Amazon has finally brought its online video service to Google Android. You can now stream movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video on an Android phone or tablet. That includes any videos you’ve purchased or rented from Amazon as well as thousands of videos that are available to Amazon Prime subscribers.

Using Amazon Instant Video on Android isn’t quite as simple as installing a single app though.

apv_04

You’ll actually need two or three different apps. First, there’s the Amazon app which up until now has basically been little more than a shopping tool. You can grab the latest version from the Google Play Store.

Second, you’ll need the Amazon Appstore for Android. That’s because the third app — the Amazon Instant Video app is only available from Amazon’s store. You can’t get it from the Google Play Store.

Update: Actually, you can get by with just two apps: the Amazon app and the Amazon Instant Video app. That’s because version 5.0 of the Amazon app for Android duplicates or replaces many of the functions of the Appstore. You can use it to find and download the new Instant Video app without first installing the Appstore.

You can also now use the Amazon app to shop for most digital goods sold through Amazon as well as physical goods. You can buy Kindle eBooks, videos, and apps. Interestingly it looks like Amazon MP3 content is not included… you’ll still need the Amazon Music app for that.

Anyway, once you’ve got all three apps installed, just make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account in at least one of those apps (there’s a single sign-on service that will then make sure you’re logged into all of them), fire up the Amazon app and choose the Amazon Instant Video option from the menu to get started.

Video playback looks great on my Google Nexus 5. My only gripe (other than the need for 3 apps) is that there doesn’t appear to be Chromecast support.

Update: If you can’t find the latest version of the Amazon app in the Play Store, here’s a workaround that seems to work on devices that might not be officially supported yet: Download and install the Amazon Appstore manually and then use that to download the Amazon and Amazon Instant Video apps. 

Amazon also offers an Instant Video app for iOS which only requires a single app. And you can use Amazon Instant Video on any of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.

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12 replies on “Amazon Instant Video app for Android arrives”

  1. I’m having trouble installing the video app. It downloads fine, and then a screen eventually comes up showing the permissions the app requires. At the bottom of the screen are two buttons, “Cancel” and “Install”. The install button seems dead. It does not register clicks. The cancel button works fine. This is on my LG Nexus 4, rooted with CyanogenMod. I tried installing other apps from Amazon and have the same problem. Any body know what the deal is?

    1. Oh, it was my screen dimming app. I turned that off and then installed the video app fine. The actual app is okay. The video selection is a bit clumsy, kind of like using the website, but once you play the video, the actual player seems nice.

  2. Too little, too late for too much hassle. My Prime subscription is still set to not to auto renew.

  3. I am beyond furious with how long it took to get Amazon Prime Video on Android and how clumsy the final product is. Compare this to the single app approach to iOS, which gets a gorgeous interface similar to the PS3 or Roku app. My elation was short-lived when I discovered that the updated Amazon app doesn’t support my Nexus 7. Apparently I’m required to use the Amazon for Tablets app, which lacks the Video feature update.

    1. Uninstall the Amazon App for tablets, then install the Amazon App (not for tablets) from the Amazon App Store, and you’re all set.

    1. Get the amazon app store and get the amazon app and then the amazon prime instant player and you should be good to go

        1. @ Brad Linder Where’s the link to these reports? The Google Play store doesn’t have the amazon app that will work on the Nexus 7. But the Amazon App store does. I just did it. This small workaround should work for all android phones and tablets.

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