Online retail powerhouse Amazon announced today that Prime subscribers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany can finally access Prime Instant Video via a long-awaited app for Android. But Amazon has forgone the typical Google Play delivery method and is instead requiring users to download the new app either through the main Amazon App for Android (now updated to version 5.0) or directly from the Amazon Appstore.
The now-updated Amazon App for Android essentially combines the company’s classic streamlined shopping experience with access to Amazon’s various digital products and services, including music, books, and unlimited streaming (for Prime customers only, of course) of “tens of thousands” of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video. Once you’ve updated your existing Amazon app for Android, you’ll be able to peruse the Instant Video library from within the app. Select an episode or movie to stream and you’ll be prompted to install the new Prime Instant Video player app (delivered via the Amazon Appstore). From there, it appears users will be able to watch any Prime Instant Video selection from within the primary Amazon app provided you’ve got the video player app installed as well, according to Amazon’s official press release. Users will, of course, simply be able to stream video via the player app on its own.
The new Amazon App includes a number of other new features and capabilities, including:
- Hundreds of millions of items for purchase, along with Customer Reviews, 1-Click purchase and access to account and delivery information
- Tens of thousands of movies and TV shows available for unlimited streaming for Prime members, including 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 Annedroids
- More than 200,000 movies and TV episodes to rent or buy
- Over 30 million songs
- More than two million Kindle books, along with over 150,000 audiobooks and more than 600,000 exclusive books
- Free 5GB for photo backup on Amazon Cloud Drive
Notably, the app does not support Chromecast … yet.
As Gigaom notes, the new Prime Instant Video player app doesn’t yet support Chromecast and there are reports of some devices, including tablets such as the Nexus 10, not yet being able to install the new app. Hiccups aside, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how this unorthodox app launch plays out.