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Amazon Prime Video is quickly becoming one of the premiere streaming services, with not only access to a full library of archived content, including both with add-on subscriptions as well as included with a base Prime subscription, but also with a growing list of fabulous originals. From The Boys to The Wilds, long-running and award-winning shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag, and others, Amazon Prime Video is worth the Prime subscription price alone. With that said, there are always ways to make the experience better from a usability perspective, and Amazon has made some subtle but appreciated tweaks to its UI.
The focus on the updates is to make it easier for subscribers to find the content they want to watch and that’s best suited to them as well as to highlight the broad selection of offerings.
First is an overall redesigned and simplified menu navigation set-up that makes it easier to look through movies, TV shows, sports, and premium channels. For the living room apps, the new navigation menu has been relocated to the side of the screen, offering improved access, says Amazon. Everything will be divided into six primary pages: Home, Store, Find, Live TV, Free with Ads, and My Stuff. A sub-navigation option, meanwhile, allows for browsing by content or offer type, like “Movies” or “TV shows” or “Sports” on Home and “Channels” or “Rent or Buy” on Store.
Sports fans will appreciate new features specific for sporting events, including NFL Thursday Night Football coming this Fall with a Prime subscription (also available through Paramount+ and MLB.TV). The Sports sub-navigation menu makes it simple to drill down to the big games while the new Live TV page serves as a hub for streaming stations that offer live sports and events. The program guide mimics what you might see through a traditional cable or satellite set-top box, allowing you to browse through “channels” to see what’s on and what’s coming up later in the day or week. The content will not only include games but also sports documentaries, replays, and popular sports-related videos.
Another new feature is called carousels, which present videos with “richer and more cinematic imagery,” says Amazon. There are options like the “Top 10 chart,” for example, that lets you know what’s trending and what most others are watching (and loving). The “Super Carousel,” meanwhile, displays larger, poster-style artwork with featured titles so you know what’s an Amazon Original, for example, and what’s available exclusively through Amazon. Naturally, these such titles will be highlighted.
One of the, for lack of a better term, annoying, things about Amazon Prime Video is that while a base Prime subscription includes access to tons of amazing content, other content pops up in the menu only to be revealed as requiring a secondary add-on channel subscription in order to access it. With the redesign, content that requires an additional purchase will be marked with additional visual cues: if it’s included, you’ll see a blue checkmark. If it requires an add-on subscription or is only available to rent or buy, you’ll see a shopping bag icon. Under the “My Subscriptions” tab at the top of the Home menu, you can tap into all of the videos you can access with your Prime membership in a single, easy view.
Finally, there’s the new “Find” page that has been redesigned to make it easier for you to locate a specific title, for example, browse a specific genre or even a collection. As you type, search suggestions pop up so you can click into them more quickly. There’s the option to filter results by not only genre but also 4K UHD, again with the blue checkmark or shopping bag icon so you instantly know what’s available and what requires an additional fee.
Overall, the new Prime will feature richer, more immersive images, a new colour palette, and a less busy and overwhelming look, says Amazon.
Rolling out beginning this week to the Prime Video app on connected living room devices, including Fire TV and the Android app, the new UI will be available to all Amazon Prime Video customers worldwide this summer, with iOS and the Web interface to follow.