Apple has removed to option to buy and rent movies from the Apple TV app (iTunes) on Android TV and Google TV with the latest app update. Previous movie purchases remain available.
Apple TV app downgraded
The Apple TV app arrived on Google TV in early 2021 and on Android TV in the summer of 2021, complete with Apple TV+ access, channels, and the ability to rent and purchase iTunes movies directly on the device.
The latest app update has removed the option to rent and purchase movies on Android TV and Google TV devices. The two buttons have been replaced by a new 'How to Watch' button which states: "You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices."
Reports began surfacing on reddit and other sites last week and FlatpanelsHD has confirmed that the option has also been removed on our devices, including Nvidia Shield and Chromecast, set to various locations.
The buy and rent buttons have been replaced by a new 'How to Watch' button
If you avoid updating the Apple TV app to the latest version, you can seemingly continue to rent and purchase movies. You can from your movie library access previously purchased movies both before and after the app update. New purchases or rentals must be made from another device.
The app update has not affected subscription service Apple TV+, which is still accessible from within the Apple TV app.
It is unclear why Apple has downgraded its app on Android TV and Google TV but it could be related to commission rates. Like Apple, Google charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases but not all in-app purchases were covered by the agreement in the past. It is possible that new terms were introduced.
Owners of Roku TVs and some Smart TVs can continue to rent and purchase movies from the Apple TV app.