Thursday, September 07, 2017

Request to @Amazon and @Google: Play Nice, Please


I love my Amazon Fire TV Stick, especially now that they've updated its operating system to let me limit the bandwidth/resolution so that I'm not eating up gigabytes watching HD video when SD is just peachy.

I also love Google Play, mostly for the apps for my Android phone, but also for its book and movie stores. I rack up Google Play credit using the Google Opinion Rewards app, and spend that credit on stuff, including movies. So far so good.

Amazon Fire TV does not offer a Google Play app. I understand there are ways to "sideload" unapproved apps onto the device, but I'm not big on the idea. I also understand that for the most part, Amazon would prefer to sell movies itself rather than route you to another seller (there's not a Vudu app for Fire TV either, for example). OK, fine. If I want to watch a movie from Google Play on my TV, I can just plug the old original ChromeCast in and mirror it from my computer screen. Pain in the ass, but whatever.

But earlier today, I noticed that my Google Play movies show up in my YouTube account and that I can watch them on YouTube. Hey, there is a YouTube app for Fire TV!

Run the app. Activate my YouTube account on the app. Hey, there are my Google Play movies! Huzzah!

This video cannot be played on this device.

Now, to be fair, I have no way of knowing whether Amazon is refusing to let its device play a Google Play movie, or whether Google Play is refusing to let an Amazon device play its movies. I suspect the former, but that's just a suspicion.

Hey, guys, why don't you work things out? I know that each of you wants to dominate the various device/app spaces, but your customers are going to want to mix and match.

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