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Prime Video app gets a major update

Amazon today announced a major update to the Prime Video app on Amazon Fire TV devices, as well as on its Android app. The update brings a better navigation menu, makes it easier to find and watch live events — particularly sports — and just overall makes the entire experience better.

The update, some 18 months in the making, Amazon says, will start pushing out this week on living-room devices and should hit Fire TV and Android devices throughout the summer. (Update: The “living room” push also includes Roku, the biggest competitor to the Fire TV platform, along with Apple TV, and Google TV.) Other platforms — like iOS and in Prime Video in a web browser — will follow later.

Prime Video app screenshots on Fire TV.

You’ll first notice the biggest change in the top-level navigation menu itself. It’s been moved to the left-hand side of the screen and has six pages within it. There’s Home, Store, Find, Live TV, Free with Ads, and My Stuff. From there you’ll find sub-level navigation which includes things like Movies, TV Shows, Sports, etc. All in all, it should make it a lot easier to find what’s new on Prime Video.

And sports continues to play a big role in the Prime Video experience. The NFL’s Thursday Night Football remains a Prime Video exclusive, and Amazon has made it easier to find amongst everything else. The NFL isn’t the only game in town, however, and the Live TV page is the hub for all the real-time streaming, with a grid-based programming guide to make it easier to find what you want to watch. The Sports menu itself has a new design that Amazon calls “cinematic,” with carousels to surface the teams and leagues of interest. You’ll also find extra content like replays and on-demand videos.

More on Amazon Fire TV

The carousels aren’t just confined to the sports content, however. You’ll also find them in other sections, such as Amazon’s “Top 10 Chart” that, obviously enough, shows you the top videos in a given genre or location. Long live the carousels — because you’re getting more of them than ever.

Individual shows and movies and events get a little sprucing up, too, with a new design that makes it easier to tell what’s included with your Prime membership versus what you’ll need to pay a little extra for. A blue checkmark shows you what’s included, and a shopping bag icon shows what you’ll need to rent, buy, or subscribe to.

And a new Find page makes searching for content better than ever. Suggestions are shown before you finish typing (which is pretty much table stakes these days), and you can filter your results by genre or resolution to help winnow things down.

Good stuff all around, and something for Amazon Fire TV and Android users to look for soon, and everyone else eventually.

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Phil Nickinson
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