Skip to main content

Does a job listing mean Apple TV is getting an Android phone app?

The Apple TV app listing in Google Play.
There already is an Android app for Apple TV. More than one, actually. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Let’s read way too much into a job listing from Apple. Spurred by a (paywalled) piece from Bloomberg under the headline “Apple Signals That It’s Working on TV+ App for Android Phones,” the reblogging industry is all atwitter over the idea that an Apple TV app may be coming to Android phones and tablets. And it might!

But the following two things also are true: The job listing in no way points to a mobile app. (Go ahead, read it yourself.) And there already is, in fact, an Android app for Apple TV, presumably one with Apple software engineers behind it.

Let’s back up, because “Apple TV” applies to a bunch of places, and we need to narrow things down. There’s Apple TV 4K, the hardware. It’s the best streaming device you can buy. Then there’s Apple TV, the app. On Apple devices, it’s just called “TV.” On other platforms, it’s called “Apple TV.” Then there’s Apple TV+, the streaming service, which we’re not talking about.

The word “mobile” doesn’t appear in Apple’s job listing. Not once. The only possible hint that the job listing could pertain directly to phones is in the first sentence of the summary: “The Apple TV app team is looking for a proactive, hardworking, and experienced senior android engineer to lead the development of fun new features, and to help build an application used by millions to watch and discover TV and sports.”

Spot it? An application used by millions. That’s gotta mean Android phones, right?

I’m not convinced. That very much reads like the sort of language you’d put in an Apple job description. Everything Apple does is used by millions. (OK, maybe not everything.)

But what about the first sentence in the description section? “The Apple TV App team is responsible for delivering innovative TV and Sports features and manage the app on iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, visionOS, macOS, Windows, and Android platforms.” It says Android right there!!!

Indeed, it does. And as I’m typing this, I’m watching the Apple TV app play on the Onn 4K Pro. An Android app. On an Android device. Its package name in Google Play is com.apple.atve.androidtv.appletv. Yes, that’s specifically for Android TV and Google TV, as it should be. And it’s very much the sort of thing someone in the job description would be able to work on, seeing as how it’s an Android app and all. (There’s a separate package for Sony TVs running the Google TV platform, too. So that’s actually two Android apps.)

Do I hope there’s a proper mobile app for Apple TV at some point? Yeah. I do. It’s a little odd that there isn’t already. Presumably, someone has a pretty good reason for that. (And if they want to let me know what that is, my email’s on this post.)

But we all need to be careful not to read too much into too little just yet.

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
Google is making it easier to ditch your iPhone for an Android phone
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro in hand.

Switching phones is never a smooth process, even if you’re switching between two different Android phones. However, when you’re trying to switch from an iPhone to Android or vice versa, it can be extra complicated -- and you can lose data and apps that you rely on. This is especially the case with Apple-to-Android transfers because the iPhone has a much stronger ecosystem lock-in with things like iMessage, iCloud backups, and exclusive apps like Overcast and Hyperlapse.

The good news is that with its Data Transfer Tool (also called Pixel Migrate on Pixel devices), Google may be trying to mitigate some of the phone-switching problems that arise -- specifically, losing access to your Live Photos. According to an APK teardown from Android Authority, Google’s Data Transfer Tool will finally resolve the problem of migrating iOS Live Photos to Android. It will do this by converting them over as Motion Photos.

Read more
Your Google Photos app may soon get a big overhaul. Here’s what it looks like
The Google Photos app running on a Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Google Photos is set to get a long-overdue overhaul that will bring new and improved sharing and notification features to the app. With its automatic backups, easy sorting and search, and album sharing, Google Photos has always been one of the better photo apps, and now it's set to get a whole slew of AI features.

According to an APK teardown done by Android Authority and the leaker AssembleDebug, Google is now set to double down on improving sharing features. Google Photos will get a new social-focused sharing page in version 6.85.0.637477501 for Android devices.

Read more
Google just announced 7 big Android updates. Here’s what’s new
Text editing in Google Messages.

If you have an Android phone or tablet or a Wear OS watch, you should sit up and pay attention. Google has just announced a bundle of new features it's rolling out soon, and from Google Messages updates to a better hotspot experience, there's a lot to dig into.

Earlier this year, Google was spotted testing a new edit feature for its RCS-powered Google Messages app. Well, it has finally made its way to the app with the latest Android feature drop.

Read more