Amazon has finally made an app that enables Android tablet owners to stream video through Amazon Prime Instant Video.
While it has been possible to play TV shows and movies from Amazon's Netflix rivalling service on a smartphone (or any Apple device) for quite some time, Android tablet owners have not had the privilege. An update to the required application however now means it is possible.
There's one catch, Amazon has not made it easy to get. The app isn't currently on Google Play, nor does it strictly work like a conventional streaming application - Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc. Instead, you currently have to jump through a few hoops to get the service working on your device.
It's been a bone of contention for those with Amazon Prime memberships who use Android rather than an iPad, as they couldn't play the content they pay for when out and about, but here's how to get it working now...
Download Amazon Appstore
As the Prime Instant Video application - which is required to play streamed content from the service - is not yet available through Google Play, you need to download it from the Amazon Appstore instead. It doesn't cost anything but you will need to download and install it from the dedicated Amazon Appstore app.
That itself is not available on Google Play either, so first you need to download the APK onto your device. You can find the download here.
As it is not coming from Google Play, you need to go to your Android security settings and click on "Allow installation of apps from unknown sources". This will ensure the Appstore and, subsequently, Prime Instant Video apps can be installed to your device.
Install Amazon Appstore and sign into your Amazon account.
You can then search for the Prime Instant Video app. Install it.
Prime Instant Video
The app itself does not list content that you can play. It is merely a video player that is compatible, although it will offer X-Ray information on the videos, with intelligent scene-by-scene IMDB metadata on the actors and other details.
Instead, to find and start a TV show or film, the app opens a web browser in Chrome (or another default browser). This gives access to all of the content on the Prime Instant Video service.
Click on the show or movie you want and it will head to anther page where you can add the video to your watchlist of "Watch Now".
Click on "Watch Now" and you will get a pop up (in Android Lollipop at least) that requests the clip to "Open with Instant Video" and the options to do it just the once or always. Select "Always" and the video will start playing every time from now on.
Bingo, it works.
You might need to also head to your app library to move the Instant Video app icon to your homepage on the tablet for easier access.