Report: Amazon is making an Apple TV app almost 2 years after it said it would

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Enlarge / The fourth-generation Apple TV.
Andrew Cunningham

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At long last, Amazon will release an official Prime Video app for the Apple TV—at least, if a new report from Recode is to be believed. Citing “people familiar with the two companies,” the report indicates that Amazon and Apple are “close to an agreement” that would bring Amazon’s app to Apple’s box sometime over the summer.

Currently, watching Prime Video on an Apple TV requires you to sling it from the Prime Video app on an iPhone or iPad via AirPlay, a clunky-at-best solution that doesn’t always work well and (from my own personal experience) reduces video quality relative to a direct stream. Because Amazon doesn’t want to give Apple a cut of any of its video revenue, the current iOS app will only play video that you’ve already bought on Amazon in a browser or on some other platform. The Apple TV app will presumably have the same limitations.

the fourth-generation Apple TV, Amazon said that it would no longer sell Apple TVs or Chromecasts in its stores. That remains true today—a search for “Chromecast” returns Roku and Fire TV sticks, while a search for “Apple TV” returns Roku and Fire TV boxes mixed with third-party Apple TV accessories.

At the time, Amazon said that it pulled the hardware because they didn’t offer Amazon Video apps; assuming that was the real reason and not just a convenient excuse to stop selling competitors’ hardware, we ought to see the Apple TV return to Amazon sometime after the Prime Video app is released.

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