Digital Media

Amazon Prime Instant Video arrives on Android

Has Amazon just snuffed out one of the biggest reasons to buy a Kindle Fire Phone or tablet?

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Avast! "Black Sails", one of the TV series and films available to watch on Amazon Instant Video. Starz

As the Kindle Fire Phone arrives in more countries around the world and the price crashes to less than a buck in the US, Amazon has done away with one of the biggest reasons to buy one. From today, you can watch Amazon Prime Instant Video on your Android phone.

Amazon Instant Video is Amazon's movie and TV streaming service. In the UK it replaces LoveFilm. To enjoy streaming of shows like "Extant", "Vikings" and "Alpha House", you have to subscribe to Amazon Prime, which costs £79 in the UK and $99 in the US.

The benefits of a Prime subscription also include free one-day delivery when buying items from Amazon, over 500,000 Kindle titles available to borrow for free, 5GB of space for photos in Amazon Cloud Drive, and unlimited movie and TV streaming of more than 15,000 movies and TV shows.

Those films and TV series vary by country, but shows only found on Amazon in various countries include "Black Sails", "Crossing Lines" and the bookseller-turned-everything-seller's own "Alpha House", produced under the Amazon Original banner. Original shows and pilots are the latest weapon in the bitterly-contested streaming war between Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other services.

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle Fire Phone are Android devices heavily customised around Amazon services, including Instant Video. Among the features they offer is the ability to rent a video and save it to your Kindle Fire phone or tablet to watch without an Internet connection when you're on a train or plane or out in the sticks, a feature also offered by Google Play Movies.

The Fire Phone has now left the US for the first time, going on sale in the UK and Europe. In the US the smartphone's price has been slashed to 99 cents.

To enjoy Amazon Instant Video on your Android smartphone or tablet, start by updating or downloading the Amazon App for Android. The updated Android is free and available now on Google Play. If you're tempted to sign up for Prime, you can register for a 30-day free trial.