When two giants compete in both hardware and content, as Apple and Amazon do, it can be tempting to blame the rivalry when certain features aren’t supported from one platform to the other. Amazon’s X-ray for TV and video was a good example; Amazon’s Fire TV platform has had it for years, as has its iOS and Android apps. Even the web versions have supported it since early 2016.
But all this time, Amazon’s Prime Video app for Apple TV remained the most basic of Prime Video experiences. This changed last week, however, when Amazon released an update to the Prime Video tvOS app, bringing the IMDB-powered experience to Apple TV at last.
To access it, you can either pause the video, at which point the X-ray interface will automatically appear above the video’s timeline, or you can swipe up on the touch pad at any time during a show.
For the uninitiated, X-ray provides a deeper dive into the show you’re watching, by giving you rapid access to related information, like cast info, bonus material, soundtrack info, trivia, and even the ability to jump to key scenes. Though it’s not supported on every single show and movie in the Prime library, Amazon says it’s nonetheless supported on “tens of thousands” of them.
Media centers like Plex offer title-related info as well, but X-ray’s depth — plus its ability to be accessed while playing a show — makes it unique among video services. Amazon also offers X-ray for its Kindle line of ereaders, giving readers quick access to information like a cast of characters — handy when making your way through epics like Lord Of The Rings, or Game Of Thrones.
It’s possible you may not see the feature right away; new rollouts are often done in staggered batches. But if you don’t see it by the end of this week, you may need to delete and reinstall the Prime Video app from Apple’s App Store. According to BestAppleTV.com, some users have already tried this and reported that it’s still not working, though again, some patience may be required. Given that Amazon didn’t officially announce the release of X-ray for Apple TV, it’s possible it was hoping to do the rollout over a longer period of time.
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