Chromecast with Google TV users can add the Apple TV app to their devices from the Google Play Store starting today. This gives Apple yet another device that can run its curated entertainment experience, as well as its subscription streaming service, Apple TV+. The Apple TV app is already available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and several smart TV platforms from brands like LG and Samsung.
What’s unusual about the Chromecast with Google TV announcement is that it appears to create a Russian Matryoshka doll effect in terms of the user experience. Both Google TV and the Apple TV app are designed to be holistic streaming experiences that can bring all of your content into one place, with suggestions curated by an algorithm. By adding the Apple TV app to Google TV, users will effectively be putting a curated experience inside a curated experience.
Despite this weird meta-curation situation, Google says that:
With Google TV in the U.S., you can browse Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results. And with Google Assistant, you can also use your voice to ask Google to open the Apple TV app or play an Apple Original title. If you aren’t ready to watch right away, you can add Apple Originals to your Watchlist for later.
Making the Apple TV app available on Google-controlled devices (Google says that other Android TV-based products will be getting the app in the future) is yet another reason why Apple’s own streaming media player (awkwardly also called Apple TV) might not be around for much longer.
At just $50, the Chromecast with Google TV is an amazing device, with a slick and responsive interface, as well as support for 4K resolution at 60Hz, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. When you compare that to the Apple TV 4K, which costs $180 for the 32GB version, it’s hard to justify Apple’s steep price premium.
Granted, there are still a few features that are exclusive to the Apple TV streamer, like Apple Fitness+ and Apple Arcade, but it’s getting harder to see these as strong reasons to stick with Apple’s box, especially when the company has licensed its AirPlay and HomeKit technologies to an increasing number of third parties.