Android TV and Google TV users can't buy or rent content from Apple anymore

Apple Tv On Chromecast With Google
Apple Tv On Chromecast With Google (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV app users can no longer buy or rent content on Android TV and Google TV devices.
  • Apple now tells people to rent and buy content via an iPhone, iPad, or other streaming device.

Users of Android TV and Google TV devices can no longer buy or rent content from iTunes, although they can still watch content they already own.

The move, which first started to pop up when people took to Reddit, was first reported by German site 4KFilme and it appears that users of Android TV and Google TV devices can no longer buy or rent content from iTunes when using the Apple TV app. However, any content that has been bought can continue to be watched. If content isn't already owned, the previous button that would initiate a purchase or rental now simply takes people to a page that says "You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices."

This switch doesn't seem to be happening on all third-party platforms, however. Reports note that smart TV devices with the Apple TV app continue to work as before, although that could be a simple case of their apps having not yet been updated.

We also tested the behavior on an LG OLED E9 from 2019. There, buying and borrowing is still possible. So it seems that only Android TV / Google TV is explicitly affected.

It's been suggested that the removal of the option to buy or rent content using Android TV and Google TV could be down to a dispute over payments — with Google likely to want some sort of cut of all payments made via the Apple TV app. That's speculation at this point, but it does seem like an Apple move to remove the feature altogether and force people to make payments via another method instead.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.