Amazon and Google are friends again, and that means the YouTube app today is officially returning to Fire TV devices.
The app is launching worldwide on Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen.), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and on all Fire TV Edition smart TVs. Fire TV (1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen.) and Fire TV Stick (1st Gen.) will get the YouTube app in the coming months. YouTube TV and YouTube Kids are launching later this year.
The updated YouTube app comes with expanded Alexa voice controls that allow customers to find, launch and control content (pause, play, rewind, fast-forward) using their voice. The app will also play 4K HDR at 60 fps content on supported TVs and streaming media players.
Along with the Fire TV updates, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in users today will get access to Amazon Prime Video. Users will need the latest Prime Video app and Android 5.0 or higher or iOS 10.1 or higher on your phone or tablet to receive the update. In addition, the companies said that more Android TV smart TVs, set-top boxes and streaming devices will also soon have Prime Video, with rollout starting today.
The official launches today arrive a few months after Amazon and Google announced their intentions to put the YouTube app back on Fire TV devices and launch Prime apps for Chromecast and Android TV.
The moves complete a turnaround in Amazon and Google’s relationship, which less than two years ago was rocky, to say the least. In late 2017, Google pulled YouTube apps from Fire TV and Echo Show devices, citing Amazon’s unwillingness to sell Google products on its e-commerce site.
"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services," a Google spokesperson said in a statement at the time. "But Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest's latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon."
Amazon responded by questioning the motivation behind Google’s move.
“YouTube used to be available to our shared customers on Echo Show. As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers. There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers,” Amazon said in a statement.