Sunday November 18, 2018
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Google withdraws YouTube app from Amazon Fire TV

Google hasn’t been happy about Amazon’s anti-competitive nature when it comes to allowing rivals to sell their own hardware items – like smart speakers and media players – on Amazon.com.

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Google and getty images both will be benefited by this collaboration. Wikimedia Commons
Google and getty images both will be benefited by this collaboration. Wikimedia Commons
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  • A disagreement between both the companies fires up their rivalry.
  • Although Amazon is working fine with Apple TV, The disagreements with Google are not seeming to end.
  • This rivalry has made Roku, the biggest streaming service in the U.S.A.

The feud between Amazon and Google continues today with the early removal of YouTube from the Fire TV – a move Google had said wouldn’t take place until January 1, 2018. But as a number of Fire TV owners have now noticed, launching the YouTube app today informs you that you can choose to watch “YouTube and millions of other websites” by using a web browser. You then have the option to choose from Amazon’s own Silk browser or Firefox, with a click of a button.

Amazon's rivalry with Google intensified . Wikimedia
Amazon’s rivalry with Google intensified. Wikimedia

The disagreements between the companies that led to this consumer-unfriendly stance go back several years.

Google hasn’t been happy about Amazon’s anti-competitive nature when it comes to allowing rivals to sell their own hardware items – like smart speakers and media players – on Amazon.com. The retailer has long refused to stock devices that competed with its own – like Apple TV, Chromecast, Google Home, and others – in an effort to promote Amazon products like Echo speakers and Fire TV.

However, Amazon and Apple recently negotiated an agreement that brought the Apple TV back to Amazon and Amazon’s Prime Video app to Apple TV.

Meanwhile, it seemed discussions between Amazon and Google were improving earlier this month when the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra reappeared on Amazon.com. (They’re still showing as “currently unavailable,” however.)

The other issue at hand was that Amazon had launched its own version of Google’s YouTube player for its Echo Show device, without working with Google to ensure core features were accessible. There’s been quite a bit of back and forth on this matter, with Google pulling that player, only to have Amazon surreptitiously work around the block by implementing a web version of YouTube instead.

That led Google this month to declare that it would pull YouTube entirely from Amazon’s hardware lineup, including Fire TV. The player was yanked immediately from Echo Show, but Fire TV owners were told that the app would work until January 1, 2018.

It would be unusual for Google to actually pull the YouTube app ahead of its deadline, which indicates this change – to point YouTube users to web browsers instead – may have come from Amazon’s side.

That theory is further backed up by the fact that sideloading the YouTube app onto Fire TV will continue to display the “warning” message, according to a report from AFTVNews.com and commenters on Reddit.

However, it’s unclear if Amazon’s choice to redirect YouTube users to web browsers ahead of schedule is fully rolled out. One report from Cord Cutter News said you’ll only see the browser choice screen if you have a browser installed on your Fire TV, for example. (Update: a recompilation of the app’s code, though, indicates the app has been changed to only point to the web browser – no matter if you have one installed or not.)

Amazon Fire TV Logo. Wikimedia Common
Amazon Fire TV Logo. Wikimedia Common

On two Fire TV devices we have here (a prior generation and new generation player), we’re only seeing the browser choice screen as of today. And many users worldwide are reporting the same, per Twitter.

We’ve reached out to Amazon and Google for comment. Google has not responded, but a rep from Amazon offered the following statement:

“I can confirm that YouTube and millions of other websites are accessible by using a web browser like Firefox or Silk on Fire TV.”

With all this drama, is it any wonder that Roku is the top streaming device in the U.S.?

Consumers don’t want to be jerked around like this all because two competitors can’t work out a reasonable solution that serves both their interests. At the end of the day, Amazon and Google only hurting themselves by alienating their overlapping customer base – a group that easily could (and probably should) switch to Roku at this point. IANS

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Apple Allows Third-Party Workflow Extensions For Video-Editing

Motion, the powerful motion graphics companion to Final Cut Pro, also gets an update that adds a comprehensive set of colour-grading tools and custom LUTs

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Apple allows third-party app integration to its video editing software. Flickr Commons

Apple has introduced third-party workflow extensions and a host of new features for professional video creators in its update to “Final Cut Pro X” — its professional video-editing programme.

The “Final Cut Pro X” update, now available on the Mac App Store, introduces workflow extensions that enable professional video editors to use third-party apps and services directly within the editing interface, Apple said in a statement late on Thursday.

Workflow extensions match the look of Final Cut Pro and integrate tightly into the app, allowing editors to drag media into Final Cut Pro libraries, sync playback between extensions and timeline, add clip markers and more.

“These extensions make it easy to use popular tools that enhance post-production including review and approval with Frame.io, stock footage browsing and purchasing with Shutterstock and media asset management with CatDV,” the company added.

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An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Motion, the powerful motion graphics companion to Final Cut Pro, also gets an update that adds a comprehensive set of colour-grading tools and custom LUTs.

Compressor, the advanced encoding companion to Final Cut Pro, moves to a new 64-bit engine that takes advantage of all the memory in a user’s Mac for improved performance when encoding high resolution, high frame rate video.

Also Read- Xiaomi Drops Down Smartphone Prices in India

Final Cut Pro 10.4.4, Motion 5.4.2 and Compressor 4.4.2 will be available on the Mac App Store as free updates for existing users. New users can purchase the apps for Rs 24,900, Rs 3,999 and Rs 3,999, respectively. (IANS)