Via blog post, Google has made it official: Apple TV is coming to Google TV early in 2021. Yes, you are reading this correctly and, yes, it feels a bit strange to see these two companies playing so well together on this. Putting that aside, the move makes total sense in quite a few ways. After all, though Google, Amazon and Apple don’t always allow all their services on one another’s hardware, when it comes to media, everyone plays along quite well.
With Google’s strong position in the living room via years of Android TV and Chromecast under their belt, it makes sense for Apple to want their streaming content available to every possible customer, including those in Google’s gravitational pull. Media is one of the few places where a walled-garden, in-house ecosystem approach hurts you instead of helps you, and it seems Apple is all too aware of this as their streaming service is being readied for Google TV.
This also all makes sense because, as noted in an article from October, Apple TV is already available through Google TV on a handful of Sony televisions out of the box. Putting 2 and 2 together, it only seemed a matter of time before Apple TV became available to any device running Google TV – like the new Chromecast – and that’s where we are now.
According to Google, this addition makes the new Chromecast with Google TV one of the only streaming devices that can boast having access to all the major streaming providers at this point. It also looks like Apple TV will be fully incorporated into Google TV, meaning users can see suggested content and recently-viewed shows right from the home screen on the new Chromecast. As Netflix users have lost this ability of late, it’s notable that Apple TV isn’t just an app on the Chromecast: it is fully immersed into the overall user experience. Watchlist, continue watching, and personalized suggestions are all along for the ride.
Additionally, Apple’s Family Sharing will work here as well, giving access to your Apple TV content to up to 6 people including yourself. Until the service hits Google TV on the new Chromecast, we’ll withhold judgement on how well that will all work. For now, however, it’s exciting enough to know that Google is continuing to deliver on the home streaming media front with the new Chromecast and, if you are anything like me, it makes giving this streaming dongle as a gift this holiday season an even more awesome proposition than it already was.