Amazon just took a giant swipe at Netflix with offline viewing

Downloading is a real differentiator for Amazon's streaming service

Up to now Amazon Prime Instant Video has been a pretty decent subscription streaming service, but most definitely behind rival, Netflix. That could be set to change though as Amazon has just announced its new, free download feature.

This might be a real game-changer in the streaming wars.

From today, Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to download TV shows and movies to their iOS or Android devices and watch them even without an internet connection. That makes Amazon Prime the first subscription video service to offer the ability to download directly to a device for watching later.

Amazon Prime really is becoming a stupidly good-value subscription...

Are you watching, Netflix?

Not all of Amazon Prime's video content is available for download though, but Amazon Originals, like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, will be. As will Amazon streaming exclusives, The Walking Dead and Vikings.

You can check out the list of downloadable goodies here.

"We are proud to be the first and only online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing," said Jay Marine, Vice President of Digital Video at Amazon EU, "on holiday, in a car, at the beach, on a plane, wherever our Prime members want to watch they can, regardless of internet connection."

As part of this latest upgrade Amazon has updated its iOS and Android apps, with the Android version now being a dedicated video application.

It's a bit of a shame Amazon has missed the Summer holiday period, but the new feature finally makes the Prime Instant Video service really stand out against the likes of Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go.

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Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.