Amazon has finally brought its Prime Instant Video service to Android, after allowing it for many years only on its own Kindle Fire devices and on iOS. Unfortunately, only Prime customers from the US, UK and Germany will be able to use the new service, since those are the only places where Amazon is providing the Instant Video streaming service right now.
The availability of Instant Video comes as part of a major update to the Amazon shopping app for Android:
"Tens of millions of our customers have installed the Amazon app on their Android phones in order to enjoy the ease and convenience of shopping Amazon on the go," said Paul Cousineau, Director of Mobile Shopping. "Now, the latest Amazon App for Android combines that award-winning mobile shopping experience with access to Amazon's digital products and services, including unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost for Prime members. At Amazon, we are always innovating on behalf of our customers and we look forward to receiving their feedback on this enhanced shopping experience."
The new shopping app includes Amazon's full catalog of digital products:
Hundreds of millions of items for purchase, along with Customer Reviews, 1-Click purchase and access to account and delivery informationTens of thousands of movies and TV shows available for unlimited streaming for Prime members, including favorite HBO shows such as The Sopranos, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under and The Wire, and Amazon Original series like Alpha House, Tumble Leaf, Creative Galaxy and AnnedroidsMore than 200,000 movies and TV episodes to rent or buyOver 30 million songsMore than two million Kindle books, along with over 150,000 audiobooks and more than 600,000 exclusive books that customers won't find anywhere else5 GB of free photo back-up with Amazon Cloud Drive
To access the video content, users need to install the Instant Video player from Amazon's shopping app, and only then will they be able to watch the videos. It's a little strange that Amazon doesn't just let users install the app directly from the Play Store, much like you would install Instant Video's competitor, Netflix.
It seems Amazon wants to force its customers to browse through all of its content in just one place. This goes against a recent trend we've been seeing lately (which Facebook has been leading), with big companies trying to "un-bundle" certain apps or features instead of offering them all together in a monolithic app. However, from many points of view, Amazon is already a monolithic entity serving all kinds of products, and perhaps the company sees videos as just another kind of product its customers can find by searching inside the Amazon app.
If you want to start watching Instant Video streaming right away, just download Amazon's shopping app, log in, and look for Instant Video. If that link doesn't work for you, try searching for it in the Play Store again, as Google seems to be redirecting people to a different version of the app based on the country they are in.