Hi-Tech

Google pulls YouTube from Amazon Fire TV, Echo Show

Google pulls YouTube from Amazon Fire TV, Echo Show

This will be followed by the app's removal from Fire TV in the near future.

THE LONG TERM feud that has been quietly been brewing between Google and Amazon spilt over last night as the search giant announced it would be removing its YouTube app from Amazon products. It looked different and was lacking a lot of features YouTube users expect.

If you own a Fire TV, Amazon's streaming device, you will soon lose access to YouTube, the internet's most popular video service. And YouTube was pulled from the Echo Show earlier because Google wasn't happy with the implementation (paywall), which prevented users from logging in and commenting.

As it turned out, that was not the case. This version was also built without Google's input. The decision to block YouTube is in retaliation for Amazon's refusal to sell some Google products that compete with Amazon gadgets.

However, its reasons for blocking Prime Video from casting, and for taking down Nest products (owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc.) from sale, are less clear.

It is also refusing to carry Nest products, and its apps have been stubbornly left without Cast support. These smart home devices directly rival Amazon's smart home products.

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Is Google right to withdraw the YouTube app as a result of Amazon's actions? Coincidence? I think not. Users will be unable to access a service that Amazon's devices had promised to deliver. It turns out Amazon had used the web version of YouTube to build a usable kludge.

Would you buy an Android phone made specifically for YouTube? Google's device is called Chromecast and has 36.9 million USA users, according to research company eMarketer, while Amazon's Fire TV has 35.8 million users in the US.

The spat highlights the friction between the two U.S. technology companies.

After all, the end result is that they're making both companies' customers unhappy. Amazon is informing their customers of this fact in the most passive-aggressive way possible, popping up a little dialogue box informing them that YouTube will be gone. Given Amazon is the largest retailer in the world, being blacklisted from the site, even for a company of Google's size, clearly has a negative impact on sales and the popularity of the devices.

In a statement aGoogle spokesperson said: "We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services".

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