Amazon's Echo Show just lost a critical feature after an apparent spat with Google.
In an unexpected move, Google has removed YouTube access from Amazon Echo Show. When you try to access the service from the Echo Show, Amazon's built-in virtual assistant Alexa says, "Currently Google is not supporting YouTube on Echo Show."
According to The Verge, which obtained a statement from Amazon, the e-retailer removed YouTube access on Tuesday (Sept. 26). The spokesperson said that Google removed access "without explanation and without notification to customers," and said that there was "no technical reason for that decision." Ultimately, Amazon's spokesperson called Google's move "disappointing."
In its own statement to The Verge, Google said that "Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience." Although the companies have "been in negotiations," the Google spokesperson said, no agreement has been made.
"We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon," the Google spokesperson told The Verge.
Amazon released the Echo Show this year with YouTube support. The Echo Show is the first smart home hub from Amazon to come with a built-in screen, allowing you to stream video content to the device.
There was no mention by either Amazon or Google at the time that YouTube's video experience was "broken." However, the feature worked quite well on Echo Show, and whenever I searched for content, it was readily accessible.
It's possible that Google wants to see YouTube brought back to the Echo Show, but simply wants to deliver its own experience. It's also possible the company would want to highlight certain features, like premium content.
For now, it appears Amazon and Google are going to battle it out and hopefully come to some agreement. But there's no timing for a resolution.