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Google Play offers movies and TV shows, often at a better price than iTunes. This article explores how to watch Google Play movies and TV shows natively on Apple TV, without using AirPlay.
Browsing the web, I often see users pining for Google Play and Amazon Prime apps for Apple TV. Apple doesn’t actively prevent third parties from selling content on Apple TV. The problem is that Apple expects a 30% cut of all in-app purchases. This isn’t unique to the Apple ecosystem. Google and Amazon also take about a third of revenues from in-app purchases. Given the costs involved with a tvOS app, many content providers have decided to skip the platform.
Fan boys may get excited about their platform of choice, but they’re all so similar. When it comes down to it, hardware and operating systems are the main differences, and I prefer Apple’s offerings. This doesn’t mean that I have to buy into the Apple ecosystem entirely. In fact, I am intentionally avoiding being locked in to Apple’s ecosystem.
Just because you own an Apple device, doesn’t mean you have to use iTunes, Apple Music or any other Apple app or service. In fact, you get to use iTunes, which users of other devices don’t. Apple critics often complain that Apple doesn’t offer users choices. Well, I can rent or buy content from iTunes, and others can’t. I can also rent or buy content from Google Play and Amazon. Thanks to a small loophole, I can watch Google Play purchases and rentals directly on Apple TV, without using AirPlay.
No matter how Apple approaches this, they will be criticized. If they offer iTunes on every platform, they would be called out as monopolistic. When they don’t do this, critics complain that they are too closed. As the owner of Apple devices, I have a more choices when it comes to content purchases. iTunes also has some great deals, especially the 99 cent movie of the week. Each content platform has different prices on certain items. It’s always best to shop around.
Why Purchase Movies and TV Shows from Google Play?
Given that iTunes is so easy to use and integrated into Apple TV, why would Apple device owners buy anything from the Google Play store? The answer is simple. Google Play often has better prices on content. For example, if you want to buy season 7 of The Walking Dead on iTunes (SD quality), it costs $30.99. It’s only $26.99 on Google Play. There are other great deals. For the most part, both services have identical pricing on many items. The HD version of The Walking Dead is the same price in both stores. But if you take a little time to shop around, you can save a few bucks here and there, and it all adds up.
Google Play also offers better reliability and usability. Let’s face it, sometimes Apple has problems with data center operations. The iTunes Store and other services are often very slow. Maybe they are the victim of their own success, but data center operations are not Apple’s forte. They have more outages and slow-downs than their competitors. When I’m in the mood to watch a movie, it should just work.
I also find iTunes TV shows offers poor usability. Episodes and extras are all jumbled into one list. I noticed that automatically recommending the next episode to watch doesn’t always work right. I always find binge watching iTunes TV shows on Apple TV to be a frustrating experience. Google Play offers slightly better usability, but both could learn a lesson from Netflix.
When you rent a movie on Google Play, you have 48 hours to finish watching it after it has started. iTunes forces you to watch the movie in 24 hours. The iTunes rental deadline has proven problematic on occasion. An extra day is much more generous.
iTunes also has some strange rules when it comes to movie rentals. If you rent a movie on your Apple TV, you can only watch it on that device. You can’t watch in on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. This only applies to rentals, not purchases. When I rent a movie on Google Play, I can play it on any device. (continue…)