Amazon Prime has been quite successful for the ubiquitous online retailer, offering subscribers an eclectic combination of free shipping, the ability to borrow over 500,000 eBooks, and, perhaps most popular of all, Amazon Instant Video.
For a while now, the users of Amazon’s popular-but-average Kindle Fire tablets have had a great advantage over other tablet users: the ability to download and view movies offline. For devices that ship with only wireless connectivity, this is a considerable advantage, enabling users to take the movie they’re currently watching with them, wherever they’re headed.
But things have changed; Amazon has announced that offline movie viewing is now available for Android and iOS, making it the only subscription streaming service offering this watch-and-go flexibility to customers.
Are You Using Amazon Prime?
If you’re enjoying movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video already thanks to your Amazon Prime subscription, this could be really good news; alternatively, it may not matter. After all, Amazon Instant Video is available on a vast selection of devices, including phones, tablets, games consoles, and even some smart TVs. Amazon’s Chromecast rival, the Fire TV also offers the service.
However, if you have the Amazon Video app on your Android phone or tablet, or iPhone or iPad, this new announcement will no doubt be of considerable interest to you.
Just in case you, like myself, are a lapsed Amazon Prime subscriber, this really does work. I’ve just signed up for another 12 months after letting my subscription lapse just before Christmas 2014 – after all, it’s over $100 for a subscription in the UK – and I’m very pleased with the results. Quite frankly, Amazon Instant Video is a game-changer in this age of invasive and insecure DRM.
Download Amazon Prime Movies on Android
Android users will already know that Amazon Instant Video isn’t available through Google Play. What you’ll first need to do is install the Amazon App Store, which is where you’ll locate the app you need.
Begin by opening Settings > Security and enabling Unknown Sources (for security purposes, you should keep this setting disabled by default). Next, open your mobile browser and head to www.amazon.com/gp/mas/get/androidapp where you should tap the button Download the Amazon Appstore and wait while this completes.
A few moments later you should see a notification telling you the file has downloaded. Tap to install.
That’s the first step complete. If you have any Amazon apps on your phone or tablet already (such as the Kindle app, or Amazon shopping) then you should automatically be signed in. If not, sign in with your usual Amazon credentials, and search for “Amazon Instant Video”.
With the result displayed, select it, read the description to ensure you’ve got the right app, and tap Free in the top right-hand corner. This should then change into another button, Get App, so tap once more, and wait as the Amazon Instant App is installed.
You’re now ready to start downloading the film or television show you wish to watch offline. To do so, search for a suitable title, and open the listing. Not all titles are available to download, but if your choice of content is, a Download button will appear on the right-hand side.
Tap this to begin the download, and use the Download Options button to find the Change Quality options. On offer are Best, Better, and Good, and you can check the Make this my default setting box before making your choice in order for your preference to be remembered.
You’re now ready to start enjoying movies offline, anywhere!
Amazon Prime Movies: Ready to Download on iOS
The process is even simpler for iOS users, as the Amazon Instant Video app can be downloaded free directly from the App Store.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, sign in with your usual credentials and start browsing. When you’ve found the television show or movie you want to download, open it, and tap the Download button. To abort, tap the title to expand the description and click Cancel.
By default, downloads are set to the highest quality. Should you have an iPhone or iPad struggling with low storage, the best option here is to tap the app Settings button, open Download Quality and adjust the quality between Good, Better, and Best. You probably don’t need me to tell you that the higher the quality is, the larger the downloaded file will be.
After this short and simple process you’re then ready to enjoy the movie on the go. Don’t forget to take a good pair of earphones with you to get the best mobile movie watching experience possible!
That’s All, Folks!
It really is as simple as all that. I’ve put this tutorial together in my favorite cafe, listening to (and occasionally looking up to enjoy) the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
The Wi-Fi in this cafe is wholly unsuitable for streaming movies, but hey, thanks to Amazon Instant Video, that’s no longer a problem, as I can download the movie I want to enjoy in advance on my Android or iOS device of choice.
As we said previously, this really is a game-changer. So, the question now is, will Netflix and Hulu follow suit and offer the same kind of offline viewing options? We certainly hope so, but licensing is bound to be a sticking point.
Now it’s you turn to tell us what you think of Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant Video, and, in particular, the ability to watch content offline. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts on all of this and more.
Image Credits:Cinderella’s Using WiFi by David Goehring via Shutterstock