Apple limits app functionality for Android and Google TV owners - reports

Apple TV Plus
Speculation suggests the move is related to commission on in-app purchases. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealanders using Android or Google TV to access movies on the Apple TV app may face disappointment amid reports Apple has limited its functionality.

Since launching last year, the app has allowed users to rent and purchase movies from the iTunes store.

A new update, however, has removed that ability with the two in-app buttons replaced by a new 'How to Watch' button, according to multiple reports.

When pressed it states "You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices".

The change could mean fans of Ted Lasso or Severance will also need to find alternative ways of watching their favourites too, with Apple TV Plus original movies and television shows also appearing unavailable via the updated app, according to TechRadar.

Apple has also removed browsable sections for movies and television shows, replacing them with a search field that leads to the 'How to Watch' prompt.

The tech giant has yet to confirm the changes, but multiple outlets have reported the same after Reddit users shared their frustrations and experiences.

There is speculation the move may be related to commission rates on in-app purchases (IAP).

Technology blogger John Gruber posted that he confirmed with "sources familiar with the matter" that Apple and Google were unable to reach agreeable terms on commissions.

"Until this update, Apple had been running on an exemption not to use Google's IAP. The exemption expired, so Apple TV on Android TV is now 'reader only'," Gruber wrote.

"Apple would rather not sell or rent any content at all on these platforms than do so while paying Google the commissions they demand."

Apple already acknowledges that all of its functionality isn't available on all platforms, saying on its website that "not all devices support on-device transactions, so you may not be able to buy, rent, or subscribe to shows or channels directly".

Kiwis running either Android or Google TV looking for alternative ways of accessing the full features of Apple TV will need to use the likes of smart TVs from LG and Samsung, gaming consoles like the Playstation5 and Xbox Series X, or Apple's own products.