After years of feuding, Google and Amazon have finally made up. As a direct result, YouTube is coming (back) to Fire TV, and Prime Video is getting support for Chromecast and Android TV. Finally.
This change comes some 16 months after Google first pulled YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV platform, which was an aggressive response to Amazon’s decision to stop selling Google’s Chromecast. The whole thing was petty and generally a lose-lose for consumers.
This week’s change, however, makes things “right” again. Google, in a joint announcement with Amazon, said that YouTube would be making a triumphant return to Fire TV “in the coming months.” In that same announcement, Amazon said that Prime members would get access to Prime Video on Chromecast and Android TV devices…also “in the coming months.”
What’s more, Google added that it would also be bringing YouTube Kids to Fire TV devices. But that’s the scope of it for now: Fire TV devices. There’s no word of YouTube coming to other Fire devices—like Amazon’s affordable and highly popular Fire Tablets. That’s a real shame because the Fire Kids Edition tablets remain some of the best devices available for children, and the addition of YouTube Kids would be a boon for parents. Maybe we’ll see that happen eventually—baby steps, I guess.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Prime Video on an Android TV device—NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV exclusively got access to the Prime Video app over two years ago. It was the first Android TV device to get access to Amazon’s streaming platform. The app has also been available on Android devices for a while, albeit without the ability to cast.
But either way, the exclusivity period is over across the board now. Well, it will be in the coming months, anyway.
In other news, The Weather Channel fell victim to ransomware, Facebook stored Instagram passwords in plaintext, BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down (kind of), Google and Amazon both give users free music, and more.
- The Weather Channel hack: TWC was down for over an hour yesterday morning after a ransomware attack took it off the air. Yikes. [Engadget]
- Facebook sucks at storing passwords: Last month, Facebook admitted to storing million of Facebook passwords in plaintext. Yesterday, it updated the post to state that millions of Instagram users were also affected. Notifications will be sent to impacted users soon. Either way, it’s probably not a bad idea to change your password now. [The Verge]
- Sunsetting BBM: Emtek, the company that has been running BlackBerry Messenger since 2016, announced yesterday that it’s shutting the service down. A paid, enterprise version of BBM (which is managed by BlackBerry) will be opened to all users instead. That’s a good move on BlackBerry’s part. [Liliputing]
- Free YouTube Music: If you have a Google Home and don’t already subscribe to YouTube Music (or Google Play Music, which is kind of the same thing), you can now stream free, ad-supported tunes on your Home. [TechCrunch]
- Free Amazon Music: Amazon announced basically the same thing for Echo users—just ask it to play music, and you’ll get free, ad-supported music. [Variety]
- Google pulls more shady apps: Google removed several shady apps from the Play Store after a Buzzfeed investigation found them to be committing ad fraud. [Gizmodo]
- Facebook Hell: Wired recently published a fascinating story about the culture inside of Facebook, and it’s brutal. It’s worth a read. [Wired]
I usually like to conclude with some interesting and science-based; something that would normally be outside of our usual coverage. Today, that comes from Under Armour, which recently announced an incredible new line of baselayers that recycle your energy. This line, called UA Rush, contains mineral-infused fabric that absorbs heat and converts it to infrared energy. The body then re-absorbs this infrared energy, giving the wearer improved endurance. It also helps with recovery after the workout. Best of all, it doesn’t cost that much more than a “regular” UA baselayer, with shirts starting at just $50.