Apple Removes Ability to Buy and Rent in Update to Apple TV App for Android TV and Google TV
Apple has seemingly removed the ability to buy and rent TV shows and movies in the Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV in the latest update to the app.
When the Apple TV app launched on Google TV early last year and Android TV in the summer, it included the ability to purchase and rent movies and TV shows from the iTunes store, as well as access to Apple TV+. The app is available for devices such as the Nvidia Shield and Google Chromecast.
After the latest update to the app, users must now buy and rent TV shows and movies on a separate device in order to view them in the Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV. The buttons to buy and rent have been replaced with a new "How to Watch" button, which suggests that users should "buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices." Previous purchases and rentals initiated in the Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV continue to be available.
The change was spotted by users who took to Reddit (via FlatPanelsHD) to bemoan the change. Users who avoid updating the Apple TV app can seemingly continue to purchase and rent movies and TV shows, but it is not clear how long this solution will last.
FlatPanelsHD suggested that Apple may have stripped back the functionality to avoid Google's 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. Not all TV in-app purchases were covered by the commission previously, but it is possible that Google introduced new terms, prompting Apple to scale back the app.
The change also seems to include smart TVs that run Android TV and Google TV natively, such as some Sony Bravia models, but other smart TVs with the Apple TV app seem to be unaffected.
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