, it’s not always easy to quickly figure out if it’s upside down when you start using it without looking at it.

    The best thing about the Apple system is that they enforce standards for their apps. On the fire tv system, on some apps, the back button will take you back to the main screen of the app, while on others, like the god damned tbs app, if you click one too many time it takes you back to the main fire screen… as if there wasn’t a button directly to the right that already did that.

    Other apps have comeplely different ways to handle fast forward and reverse (some do it only with the round disc at the top, others uses the buttons below.) it’s just a hodgepodge that forces you to learn and remember new ui for each app.

    But I STILL prefer that to that terrible touch screen thing for the Apple TV. Right now the only reason I keep the Apple TV is because AMC doesn’t have an app for the fire tv and I have to see better call Saul somehow.

    In terms of the ability to “buy now” for videos etc… I’ve never done that on either device so it makes no difference to me.

    • Jay says:

      I agree that the Apple TV remote is, shall we say, an interesting design! I’m not sure if everyone is aware that the Apple TV 4 can be used with a regular universal remote, too.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      I agree whoever developed the apple tv remote needs to be fired and go back to design school. A 3th grader could come out with a better remote.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I fully agree. The Apple TV remote always seemed different for the sake of being different. Not because it improved functionality. The only place the Apple TV remote excels over others is scrubbing through videos since you can swipe slowly to move a little or swipe fast to jump far ahead. I find that superior to pressing forward or reverse multiple times to try and control the scrub speed.

      The non-standard button mapping on the Fire TV bugs me as well. The one that always gets me is making the onscreen buttons go away after unpausing a video. In most apps (that I use anyway) pressing back will clear the screen but with Amazon Video you have to press down. I’m always mixing those two up.

      • pmcd says:

        I don’t agree. I like the Apple remote, especially for its scrubbing abilities. It is also easy to force quit apps and has pretty good integration with a simple tv setup. In any case, you can use a Harmony or virtually any remote with the Apple TV. The Harmony hub based remotes really make the included remotes unnecessary for my Shield TV, Fire TV and ATV 4.

        • Richard says:

          I guess my fat fingers have never gotten used to the touchscreen on the remote..

          I didn’t realize that about the harmony. Sounds like a good option… does it accept Alexa voice commands? I don’t really use Alexa that much but it’s nice to have…

          • Ray says:

            The Apple TV remote takes some getting used to, but once you do, it’s pretty darn cool. The scrubbing is the best of any streaming device out now, where you can pinpoint just about any moment in a two-hour movie in seconds. And its capability of being a voice remote combined with Apple’s “What did she say?” feature, where the video jumps back several seconds and superimposes subtitles for a moment, come on. That’s priceless! Plus, Apple’s UI is head and shoulders above anything else and, for the most part, is a pleasure to use. The only reason I touch my Fire TV is as a Kodi box. It gets plenty of use, but I’d really rather be on my Apple TV.

  5. tech3475 says:

    For me it’s never been an issue on the consoles which don’t allow purchases.

    All I had to do was use another device e.g. my computer.

    I’d rather Amazon just concentrate on getting their services on as many devices as possible.

  6. Billy Goldstein says:

    I don’t know much about AppleTV, but a comment on Engadget is guessing that Amazon needs their app on every device now in order to get Alexa on all the devices.

    I didn’t think AppleTV has a microphone, but maybe the new 4k will.

    • Jay says:

      The current Apple TV remote does have a microphone to access Siri, which is Apple’s version of voice commands.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Unless Apple makes a major change that allows 3rd-party apps to take over the mic on the remote (which I highly doubt they’ll do), there’s no way you’ll be able to talk to Alexa on an Apple TV.

  7. Bast says:

    I wish I could play my itunes purchases (Apple) on my Fire TV box.

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