September 23, 2013
Amazon released an update to its Instant Video app for iOS last week that includes AirPlay support. Users can now stream unlimited movies and TV shows from Amazon’s service to Apple TV. Amazon’s library currently features more than 40,000 streaming videos, and over 140,000 titles for rent or purchase. In related news, Apple released an update on Friday to Apple TV that includes iTunes Radio and AirPlay streaming of content from iCloud rather than directly from iOS devices.
Amazon’s video library is bundled with the Amazon Prime membership, which also includes expedited shipping and access to the Kindle Lending Library. The Instant Video app first launched for iOS on the iPad last summer, followed by support for the iPhone and iPod touch by the end of the year. Amazon has also made the service available on Roku and Samsung Smart TVs.
The latest Instant Video app update also includes IMDb integration.
“The move comes at a time when Amazon is rumored to be working on a set-top box of its own, according to reports from earlier this year,” reports TechCrunch. “The box would also provide access to Amazon’s video services, including an Amazon Video on demand store. This, after the company failed in its attempts to acquire Roku, would position Amazon as an Apple TV competitor. However, Amazon has never been a company to shy away from making its services broadly available to those who don’t use its own hardware.”
Apple’s update to Apple TV “allows AirPlay streaming of music, TV shows, and movies from iCloud rather than directly from iOS devices,” reports Digital Trends. “The update also includes access to iTunes Radio, podcast syncing, and enables purchasing of content from the iTunes store through the Apple TV set-top box.”
Apple TV 6.0 will also play videos and photos from shared photo streams and update apps automatically.
“Previously, users had to stream TV shows and movies purchased through iTunes from their devices over a Wi-Fi network, a practice which was a drain on battery life and subject to Wi-Fi signal strength,” explains Digital Trends. “Now, users can simply stream from the cloud directly to the Apple TV box. The update is also meant to allow a simpler way to play purchased content on someone else’s Apple TV without the hassle of switching iCloud account logins.”