Amazon Instant Video app now offers free, ad-supported TV episodes, new HBO shows

Amazon Instant Video

Apple today released an updated version of its Amazon Instant Video app for iOS with free TV show episodes that include in-video advertising, new HBO content and improved playback controls.

According to the app description, Amazon Instant Video users will be able to stream the first episode of selected TV shows for free, including classic shows such as 21 Jump Street, Eight is Enough and others. These free videos will feature advertisements before and during playback.

Many of these free episodes are part of Amazon's Prime Instant Video catalog, which means Prime subscribers won't have to watch the video ads. Advertisements will be shown to non-Prime subscribers and in TV shows that are not part of the Prime video service. The free first episodes are already available on Kindle Fire devices and the Roku, but this is the first time ad-supported content from Amazon is available on iOS.

Besides the free TV shows, Amazon also added new content from HBO that debuted online last month. The list of HBO titles includes The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, select mini-series such as Band of Brothers and comedy specials featuring well-know comedians like Lewis Black and Bill Maher. Additional HBO shows will be made available three years after their original airing date.

Last but not least, the updated Amazon Instant Video app offers new video playback controls with 0-second skip and "Next Episode" buttons to improve the streaming experience.

iOS device owners can download the Instant Video app from the App Store for free.