Hey, Apple TV app, welcome to Amazon's Fire TV

You can now add Fire TV streamers and TVs to the list of places you'll be able to watch Apple TV Plus and iTunes TV shows and movies.

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Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
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Eli Blumenthal
David Katzmaier
2 min read
Apple TV app comes to Amazon Fire TV
David Katzmaier/CNET

Amazon announced that starting Thursday, Apple's TV app is now available for download to Amazon Fire TV devices, namely the newest Fire TV streaming stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K. Amazon says the app is coming soon to more Fire TV devices, including older Fire TV streamers, the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Edition televisions and the Nebula Fire TV Edition sound bar.

The app is the exclusive home for the Apple TV Plus service, due to go live on Nov. 1. The service is a Netflix rival that will launch with nine confirmed titles, including a drama called The Morning Show, starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, the post-apocalyptic thriller See starring Jason Momoa, and a comedy about poet Emily Dickinson. It costs $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) a month, but buyers of new and refurbished Apple devices will get a year of access for free.

Amazon joins Roku, which added the Apple TV app last week, and Apple's own  Apple TV  media streamers iPhones iPads  and Mac computers, in offering the Apple TV app. The app is also available on  Samsung  smart TVs, and is coming "in the future" to TVs from  Vizio Sony  and  LG , according to Apple.

Beyond access to Apple TV Plus, the app also lets Fire TV owners watch iTunes TV shows and movies they already purchased. Unlike with Roku and other devices, however, Fire TV doesn't offer the ability to buy or rent iTunes content from directly within the Apple TV app; you have to make iTunes purchases elsewhere.

Watch this: Apple TV app 2019: Everything you need to know

The Apple TV app on Fire TV does offer Apple TV Channels, which lets you subscribe to and watch services like HBO, Showtime and Starz from within the TV app, without having to download those individual apps. Apple TV Channels is very similar to Amazon's own Prime TV Channels feature. 

Apple's app works with Fire TV's built-in Alexa voice assistant to allow voice searches for particular shows, for example, "Alexa, play Dickinson." Alexa commands can also find and open the TV app, but don't work for finding iTunes content.

Similar to the Roku version, the Fire TV offers no AirPlay support for streaming content off of iPhones, iPads and Macs. Smart TVs from Samsung, Vizio, Sony and LG, as well as the Apple TV box itself, do work with AirPlay.

Amazon's representative also confirmed to CNET that "Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos will not be supported at launch, but we're working with Apple to add additional support for this type of content in the future." 

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Originally published Oct. 24, 6 a.m. PT.
Update, 9:00 a.m. PT: Adds more information from Amazon, including confirmation of the inclusion of Apple TV Channels, the inability to purchase iTunes content directly from the Apple TV app for Fire TV and lack of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. Also corrects an earlier statement that Alexa voice commands can be used to find iTunes content. According to Amazon, Alexa commands cannot be used to find iTunes content.