After months of leaving us all hanging, Amazon has finally released an iPad app for streaming Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime TV and movie videos. It’s free, and it allows you to use your iPad to watch your shows and movies.
Amazon Prime started out as Amazon’s $79 per year unlimited 2-day shipping package, but it also gives you access to Amazon’s streaming video service, which is Netflix’s closest competitor. It offers mostly the same content, but it has a few exclusives to its name, including The West Wing. Until now, though, it has only been watchable on Flash-enabled web browsers and the Kindle Fire tablet. Since the iPad is neither of those things, owners of the world’s most popular tablet have been feeling left out.
The new app works just like you’d expect for the most part — it’s very similar to Netflix’s app. However, it’s a little “two years ago” in that it requires you to go to the Amazon website and add episodes and movies to your “watch list” so you can view them on your iPad. Only a few featured items can be accessed directly from the tablet. Likewise (and less surprisingly, given Apple’s App Store policies), you have to go to the Amazon website to actually buy or rent new content, then fetch it in the app afterwards. That’s exactly how Kindle books work on the iPad, too.
It’s also worth noting that the app doesn’t work over 3G or 4G — only WiFi. We haven’t heard any word yet on an Android or iPhone app yet, either. The Kindle Fire is an Android device, but since the most recent version of the Android operating system was accompanied by a discontinuation of Adobe Flash support on Android, it’s the only tablet that officially supports Amazon Prime or Instant Video streaming.