I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber, but I don't watch any of the company's shows. Heck, I forget the option exists. No matter, Amazon already has my money. The online retailer/TV production company is after other folks, and so it's dropping the price of Amazon Prime to $73 this weekend (from $99). Read More
If you have a Chromecast or Android TV, you've probably noticed the one big glaring hole in content on those devices: Amazon Instant Video. Now, it seems more unlikely than ever that these devices will be getting AIV support, because Amazon is apparently preventing sellers on the US site from listing them altogether, and will remove all existing listings for the devices on October 29th. An email appeared on reddit late last night purporting to be from Amazon is below:
Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime.
Amazon, cut this crap out. Seriously, I'm getting really sick of it. As someone who pays you for media on a regular basis, to say nothing of my recurring Amazon Prime payments, I feel like I'm more than justified in telling you to stop sabotaging your own damn products.
Ahem. A little backstory, before we get to the central point here. After years of pretending that their customers simply didn't want to watch Amazon Instant Video on non-Fire devices, while concurrently giving iOS owners free access to their bought-and-paid-for video libraries, Amazon finally relented and released an Android app. Not a great Android app, mind you. Read More
Android TV may look different from vanilla Android, but underneath that tiled interface is the same operating system you know and love. That means it's possible to sideload whatever APKs you want. The thing is, without a touchscreen, most of them are pretty useless.
Take the regular Amazon Instant Video app. Besides requiring that you have the general Amazon app installed first, it fails to provide a passable experience on Android TV (which lacks an officially sanctioned Instant Video app because Amazon). You can start and stop content just fine, but fast forwarding or rewinding is a non-starter.
You're better off using the Amazon Instant Video app intended for Sony TVs running Android TV. Read More
Amazon doesn't seem to particularly want Android users to enjoy its video streaming service. First it took its sweet time expanding the offering out from Fire and iOS devices. Then when it did finally bring the app to Android, it required installing the standard Amazon app, which then prompted you to install a dedicated Prime Instant Video app from the Amazon Appstore (Google Play, what's that?). After that, it only ran on phones. Tablets, for the most part, were inexplicably left out.
The latest version of Amazon Instant Video for Android fixes that. You still have to go through the website to watch videos, but at least it works. Read More
Amazon may be on its way to a theater near you. Amazon Studios, the online retailer's video production wing, has announced that it will start producing and acquiring its own original movies, debuting them in theaters and bringing them to Amazon Instant Video shortly thereafter. These works will come under the banner of Amazon Original Movies.
Amazon Studios has already produced a number of television series such as Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. This has furthered its competition with Netflix, the video on demand provider that has broken records with its own originally-produced series House of Cards and plans to release its own original movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend in the summer of 2015. Read More
Update: the developers of Primecast have confirmed to Android Police that they were "locked out" of the app's streaming functionality.
Don't say we didn't warn you. On Thursday we published a story about Primecast, an enterprising app that allowed Android users to log in to Amazon and stream Amazon Instant Video movies and television shows to Chromecast. Though Amazon has (finally) allowed non-Kindle Fire owners to watch their purchased or subscribed videos, they haven't enabled Chromecast like their competitors at Google, Netflix, and others. Presumably this is in hopes of driving customers to the Fire TV platform.
Primecast worked around that limitation, allowing Amazon customers (paying customers, we might add) to stream videos that they had purchased or placed in their watchlist directly to a Chromecast. Read More
Update: ...aaaaand it's gone.
After literally years of waiting, Amazon finally gave Android users access to their purchased movies and television shows on non-Kindle Fire devices. And lo, the heavens did open and a chorus of angels did declare, "where's the Chromecast support?" With Amazon promoting its Fire TV platform and a new Chromecast competitor of its own, it looks like we might have an even longer wait for that particular feature. But one enterprising Android developer went and made it for you.
Primecast hooks into Amazon's back-end services, showing you a basic list of your purchased and rented movies and TV shows. Read More
Guys, the final piece of the puzzle is now in place: Amazon just announced that FireTV will be getting HBO GO. Since it launched without the service, it raised the question of whether it would ever be available to FireTV users; it looks like Amazon was just busy inking the deal with HBO, because there's actually even more to this story than that.
Not only will GO be coming to FireTV, but Amazon now has exclusive multi-year rights to certain HBO shows that will be available on Prime Instant Video. This marks the first time HBO has loosened its deathgrip on its own content, allowing it to be streamed on an outside service. Read More
Mega-retailer Amazon has scheduled a press event for Wednesday, April 2nd in New York City. The press invitation teases the event with the phrase, "Please join us for an update on our video business from [Amazon Kindle VP] Peter Larsen." A background with a couch and a bowl of popcorn makes it clear that Amazon's sights are set squarely on the living room.
The Verge is fairly certain that the event heralds an Amazon-branded set-top box, a la Roku or Chromecast. That would certainly make sense, given the Amazon game controller we saw earlier this month. Said controller featured Android-style navigation buttons, which also jibes with Amazon's interests in Android as a software and distribution platform for the Kindle Fire series of tablets. Read More