Amazon Prime, iPhone App

Months after the debut of its iPad app, Amazon has now released a new version of its Prime Instant Video iOS app that’s been optimized to play on the iPhone.

The app itself serves up hundreds of videos available within Amazon Prime’s streaming video library as well as any rented or purchased videos from Amazon. You can also download those movies or TV shows to watch when you don’t have an Internet connection. It also has plenty of options to manage your personal video watchlist.

What you can’t do with the app is purchase or rent non-Prime videos. To do that you’ll need to visit Amazon’s website, make the purchase, and then head back into the app. Part of this is probably due to Apple’s 30 percent commission fee on all purchases made through an iOS app. Amazon understandably doesn’t want to give Apple a cut of its digital video sales.

The other thing you can’t do with the Amazon Prime Instant Video app is enable the Airplay feature on Apple TV. Basically, that means you cannot watch Amazon Prime videos on your television when playing them from your iPhone. That’s a huge letdown, because it really demonstrates how closed Apple really is when it comes to direct competitors — especially since Apple doesn’t have its own unlimited streaming video subscription service.

The app is available today for free in the App Store, but to access the Prime Instant Video library, you’ll need to have an Amazon Prime membership.