Feuding tech giants Amazon and Google have come to an agreement on their streaming services. After over a year of absence, the official YouTube app will return to Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs. Google pulled the video streaming app in early 2018 after it could not strike a deal with the online retail giant surrounding the availability of its products and services.
According to reports at the time, Google was unhappy with Amazon because the retailer didn’t sell a number of its products, including Chromecast and Google Home devices. The two companies couldn’t strike a business deal that pleased both parties, so Google removed the official YouTube app from Fire TV devices at the start of 2018. This came after Google also revoked YouTube access on Amazon’s Echo Show devices, citing a “broken user experience.”
In the time since YouTube left Fire TVs, users have been able to access the site using browsers. But that experience isn’t the most user-friendly, so the real losers in this situation were YouTube lovers that owned Fire TV devices.
Now, those users will soon have an official YouTube app sanctioned by Google on their streaming devices again. The new app will allow users to sign into their personal accounts and play 4K content at up to 60fps on supported devices. Coming later in the year will be dedicated apps for YouTube Kids and YouTube TV, the company’s live, TV-streaming subscription service. Users will also be able to use Alexa to search for content in the YouTube app.
In addition, Amazon will make Prime Video compatible on Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices. With Chromecast support, those with the Prime Video mobile app can cast content to their TVs and watch it on a larger screen. The Prime Video app will also broadly support Android TV systems later this year.
This deal doesn’t address one of the sources of the original Amazon-Google feud: Echo Show devices. It appears that those who have Amazon’s screened version of an Alexa speaker will still have to use the company’s experimental browser or Firefox to access YouTube on that device.
The details of the agreement are unknown, but Google may have been more willing to chat with Amazon after the company started selling Chromecasts again on its website at the end of 2018. Notably, Amazon still doesn’t sell Google Home devices and searches for those products bring up Amazon’s own Echo, Echo Dot, and other devices, as well as Facebook’s Portal.