Google adds Offline Maps option to Google Maps for Android following complaints
Google has updated the Android version of Google Maps to re-enable offline maps, following complaints. The feature, removed from general view in the app yesterday, was still available to use through typing "OK maps" into the search box, but the revised release of the apps introduces a new button to "Make this map area available offline," as well as a link to explain the removal of Latitude.
Amazon adds 5 NBC shows exclusively to Prime Instant Video catalog
Amazon has signed a deal with NBCUniversal to add the previous seasons of five shows exclusively to its Prime Instant Video Roster. Grimm, Suits, Covert Affairs, Hannibal, and Defiance will be available on the streaming service over the course of this year and 2014. A number of other shows, including Smash, Alphas, and Warehouse 13, will also appear on the service, though under a non-exclusive distribution deal.
Device would directly compete with Apple TV, Roku
Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.
Categories cover general themes, specific genres, moods
Amazon has launched a beta version of its Instant Video Finder feature, in an attempt to organize the streaming video catalog for its users. The new Finder will give suggestions on the website for what someone will want to watch via the Instant Video and Prime Instant Video streaming services, based on not only broad categories, but also through different moods and general themes, of what has already been watched.
Storage Wars, Pawn Stars added to Prime streaming roster
Amazon has signed an agreement with A+E Networks to bring prior seasons of its shows to Prime Instant Video. The content licensing deal adds shows from A&E, bio, History, and Lifetime channels to the streaming service, which now raises the total number of movies and TV episodes in the Prime Instant Video catalog to over 33,000 items.
Prime reverted to yearly-only charging
Amazon has stopped offering its customers a monthly payment option for its Prime service. The company recently included an option for US customers to pay $8 per month instead of $80 per year for the two-day delivery and Prime Instant Video streaming service, but has since switched it back to yearly-only.
Amazon signs multi-year deal with Epix for Prime Instant Video content
Epix, which is a premium entertainment network backed by Paramount Pictures' Viacom, MGM, and Lionsgate, has signed a multi-year agreement with Amazon to provide its movies, sports, music to the Prime Instant Video platform. The service is similar to Netflix as it lets users rent, buy, or subscribe to get access to a range of video content. The service is bundled with Amazon's two-day Prime shipping service, which is charged on an annual basis.
Amazon adds Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, others to Prime Instant Video
Amazon has made a deal with NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution to expand its streaming catalog. Hundreds of TV episodes will be available to stream through Prime Instant Video, including Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Parenthood, and Parks and Recreation, in addition to the existing 22,000 movies and TV shows already on the service. Further content expansion in the future has also been hinted at.
Video streaming service includes Season Pass shows
Amazon has released long-anticipated mobile app for the iPad, Instant Video. The title lets users watch a "selection of top Prime Instant Video titles" from the Amazon Prime subscription catalog, with an option to download content for offline viewing. Also present in the app is access to a watchlist and queue, along with automatic access to Season Pass TV episodes on the day after they have been broadcast.
MGM agreement boosts Amazon catalog to 18,000
Amazon has expanded its Prime Instant Video content through a licensing agreement with MGM Studios. The deal brings hundreds of classic movies and TV shows to the 18,000-strong collection, which is available for instant streaming. Notable additions include Dances with Wolves, The Terminator, and TV series Stargate.
Sony gets Amazon Instant Video, Prime apps
The teased new video service from just yesterday for the PlayStation 3 has turned out to be access to Amazon's Instant Video service. US PS3 owners will also get access to Prime Instant Video if they are subscribers. The former gives anyone access to about 120,000 à la carte-priced movies and shows, while the latter offers those who pay the $79 annual subscription fee unlimited access to 17,000 movies and shows.
Amazon not making changes to its Prime model soon
Amazon won't split its streaming video service from Prime Instant Video in the near future despite rumors to the contrary. Brad Beale, Head of Digital Video Content Acquisition at Amazon, said during a Wednesday interview with GigaOM that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Previously, a letter to shareholders from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings mentioned that he expects Amazon to introduce a service that would undercut its own.