Amazon Video is increasingly a better alternative to Netflix, especially if you want to be able to download shows and watch them without an internet connection. Previously you could do this only on Amazon’s tablets and phone, but these days you can use an Android phone or tablet, or an iPhone or iPad. (See also how to watch Amazon Prime videos offline.)

Android users have to jump through a few extra hoops, though, and here we’ll explain what you need to do to get the Amazon Video app and start watching.

How to watch Amazon Prime on Android

You won’t find the app in the Play store. Instead, open a web browser and head to Amazon's website where you can install the Underground app. This gives you access to ‘truly free’ apps and games on Android with no-in app purchases. You may have to change a setting to allow your phone to download apps from unknown sources, but Amazon Underground is safe, so just remember to change the setting back to known sources afterwards.

The confusing part comes from being able to access Amazon Video from within the Underground app (below, left). However, while you can stream videos, you won’t be able to download them. For a better experience, including the ability to keep track of what you've watched and your watchlist, we recommend installing the app.

How to watch Amazon Video on Android

Launch the Amazon Underground app and use the magnifying glass icon at the top to search for Amazon Video (above, middle). Tap on the app in the list of results and install it.

If you were already signed into your Amazon account in the Underground app, you won’t have to sign in again when you launch Amazon Video. But otherwise, you will.

Obviously, you’ll need an Amazon Prime account (or a Prime Instant Video subscription at least) in order to watch TV shows and films included as part of the service. If not, you can try it free for a month.

The app is easy to use and indicates which videos are included in your subscription with a Prime banner across the top-left corner of the video’s thumbnail image (below, left).

How to watch Amazon Video on Android

If you tap on a video that’s not included, you’ll see prices to buy or rent it (above, middle)

When you want to download a video for watching later offline, look for one with an arrow pointing downwards to the left of the play button. Many can be downloaded but not all. All of Amazon’s original content can be downloaded.

Tap Download options to choose the default quality, from Good, Better or Best. Better and Best take up more storage space and take longer to download, but go for one of these if you have a high-resolution screen, or you’re watching on a tablet.

How to watch Amazon Video on Android