August 1, 2012
Amazon Instant Video Finally Available On The iPad
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Just one day after they updated their cloud player, making it a worthy competitor against Apple´s iTunes Match, Amazon has made another push into the Apple-sphere, releasing their Amazon Instant Video app for iPad on the App Store.
The free app popped up in the store Wednesday morning and allows Amazon Prime subscribers the ability to stream Amazon´s entire Instant Video library on their iPad. Furthermore, the app also lets these users download their libraries onto their device for offline viewing later, a very handy feature for those with Wi-Fi iPads on the go.
Those without an Amazon Prime membership can use the app to watch movies and videos they´ve previously rented or purchased through Amazon´s Instant Video store. An Amazon Prime membership is free for the first month, then $79 a year after the trial period. Prime members are given access to Amazon´s Prime Instant Library, as well as $3.99 2-day shipping in Amazon´s marketplace.
Much like Amazon´s Kindle apps for Macs, PCs and iOS, Amazon Instant Video uses WhisperSync to keep your movies and shows together. Users can start a TV show on their iPad, pause it, and resume it once again on Amazon friendly TVs (or Amazon friendly Blu-Ray players and game consoles) on their Mac.
According to 9to5mac.com, while the app does take advantage of Apple´s AirPlay technology, it only streams audio to an Apple TV, leaving the video stuck on the iPad. Today´s release is only for the iPad, leaving the iPhone out in the dark.
Amazon has been working on improving their streaming options to their customers, adding titles from MGM Studios to their Amazon Prime library last month. Now, Prime users can watch popular movies such as Dances with Wolves, Moonstruck, Rain Man, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Silence of the Lambs, The Terminator, and Species.
Yesterday, Amazon released a slight update to their cloud music player, allowing users to scan their existing music libraries for matches to create an identical library in the cloud. Apple´s iTunes Match works in the same way, making building out a cloud-based library an easy chore.
Also in an Apple-like move, Amazon also began offering these songs in higher quality 256 kpbs audio, giving users the option to replace their lower quality songs with these better-sounding versions.
“We are constantly striving to deliver the best possible customer experience for Cloud Player, and today we are offering our customers a significant set of new features, including scan and match technology and audio quality upgrade,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music at Amazon in a statement yesterday. “We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers.”
Also in the news yesterday, Apple TV fans were surprised to see the addition of Hulu Plus on their home screens, allowing Hulu Plus subscribers the ability to watch their content from their Apple Hockey Puck box without having to hook up any extra wires between their computers and televisions.