Apple TV Opens Door to Amazon Prime Video

Will support Amazon’s OTT video service on Apple TV boxes
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Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Monday at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose that Apple TV, its TV-connected streaming platform, will open access to Amazon Prime Video later this year.

Reports emerged earlier this year that Apple and Amazon were closing in on a deal that would bring Amazon Prime Video to the Apple TV without using a kluge AirPlay setup, and complement support for Amazon Prime Video’s app on Apple iPhones and iPads.

A sticking point has been the fact that Apple TV competes with Amazon’s Fire TV boxes and Fire TV streaming sticks. That competitive angst was clear in the fall of 2015, when Amazon stopped selling the Apple TV and Google Chromecast adapter to instead focus on platforms that “interact well” with Amazon’s own streaming service.

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Cook also announced that the TV App for Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, which serves as a unified hub for separate apps that offer an array of movies and TV shows for streaming, now has 50 content partners integrated. Amazon will also be supported by the Apple TV App, Cook said, noting that Amazon Prime Video “provides a wealth of great content.”

Cook also hinted that Apple will announce “a lot more about tvOS later this year.”

Apple, which used WWDC to introduce macOS High Sierra, also announced it is building software encoding and hardware acceleration for HEVC/H.265 in its newest Macs.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, noted that support for the bandwidth-saving codec is coming as the streaming video world continues to move from HD to 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR).