The Google TV app is finally on the iPhone — here's what you can do

Art for DUNE is seen on the new Google TV iPhone app
(Image credit: Google)

Apple users may love the Apple TV 4K, but the Google TV iPhone app that just dropped is the missing link for everyone who doesn't want to spend $179 for 4K. Yes, for anyone who has both an iPhone and the Chromecast with Google TV, your time has finally arrived.

The Google TV app finally hit Apple's App Store today (June 1). Available here (at the same space as the former Play Movies & TV app was), the Google TV app is available to give you some of the best functionality that the Roku and Fire TV apps do.

For starters, you can now use your iPhone as a remote for the Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV and Android TV OS devices. Previously, as I've recently experienced, users have had to use the Google Home app for remote functionality. And that's been a problem because — at least in my experience — the Chromecast with Google TV random unpairs with the Google Home app. Hopefully, this is fixed.

The next biggest feature of the Google TV app for iOS is that it enables you to manage your Watchlist on the go. Controlling your checklist of shows and movies to watch is one of our favorite features on apps like JustWatch and Plex, and now you'll be able to update your Chromecast or Google/Android TV device's list remotely (right when a friend tries to cajole you, saying "you need to watch Severance, why haven't you watched Severance yet?")

Further, you'll be able to watch any purchased movies and shows acquired from your Google account. Basically, think of this new download as Google's version of the Apple TV app.

Other features include:

  • View recommendations from the services you subscribe to (just make sure to log into them via Google TV)
  • Watch recommendations from stars in the Watchlist videos
  • Improve recommendations by rating shows and movies
  • See news and updates on shows and movies with a personalized news tab

Analysis: OK Google, there's one more Chromecast problem to fix

Right now, as noted above, this kind of app is a crucial solution to all Apple users who opted for the $50 Chromecast with Google TV over the $179 Apple TV 4K. But there's just one other thing Google needs to fix for Apple users.

It's really annoying to use Apple Music on Chromecast with Google TV when voice commands are the only way to pull up what you want to hear. 

Sure, most Chromecast with Google TV owners are likely on YouTube Music or Spotify, but the lack of an actual Apple Music app is frustrating to anyone who pays for that service. Maybe Google wants to push those folks to switch, but I doubt they will because of this.

Next: In other streaming news, Netflix's password sharing crackdown is on, and it looks like a disaster.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.