One of the last video content hold-outs for the Apple TV, Amazon Video, is now available in a limited form. Nearly six months after its initial announcement, Amazon has released Prime Video for Apple TV. If you want to install the app, you’ll need to go hunting for it. It isn’t yet featured in the App Store, and it won’t show up in your purchased apps—this appears to be something entirely different from the Prime Video app you’re familiar with on your mobile iOS devices, down to the uncharacteristic blue app tile.
Login requires your user ID and password—there’s no authentication code shortcut, so if you have a complex password, you’ll be hating this. Search in the app is equally cumbersome, since the app doesn’t yet take advantage of Siri voice search. Start exercising those thumb muscles!
The Prime Video app features all the expected content, including purchases, rentals, and shows from channel packages you’ve subscribed to, like HBO. But the real interest in this service is its continually growing catalog of third-party and original content. Just like Amazon’s mobile apps on iOS, you won’t be able to purchase or rent movies or shows from your Apple TV—you’ll need to go to your laptop or computer for that.
The app itself is…fine. There’s nothing particularly special about it. In fact, it lacks the characteristic side navigation we’ve seen on other platforms, and its arguably bland design and crowded layout make it a bit difficult to quickly scan and find content. It definitely needs some work, both in form and function. We only poked around for a few minutes before encountering a bug where banner ad artifacts were incorrectly overlayed on the screen. But hey…it’s here! And frankly, this pretty much makes the Apple TV the most comprehensive video content device available. Of course, it’s also one of the most expensive.