The cold war between Amazon and Google began to thaw last year, but the icy relationship between the companies has been a nuisance for far too long already. When relations were at their worst, Amazon didn’t support or sell Chromecasts, and Google blocked YouTube on Amazon devices. Now, Google and Amazon have finished making up with a new YouTube app and full Chromecast support.
This feud started way back in 2015 when Amazon stopped selling Google’s Chromecast streaming devices on its store, which offers just about every other retail product on the planet. Amazon claimed at the time it only wanted to make sure people had the best streaming media experience with its content. So, it steered people toward Fire TVs. Although, let’s not forget Amazon continued to sell dozens of poor-quality Chromecast knockoffs.
Google was itching to retaliate, and it got its chance in 2017. Amazon built a custom YouTube app for the Echo Show that broke some features of the service. After failing to come to terms, Google blocked all Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices from accessing YouTube. That was, apparently, enough to get Amazon to the negotiating table. It promised to bring back Chromecast on its store and work with Google on an official YouTube app. The Chromecast came back in late 2018 and the companies agreed on streaming interoperability earlier this year.
Now, it all comes to fruition. There is a new official YouTube app available on Amazon’s streaming devices. It has full Alexa voice control integration and 4K HDR streaming. Amazon says the app works on most Fire TV devices including the Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Stick Basic Edition. More device support will come later. The Echo Show devices, which kicked off the YouTube feud, don’t have the new app as they don’t run the Android-based Fire TV software.
Amazon Prime members will also be happy to hear that Amazon’s Prime Video now works with Chromecast. With the new version, you can connect to Chromecast targets on your network and beam video straight to them. No more sketchy workarounds or shamefully switching to that hastily purchased Fire TV just to watch The Expanse. At the same time, Amazon’s Prime Video app for Android TV is rolling out more widely. It was previously only on the Nvidia Shield and a few TVs.
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