Why Android TV losing Apple TV's movie store is a shame: it's about cheap 4K HDR

The Apple TV app on Android TV devices has lost the ability to buy or rent movies from Apple, and that's a huge shame

Apple TV app on Android TV
There used to be a store up in that top bar… now there isn't.
(Image credit: Future)

The ability to buy and rent movies from the Apple TV app on Android TV has been removed, and there's no word currently as to why, and whether (or when) it might return (via FlatpanelsHD).

I'm seeing this on my own Android TV – anyone with previously purchased Apple TV/iTunes movies can still see and play them from the app, but you can no longer browse and purchase from the store. 

Apple TV+ streaming is also still working, so the raft of cool new Apple TV+ shows and movies will remain available to anyone subscribing.

T3 has approached Apple and Google for comment on the change, but neither company had an official response at the time of writing.

A lot of people will just shrug about the loss of this buying option, because there are plenty of other ways to both watch and buy movies on Android TV and Google TV.

But the Apple TV store is actually an overlooked gem for movie lovers, because it not only has the best selection of movies supporting 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, it also has a constant rotating roster of these movies for super-cheap. I've been raving about it to people over the last couple years, since I've inevitably been watching a lot more from home.

You can find incredible movie bargains there every day, including films that have only recently arrived for buying at home – as a timely example, while researching this story, I happened to see that the Oscar-nominated film Spencer was under £5 in 4K HDR, and I impulse bought it.

There's no fuss around whether you're buying the HD version or not with Apple TV's movies – you just get it in the best quality possible, and movies you've already bought get upgraded for free to higher quality if it becomes available.

That's why it's such a shame that being able to buy movies on Apple TV directly from your Android TV is gone – I hope that whatever's changed can be pulled back. If any additional news appears, we'll update this story.

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.