Amazon Prime Video seems like a quickie port for Apple TV

“I have no doubt there are engineers inside Amazon who would have loved to have made a great tvOS app for Apple TV. Any craftsperson who takes pride in their work would make all the cogent arguments in the world as to why that was the better — ultimately for everyone, including Amazon — approach,” Rene Ritchie writes for iMore. “Yet all evidence points to one incontrovertible fact: Amazon didn’t give a shit.”

“Amazon Prime Video is the worst app I’ve ever seen on tvOS,” Ritchie writes. “It’s so bad, it’s been roundly panned by the very people who longed for and wanted to love it. It’s embarrassing.”

“Tthe nice thing about bits is that they can be fixed,” Ritchie writes. “Amazon Prime Customers are currently stuck with the terrible port Amazon finally decided to excrete out onto Apple TV. If Amazon listens to the feedback, though, and thinks about what’s really in the best interest of its customers — customers Amazon wants and needs to continue paying for Prime — then the path forward is clear: Make Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV 2.0. Make it from scratch. Make it using the tvOS SDK — or TVML at the very least. And make it freaking amazing. In other words, make it the Amazon Prime for Apple TV app customers deserve.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At this point, we’re so happy to have it, so happy to have anything that let’s us access Prime content natively on Apple TV, we’ll cut Amazon some slack and let them work on the next version, hopefully designed for the Apple TV from the ground up as the Apple TV consumer is the cream of the crop (i.e. disposable income and the will to spend it, which sounds like something that should interest Amazon, of all companies), and deal with the current app’s shortcomings.

When the content is playing, which is what apps of this sort do for the vast majority of the time, the app’s UI lagginess, UX issues, and other quibbles don’t matter a whit. The Amazon 4K Ultra HD content we’ve seen so far looks stunning.

Here’s to Amazon Prime Video 2.0 – written expressly for tvOS – arriving ASAP!

Amazon Prime Video arrives on Apple TV in over 100 countries; Apple TV app adds live sports in the U.S. – December 6, 2017
Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV now available – December 6, 2017


  1. Not sure what the bitching is about. It works- I watched the first Grand Tour episode from last year and all went well.

    If you want to see a dumpster fire- take a look at the Apple Video (TV) app. Someone should fire Eddie Cue.

    1. It is slow, the UI is ugly and while playing back it was pixelating a lot. I use the Apple TV exclusively, do not have cable and have very fast internet service and I don’t get this on the other apps.

      1. I use mine on Comcast (xFinity) Cable and average about 90Mbps on my service (not great but pretty fast- AT&T Fiber is coming) and did not notice your issue. Could it be the build of SW your Apple TV its running? I use the latest Beta builds Apple sends out.

    1. That sounds more like a problem with your AV receiver settings. Probably automatically switching to any (or the first) ‘active’ input when you turn the receiver on.

  2. So based on the lack of polish on the app, I think it solidly confirms that it wasn’t Apple not allowing Amazon Video on the ATV, It was Amazon not wanting to put their app on a competing platform.

    Had it been Apple causing the delay, the App should have been beautiful out of the gate with Amazon making a great app and Apple denying it.

  3. Amazons iOS app isn’t much better, and the tvOS app has basically the same interface. I’m not sure what the comparing is about to be honest, this Sam interface is across all of Amazon’s versions of this app and it usually sucks. So if apple can get them to get better? Great. If not? Then maybe, just maybe? STOP ACCEPTING MEDIOCRE AMAZON UI DESIGN IN EVERYTHING ELSE THE MAKE!

    1. Yes, the Hulu interface sucks! Between that and the lousy AT4 remote, it is hard to use.
      The “click and hold to… used all over the place is dumb. Even the item overline to highlight is dumb. Come on, who else does that? Use an underline like everybody else. Redesign needed.

  4. I don’t think the app is that bad, at least relative to the Prime Video app on other platforms (including Fire TV). The UI sucks across the board and always has.

    Actually, one thing I prefer about the tvOS app is that it’s just the free stuff. On the Fire TV, free is mixed in with paid and it’s annoying.

    Amazon needs to rethink the UI across the board, and on tvOS they should use the native video API. Not using the native video API is going to cause far more problems than it could ever solve.

    1. Assuming you have subscribed to Amazon Video or Amazon Prime, the Fire TV interface may mix both free and for rent/sale on the first page since they are trying to sell vids and apps. You can easily filter to only the free stuff by selecting any of the Amazon Prime (TV/Movies/etc.) ‘channels’. If you want to see your watchlist and items you have rented/purchased, there is a filter for that also.

      1. “…they are trying to sell vids and apps”

        That’s great, but I’m trying to watch video, and the process by which to filter, while it varies by platform, pretty much sucks. It’s especially bad when you want to leave your device logged in for family/guests, but don’t want them buying/renting stuff.

        Again, this varies by platform, but at least the model of tvOS, this isn’t a concern (although for those who would want to buy/rent, it’s then an issue).

        1. If you don’t want your family/guests buying or renting stuff, just set the password under settings so that they can easily watch the free and already purchased media but need to enter a password in order to spend anything.

  5. Aren’t consumers supposed to benefit from competition? Yet we are asked to buy an Apple TV for Apple content, a Fire TV for Amazon content, and a Chromecast for…well, whatever it provides. Multiple devices, multiple subscriptions, I don’t see consumers winning right now.

    1. The only ‘provider’ not creating an App on other platforms is Apple. It’s possible they’ll have a good audience for an app on other platforms that will let them view/use their iTunes purchases.

  6. The UI is almost exactly the same as every version I’ve seen on smart TV’s or apps on my Blu-ray players. Obviously, they had to use Apple’s programming tools to make the app, so I would say that they went out of their way to make it look the same. Which is a bummer. I wish they would add a search for HDR content. It’s is really hard to find in current form.

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