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Apple TV app gets downgraded on Android TV, won't let users buy or rent movies

Apple TV app
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Apple TV app on Android TV has apparently stopped allowing in-app transactions.
  • Users have noticed that they can no longer rent or buy movies and shows through the Apple TV app.
  • Users wishing to rent or buy movies and shows must do so through other supported devices.
  • It's unclear why the change was made, but it could be related to in-app purchase fees.

The Apple TV app on Android TV has received a curious downgrade, as users have noticed that they can no longer rent or buy movies. The change was first noticed by users on Reddit, who complain that the "store" option has been removed following a recent update to the app.

When checking on other platforms like Roku and PlayStation devices, the "store" option appears to still be there. FlatPanelsHD also noticed that their Chromecast and Nvidia Shield TV devices did not have the option, and our Google TV device did not have it either. One Reddit user says that they contacted Apple support and the representative suggested that the Shield was not supported for in-app transactions.

Android Central has reached out to both Google and Apple for more information regarding this change, but we have not heard back from either. The Apple TV support page for Android TV devices (opens in new tab) suggests that users can make purchases; however, looking at the Apple TV support page (opens in new tab) shows the following:

"On Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Sony TV devices, you can't purchase content from the Apple TV app. You can buy, rent, or subscribe on another supported device and then watch in the Apple TV app on your Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, or Sony TV device."

It's not entirely clear why this change was made less than a year from when Apple TV was widely launched on the best Android TV devices, but Amazon's Fire TV platform has notably never supported in-app purchases. This means that users are left having to buy new content on other supported devices if they want to watch them on either platform. There is notably no Apple TV app for Android either, making the situation less than ideal for some Apple TV app users.

In-app fees may play a part in why support was seemingly removed from Android TV. Companies like Google generally like to take a high cut from in-app purchases made on their platforms, an act that Apple is also familiar with. Whatever the cause, it could deter users away from the app or even force some users to switch to other hardware like Roku or Apple's own streaming boxes.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.