Amazon & Google mend fences, bring YouTube back to Fire TV streamers

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Amazon and Google on Thursday announced plans to bury a long-standing feud, the main consequence being the return of YouTube to Amazon's Fire TV platform.

An updated YouTube app, coming soon, will enable 4K and/or 60fps video on compatible Fire TV streamers along with Alexa voice search. Arriving later in 2019 will be separate apps for YouTube TV and YouTube Kids.

On its end, Amazon is promising to finally support Chromecast and Google Cast devices in the Prime Video app. Though the app already works with AirPlay and the Apple TV, Chromecasts are far cheaper than an Apple TV, and many televisions now have built-in Cast compatibility. Native AirPlay is only beginning to roll out through brands like LG and Vizio.

Google originally pulled its YouTube client from Fire TV devices in early 2018, after it couldn't persuade Amazon to carry competing products like the Chromecast or Google Home. This forced Fire TV owners to take a detour to YouTube via the Web.

Amazon finally resumed selling Chromecasts towards the end of 2018. It still doesn't sell any Google Home speakers, presumably because it feels these would be a threat to the Echo lineup.

Indeed something unresolved is the absence of YouTube on the Echo Show and Spot. The service was pulled from the Show even before the same happened on Fire TV devices, allegedly because the Show offered a "broken user experience."

Separately, Apple Music is now available on a wide variety of Echo and Fire products, if only in a few countries.