Apple recently doubled subscriptions with more diverse offerings in fitness, gaming, and live streaming. After music, Apple TV+ is perhaps the biggest springboard in its ambitious plans for its services business, even though it needed a head start to take the lead in this crowded streaming space. Apple has teamed up with top-tier Hollywood listeners to rank it originals (many, like Ted Lasso And the for all mankind, It won critical acclaim) and even free subscriptions bundled with its products.
However, the outcome of these efforts is still debatable, but if there’s one thing Apple TV+ has conspicuously missed since day one, it’s the fitting support for billions of Android phones and tablets that holds it back to this day.
Even though most movie watching happens on the big living room screens, mobile devices are still an important part of the equation, whether it’s to catch an episode on the go or quickly add things to your watchlist. It’s clear from Disney+, which debuted alongside Apple TV+ but has received more than 100 million downloads on the Play Store – although Disney is undoubtedly a bigger brand than Apple in the entertainment world, which may be useful. Regardless, even Apple’s Music app has more than 50 million installs on the Play Store, but Apple TV+ is still absent from Android phones – despite not completely. Apple lets you access TV+ with a workaround on Android devices, although it’s so bad that you’ll want to stay away from it.
The current (horrific) state of Apple TV + on Android devices
Remember when Apple “brought” FaceTime to Android phones? You can join FaceTime calls on non-iOS devices for the first time — but you need a browser for that. For Apple TV+, you’ll have to jump through similar episodes if you want to sit back and watch an episode of Ted Lasso on your Android tablet.
Needless to say, streaming videos in full screen in a phone browser will always give you a poorer experience than the native app, with many scaling issues popping up. This also applies to other major services, including YouTube. For Apple TV + specifically, many users who have decided to follow this workaround within the browser are experiencing a number of errors that affect the operation and sometimes prevent them from subscribing to the service. Others note that their Up Next menu will not appear and viewing shows in the browser does not save your progress.
The Apple TV website is a bare version of the app, so you can’t watch videos that you rented or purchased from iTunes. It’s also not a proper progressive web app that you can add to your home screen for a slightly better app-like experience. None of that is possible with the current state of the Apple TV on Android and is likely to change only if Apple builds a dedicated app for Google’s mobile platform — an idea that isn’t who – which unattainable.
Apple on Android
Apple currently has a total of three apps (not counting Beats) that are specifically designed for Android phones and tablets. Apple Music is the most popular, while the other two include a basic app to track any rogue AirTag and an app to transfer your data from Android to iOS (not the other way around, of course). The last two apps have limited scope on Android, and all the significant reviews of the app indicate that users aren’t particularly happy with what they can do. But the story is a little different for Apple Music.
When the Apple Music app came to Android in 2015, it turned out to be a surprisingly good experience. Apple takes care of the small details by adopting key templates from Google’s Android design guidelines, like the hamburger menu, the familiar three-dot menu, and the option to cast your music to Chromecasts. Two years later, Apple gave the app a major facelift to bring it on par with its iOS counterpart, and new features continue to appear today. Apple Music on Android has supported lossless audio since last year, and the company was recently seen working on a redesigned home screen widget that picks colors from album arts.
Apple is clearly capable of creating and supporting Android apps. Apple Music is a perfect example of what Apple’s cross-platform services could look like if the company ever wanted to open up its cohesive ecosystem. Apple TV+ appears to be the next logical step. As with Apple Music, Apple has a financial incentive to make TV+ available on non-iOS phones, which helps it better take on opponents from big leagues like Netflix and Disney+. This is all the more reason to have a real presence on the world’s most popular mobile platform. And it’s not as if Apple never made an Apple TV+ app for Android.
Apple TV + ❤️ Android TV
Roku and Fire TV take up a large portion of the market in the US, so it was only natural that Apple TV+ landed on them before Android TV. Apple, which is notorious for locking you into its hardware, has teamed up with three major TV makers — LG, Samsung and Sony — to not only offer Apple TV+ on their TVs but also AirPlay, allowing for better compatibility with Apple devices.
Just last year, Apple TV+ finally made its way onto the Google TV platform in all its glory through the Play Store, finally supporting a variety of existing Android TVs and TVs after initially being limited to Sony’s OS units.
In my experience with Apple TV + on Google TV, the app still had some bugs, but it didn’t negatively affect the viewing experience. The interface is very similar to what you get on an Apple TV, and you can access your entire purchased/rented library and all the sub-channels you have subscribed through your Apple TV.
All of these features would make a significant upgrade on how you’re currently supposed to access Apple TV+ on your Android phone — if only Apple was reading this.
Without a comprehensive Disney Plus-like library of older or licensed shows and movies, Apple TV+ is not in a position to take advantage of its catalog of content to attract subscribers. That’s why it initially relied on hardware buyers by offering bundled subscriptions to help the streaming service gain some traction.
From Apple’s perspective, Android phones and tablets probably don’t fit into that equation, even though many of us use a mix of Apple and Android devices and could benefit from broader access to Apple TV+. With offers like Ted Lasso And the morning show With gaining global appeal across users, it only makes sense that Apple TV+ will make its way to Android devices sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, you can continue to use a streaming device on your living room TV to catch up on your favorite shows on Apple TV+.
Unless you’re after bootloops, this is it
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