Google has apparently discovered through recent, internally conducted research that two-thirds of U.S. adults look up what they’re going to watch on TV on their phones first, which is why it’s finally making its Google TV app available to iPhone users. The company announced that it’s pushing out Google TV for iOS devices today. Google TV will soon replace the app formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV in the App Store.
Google TV on iOS will have many of the same perks as it does on Android. You’ll be able to log in to see what’s trending across apps, just like you would by turning on Google TV in your living room, and you’ll be able to search for titles across the different apps you have installed. After watching something, you can rate it, and Google will consider that rating as it suggests things to you. Note that when you do this, it affects your results on other Google TV devices, too.
Google TV being on the iPad and iPhone also means that you can now manage your watchlist no matter the platform. Although I use Plex and Just Watch to find what I need to stream, I use Google TV’s watchlist to keep tabs on shows and movies and where they’re streaming. I can now access this list from the iPhone 13 Pro, my primary Android device, or my TV outfitted with a Chromecast with Google TV.
If you own a Chromecast with Google TV or any other compatible devices or TVs, you no longer have to dig through the couch cushions for the remote, too. The iOS app has the same built-in virtual remote as Android, so you can tap on it to connect to and control your TV, provided you’re on the same WiFi network. The app also lets you use the keyboard on your smartphone to type in usernames and passwords. And you can use it to access Google Assistant, which could be helpful if you’re sharing a household with many Android users who insist on sticking within that smart home ecosystem.
Google has always been particularly keen on making its features available to iOS users. But this move to bring Google TV to the iPhone is more than just an olive branch of cooperation between platforms. It seems more like a part of Google’s bigger plans to turn Google TV into a centralized home hub of sorts, beyond just being a catch-all for streaming services and other related apps. After all, offering multiplatform compatibility ensures someone in the house uses Google to find something, and that’s what matters.