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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 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.

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Phil Nickinson
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