Amazon and Google might have called a truce in their bitter retail battle. But the consumer still loses.
A year after Amazon removed Google's Chromecast from its digital store shelves, the e-commerce giant has brought the streaming devices back. Now, when you search for Chromecast on Amazon, you'll find options that you can buy and have shipped to you before the holidays, including the 3rd-generation Chromecast and 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra.
Amazon has been clear in recent months that it would not sell alternative streaming devices that didn't carry its Prime Video streaming service. The company argued that doing so would confuse customers. The policy was enough for Amazon to remove the Chromecast from its site, as well as the Apple TV, which at the time didn't offer Prime Video.
Amazon relented on the Apple TV after it launched a Prime Video app on for the device and that set-top box has been available on its store for quite some time. However, Google's Chromecast still doesn't support Amazon's Prime Video app, which is a bummer for Prime users who want access to Amazon's content.
Now, you can screen-mirror Amazon Prime Video to a Chromecast from your Android phone, but that's not the same as having a built-in app. And you can't beam Prime Video to a Chromecast from an iPhone.
While the move could be construed as a truce between the companies, the timing is nothing if not interesting. The decision to launch it less than two weeks before Christmas and after the big holiday shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday should give you an indication of Amazon's opinion on Chromecast and Google and its desire to sell Google products.
For its part, Google hasn't said anything publicly about bringing back its Chromecast to Amazon. But we'll update this story if that changes.