If you search Amazon for streaming media players, you’ll find plenty of them. The one thing you won’t find is the Apple TV, and company CEO Jeff Bezos told the Re/code conference why not. Apple TV doesn’t currently offer access to Amazon’s own Prime Video platform, and Bezos says that isn’t because Apple refuses to include it, but because it wants too much money for doing so.
[W]hen we sell those devices, we want our player — our Prime Video player — to be on the device, and we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms. You can always get the player on the device. The question is, can you get it on there with acceptable business terms?
While he doesn’t say so outright, the meaning of the vague phrase is pretty clear …
If you, like me, have been wondering when Netflix is finally going to get around to allowing offline viewing, so we can stock up our iPad when traveling, the answer would appear to be: not anytime soon. When Gizmodo asked the company why, when Amazon Instant Video does so, a company spokesman gave the unconvincing reply that it thinks we can’t handle the awesome complexity of clicking a download button.
According to Neil Hunt, Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Netflix users won’t be able to handle the complexity the added choice will bring […]
“Undoubtedly it adds considerable complexity to your life with Amazon Prime – you have to remember that you want to download this thing. It’s not going to be instant, you have to have the right storage on your device, you have to manage it, and I’m just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity.”
There’s also the content owners who may not have stipulated that their content can be downloaded. Hunt didn’t discuss that but its likely a big concern.
There is some small hope of being able to view Netflix content when traveling, says Hunt.
As an example, what if we can put Netflix in a rack box that essentially contains all of Netflix content that you could imagine putting in an airplane server, right along with our existing offerings? That for me is a more interesting thing; can we make Netflix work on a plane, can we make it work on a train, in hotels?
But that seems to me a ridiculous way to offer a half-assed solution, and it’s merely an idea, not a plan.
Hunt did make one good point: not all of Amazon’s content is available for downloading, and it can be frustrating when one show is and another isn’t. Amazon already has enough issues with its seemingly-random selection of videos available to Prime members on desktop but not mobile, mobile but not desktop or only for purchase.
But with Netflix increasingly focusing on producing exclusive content, it could at least make a decent start by offering its own shows available for downloading.
The Amazon Instant Video app for iOS is getting a nice update today that brings streaming of content in HD as well as the ability to stream over a cellular connection. Previously users were only able to stream over WiFi, but will now be able to stream movies and TV shows on their LTE connection while on the go.
The IMDb app for iPhone and iPad was updated today with a few notable new features. You can now view TV listings directly within the app, but the feature is initially limited to users in the US. Also new, listings will now tell you if the content is available on Amazon Prime and provide a link to starting playing a title directly in the Amazon Instant Video app (as pictured to the right).
Other new features in version 4.2 of the app include a redesigned showtimes page for iPhone and showtimes for upcoming movies being released in theatres directly from the title page.
Version 4.2 of the IMDb app is available on the App Store now for iPhone and iPad.
What’s New in Version 4.2
• US TV listings! See when and where you can watch things, wherever you are in the US.
• Amazon Prime availability! You can now tell at a glance when a title is available on Amazon Prime. If you have the Amazon Instant Video app installed already, tap to play!
• New showtimes page design on iPhone.
• For a movie coming out Friday (or any other day in the future and we know about it), you can get its showtimes right from the title page!
• Bug fixes, including a weird bug where your ratings history would show your most recently rated titles twice.
Amazon has just updated its Amazon Instant Video app, which provides access to its catalogue of over 40k movies and TV shows, with a redesign of the entire UI inspired by iOS 7.
Amazon isn’t listing any new features in the iTunes release notes other than bug fixes and stability improvements, but you’ll also find a new icon and some UI tweaks that come as part of the new redesign. The overall navigation of the app remains the same but buttons and icons within have been flattened along with streamlining of other UI elements to make the app fit in with Apple’s iOS 7 redesign.
The redesign isn’t just for iPhone users, as the iPad version has been given a similar facelift:
The updated Amazon Instant Video app version 2.4 is available now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code – ahead of the new version of the Apple TV box expected to be unveiled in April.
People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout […]
Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …
This morning we reported that Amazon had trademarked FireTube, and the trademark could serve as a name for the company’s long-rumored TV product. Now, the WSJ follows up by claiming said device is on Amazon’s roadmap for the holiday season. Here are some of the details on the device:
- Will compete with the Roku and Apple TV
- Will stream Amazon Prime content
- Will run third-party media apps and gaming content
- Amazon is working on a dedicated remote for the device, but it could also be controlled via smartphone/tablet apps
Of course, the device could be shelved at the last minute, but given the uptake in reports about an Amazon TV device, today’s trademark discovery, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s want to expand his company’s hardware portfolio, it seems likely that the device truly is in the imminent Amazon product pipeline.
Amazon has updated its Instant Video app for iPhone and iPad today with a revamped user interface that makes it easier to find movies and TV shows.
The improved UI includes much faster navigation of TV shows and movies thanks to a new drop down menu on the home screen of the app, as well as “a new navigation bar on the browse screens allowing you to find and switch between the different TV and movie collections.”
Also new is “more personalized carousels on the homescreen” that provide quick access to TV shows and movies recommended for you based on your previous viewing habits.
A full list of what’s new is below:
What’s New in Version 1.4.3
We’ve made it faster and easier to find the videos you want to watch, adding a dropdown menu on the homescreen providing access to dozens of movie and TV collections. We’ve also added more personalized carousels on the homescreen, and provided a new navigation bar on the browse screens allowing you to find and switch between the different TV and movie collections.
Today Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced that Amazon has struck a deal to add new shows from NBC/ Universal studios to Amazon Instant Video. The additions include Grimm Season 1, Suits Season 1, Covert Affairs Seasons 1-2 with Hannibal coming and Defiance coming at later dates. Amazon has a 4 year exclusivity over these shows, preventing them from airing on competing services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Amazon has been beefing up the content selection for this service recently with the addition of EPIX Studios, which brought “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2,″ “The Hunger Games,” “Transformers Dark of the Moon,” “True Grit” and more to this streaming service. In its entirety, Amazon offers free streaming for more than 40,000 movie and TV titles.
Following in the footsteps of Apple and Google attempts at the set-top-box market, Amazon is planning to release a set-top-box, according to Bloomberg.
They say the box will plug into TVs and give users access to Amazon’s expanding video offerings. Those include its a la carte Video on Demand store, which features newer films and TV shows, and its Instant Video service, which is free for subscribers to the Amazon Prime two-day shipping package. The Amazon set-top box will compete with similar products like the Roku, Apple TV and the Boxee Cloud DVR, along with more versatile devices like the Playstation 3 and the Xbox. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.
The device is reportedly being developed in Amazon’s Cupertino based labs and could launch this fall. The project is reportedly being spearheaded by a former Apple and Cisco employee:
The project is being run by Malachy Moynihan, a former vice president of emerging video products at Cisco (CSCO) who worked on the networking company’s various consumer video initiatives. Moynihan also spent nine years at Apple (AAPL) during the 1980s and 1990s.
Perhaps this future product is the reason that Apple and Amazon have no deal for Amazon content streaming on the Apple TV.
Sunrise Calendar: Launched today by former Foursquare designers, the free Sunrise calendar app is getting a lot of attention for its simplistic approach to combining calendars, Facebook events and birthdays, and weather forecasts based on your current location. The app initially only supports Google Calendar, includes Timezone support (a feature missing from many popular calendar apps), and integration with LinkedIn to “see faces of people you are meeting.”
☆ 100% free calendar app with a gorgeous design.
☆ Compatible only with Google Calendar for now.
☆ A completely redesigned calendar experience for your iPhone.
☆ Synchronization that just works, in real-time.
☆ Quick Add Event just by typing “Lunch tomorrow at 9pm” (long-press on the +).
☆ Timezone Support. No more headache when travelling!
☆ Facebook Events and Birthdays included.
☆ See faces of people you are meeting with using LinkedIn.
☆ Weather forecast based on your location.
☆ Smart icons.
☆ Tag location to events.
☆ Use Google Maps for Directions.
☆ Connect multiple Google Calendars.
IMDb version 3.1: IMDb announced a nice update to its IMDb Movies & TV iOS app that brings a number of new features including links to titles available on Amazon Prime for users that have the Amazon Instant Video app installed on their iPhone or iPad. The update also includes a Special Oscars section with a “list of nominees and photos from the red carpet and ceremony and live winners,” a new Recommendations feature, and a few improvements:
– Award information for celebrities and titles (iPad/iPhone)
– Titles available on Amazon Prime feature a link to watch if the Amazon Instant Video app is also installed (iPhone/iPad)
– Special Oscars® section: list of nominees and photos from the red carpet and ceremony and live winners on iPhone and iPad during the ceremony
– Recommendations: tap on the “i” in the corner of the poster to see why it’s recommended for you, rate the title if you’ve seen it, or indicate “not interested” (iPad)
– Improved accessibility for TV episode navigation (iPad)
– Updates to side navigation (iPad)
– Bug fixes include episode picker in VoiceOver (iPad)
Finish version 1.0.2: Improvements and new features for productivity app Finish:
1. There’s now an option in settings to start the week on Monday.
2. Smoother gestures!
3. Some small interface improvements
4. Good ol’ VARIOUS BUG FIXES!
iA Writer version 1.8: Popular text editor iOS app iA Writer gets a big update today that includes a new iCloud engine and UI, overall new look and feel for the entire app, and a ton of features and improvements:
Following the launch of A+E Network’s dedicated iPad apps for A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime last month, Amazon announced in a press release today that it also licensed content for its Amazon Instant Video service. It sounds like Amazon is only getting access to old seasons of popular shows from the network, but any additional content will surely be welcomed by iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users taking advantage of the service through the Amazon Instant Video iOS app.
Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with A+E Networks to add prior seasons of popular series from A&E, bio, HISTORY and Lifetime to the Prime Instant Video service…The deal with A+E Networks will bring Prime customers more TV episodes from some of their highest rated television programming including Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms, which are also available for purchase through Amazon Instant Video.
You can now watch all of those free Amazon Prime videos on your iPhone or iPod touch. Amazon updated its Instant Video App today to support Apple’s smaller screens. The app also lets you watch any of your Amazon collection of paid videos, buy videos, and allows you to store for offline viewing as well. Great for the holidays! More info here.
Amazon Instant Video is now playing on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Videos you’ve purchased or rented with Amazon Instant Video will show up instantly on your Apple device once you download and sign into the app. Amazon Prime members can stream titles from the entire Prime Instant Video library.
Next stop for Amazon: Apple TV?
Amazon adds ‘The Hunger Games’ and more EPIX content to Prime Instant Video in latest licensing deal
Amazon has consistently bulked its Prime Instant Video service with many Hollywood studio and cable network agreements since the Kindle Fire launched last year, and now it is announcing a new multi-year licensing deal with EPIX studio in the United States.
The agreement adds thousands of fresh and old titles, as well as original programming, from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Liongates, and other EPIX partners. The beefed catalog more than doubles Prime Instant Video’s previous content offering, which provides instant, unlimited streaming to paid Prime members on the Android-powered Kindle Fire or other supported devices like the iPad.
A few of today’s content additions include “The Avengers”, “Iron Man 2”, “The Hunger Games”, “Transformers Dark of the Moon”, “True Grit”, and more. It is worth noting Amazon plans to hold a product launch event on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles; the glitzy location could suggest more content deals are coming down the pipeline.
The full press release is below.
As always, we will update our list of new apps and updates hitting the App Store and Mac App Store throughout the day:
Angry Birds Seasons version 2.5.0: New content for Rovio’s “Seasons” edition of Angry Birds rolled out today (including the HD version). The update includes 20 new schoolyard levels, bonus levels, a new pink bird, and new theme music for the playground levels.
Amazon Instant Video version 1.1: Amazon’s iPad app provides access to over 120,000 videos from the Amazon Instant Video store and thousands more Prime Instant Video titles, and it was updated today with a couple notable features. First—a new search function has been added to find specific titles from Prime. Also included in the update are an improved navigation bar and a number of bug fixes.
Shazam version 5.0.6: All of the versions of the song recognition app Shazam were updated today with an improved recognition rate and faster application startup time. The update also went to the $5.99 RED edition.
Dunkin’ Donuts version 1.0: Dunkin’ Donuts officially announced the release of its first mobile app today that allows customers to pay from the app using a virtual barcode-based DD card scanned by the cashier. Other features include a store locator, nutritional information for items on the menu, the ability to send virtual DD cards, and Facebook and Twitter integration.
Just 24 hours after Hulu started popping up on Apple TV, we now see Amazon’s Instant Video Store in the App Store for iPad. It looks like a full app capable of not only streaming Prime content for free (with the$79 a yearl Amazon Prime membership, but the first month is free) as well as being able to download content for offline viewing. Also, Season Pass is available for TV shows, and episodes are available the morning after the show airs on TV. The app will also resume where you left off watching from Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.
Interestingly, no iPhone version yet.
I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).
Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.