Apple has reportedly removed the ability to rent and buy TV episodes and movies in the Apple TV app on Android and Google TV devices. The removal was discovered following the most recent update to the app.
When the Apple TV app first debuted on Google TV early in 2021 and Android TV in the summer of 2021, the ability to rent and buy movies and TV shows from the iTunes store was present and accounted for.
However, following the recent update, users must purchase or rent content on a separate device before watching them in the Google TV or Android TV Apple TV app. The buttons to buy and rent have been replaced with a new “How to Watch” button, which suggests that users should “buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices.” Shows and movies previously purchased or rented in the Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV continue to be available.
The change also seems to include smart TVs that run Android TV and Google TV natively, but other smart TVs that have the Apple TV app seem to be unaffected.
FlatPanelsHD suggests that Apple may have removed the feature to avoid paying Google’s 30% cut of the action on in-app purchases. That would be a bit ironic, considering the hullabaloo that is being raised by numerous developers and other parties over Apple’s similar cut of the action in its own App Store.