I’m a big fan of streaming video services like Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix. Unfortunately, I’m also a fan of traveling, and losing my access to those videos when I’m on the road or in the air is frustrating. Amazon Video recognizes that frustration, and has just turned on a feature for iOS users that even Netflix won’t offer: downloading TV shows and movies for offline viewing.
The streaming service that used to have a clunky name
The first thing you might notice is a name change. Amazon has dropped the “Instant” from the name of the service, now just calling it Amazon Prime Video. The app is just called “Amazon Video.” Same service, different name.
Not all movies or TV shows are streamed equally
The next thing you will probably notice is that not all of your favorite shows can be downloaded. This is likely due to licensing requirements, and may change as Amazon renegotiates its deals. Currently, Amazon says it has “thousands” of titles available for download, including such shows as “Sons of Anarchy,” and movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” You can also download all of Amazon’s home-grown shows like “Transparent.”
Yes, I know it’s not a new feature
It’s true that Amazon has offered the offline viewing option for a couple of years, but previously it was only available for the retailer’s own Fire tablets. With the latest update to the app, that feature is now available to iOS and Android devices.
It’s good to see Amazon freeing up the ability for iOS devices to download movies for offline viewing. This makes one more reason for me to keep renewing my Amazon Prime membership, which is probably exactly what the retailer has in mind with offering the service in the first place. You can download the Amazon Video app for free on the App Store.