Amazon’s line of Fire tablets are some of the best value in tech today. From the $50 Amazon Fire 7, which is one of the cheapest usable tablets you can buy today, to the $80 Amazon Fire HD 8 that includes a larger, sharper display and better speakers, all the way to the brand-new Fire HD 10 that gives you a full HD display and great performance for just $150, there’s a tablet that’s right for you and your budget. And if you wait for one of Amazon’s exclusive sales, you’ll gain access to even better deals, often lowering the price of the Fire 7 to just $30 and even offering the larger Fire HD 10 at a record-low of just $100 with Amazon’s promoted offers on the lock screen. Basically, if you want a cheap tablet, Amazon is your go to brand. With a custom version of Android designed around consuming media and the ability to add the Google Play Store, it’s easy to gain access to all your favorite apps in one place.
While other tablets, like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Tab S-series, try to pull double-duty as devices for both media consumption and media creation, Amazon’s tablets make it clear that they want you to watch, read, and listen to as much media as you can. Whether you’re looking for something to read eBooks on, watch Netflix or YouTube, stream music from Spotify or Amazon Music, or just to browse the web and check the news, the Fire line of tablets is perfect for you. Although the Fire tablets don’t have any sort of built-in cellular technology, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your movies on the go. There are plenty of options within Fire OS that allow you to download your favorite movies to your tablet for watching in offline mode. Whether you want to save a movie purchased through Amazon or iTunes, or you’re looking to download your favorite streaming films from Netflix, there are plenty of options for you on your Fire device. Let’s take a look at saving your favorite movies.
Downloading Movies Purchased Through Amazon
Amazon is one of the leading marketplaces for both movie rentals and movie purchases, and considering that Amazon often has sales on digital purchases, it makes sense to grab your favorite movies for offline viewing when you’re on the move or can’t stream over the internet. Thanks to Amazon’s own interface that allows you to browse through both your library and recommended videos right from your home screen, it’s easy to save your favorite content to your Fire tablet to watch movies on the go. Here’s how it works.
First, as with everything on the Fire, you’ll want to make sure you’re signed into your Amazon account. This will ensure that you can easily purchase movies through Amazon without having to continuously re-enter your account information into your tablet. Once you’re signed in, return to the home screen and swipe along the main interface until you reach the Video tab on your home screen. If you’re a prime subscriber, you’ll likely see this list populated with Prime-ready content, including original Amazon shows and films, and some of their exclusive HBO content. If you already have purchases in your library, you can tap on the library icon in the top-right corner of the display to load your full list of movies and TV shows. Otherwise, tap on the Store icon to open the proper Amazon Instant Video store. You can browse both streaming and non-streaming movies here, and choose content to purchase on your device.
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you’ll want to jump to the Rent or Buy tab to browse through movies and TV shows listed here. You’ll find a list of recommended categories, along with movies on sale and new releases. If you’re looking for a proper film, you can use the search function to look for it automatically. Once you’ve found the film, you’ll see options to either purchase or rent the content on your device. It will be automatically added to your device, and you’ll be able to view the movie in your library.
Inside the library tab on your device, you’ll see a full list of your purchased and rented movies, along with a list of your TV shows in a separate tab. Select the movie you wish to download, and it will open the information page for your movie. If you own the movie, you’ll see a display that alerts that you’ve purchased the film, along with a “Watch Now” option and a “Download” option. Tapping on the “Watch Now” option will stream the movie to your device; tapping on “Download” will download the film to your Fire device for offline viewing.
If you rented the film, you’ll see the same two buttons to download or stream your video, but instead of displaying an alert that you’ve purchased the film, you’ll see a message showing the amount of days you have left to start watching the video. Each rental from Amazon must be watched in 30 days; once the film has started, you’ll have access to finish it for 48 hours. Even if the film is downloaded to your tablet, it will expire following the allotted amount of time.
Finally, we should note that purchased television shows can also be downloaded to your device, though you’ll have to load the series and scroll to the season episode list to download each show. Unlike movies, the download button for television shows is listed next to each episode title, as a small download icon on the right side of the screen. Each episode must be downloaded separately, though it’s fairly easy to add multiple downloads to your queue in just a few seconds.
Downloading Movies and Shows Streaming on Amazon Prime
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you probably already know that Amazon has a wide variety of content available streaming with your subscription. Original television shows like The Tick, or movies like Manchester by the Sea are available to watch and funded or owned by Amazon, but there’s also a wide selection of films and TV shows not originally produced with Amazon that you can stream with your subscription. HBO has a wide collection of their old content available on Amazon, for example, and you can catch up on older seasons of shows like Doctor Who for free as long as you’re a paying Prime member. Most if not all of this content can be downloaded to your Fire tablet, making it easy to watch your favorite movies and TV shows while on the move and not connected to the internet.
As described above, go to the video tab on your device’s home screen and tap on the store icon. This will load the full store interface, with both streaming shows and movies along with rentals and new releases. To view the full collection of Prime content, tab the “Included with Prime” tab in the middle of your display. You’ll be able to view the full list of both movies and television shows available for Prime streaming. There are dozens of categories listed in Amazon Prime, with everything available from recommended movies to original series made for Prime members exclusively, but nearly everything can be downloaded straight to your device. Find your selected movie and tap on the icon to view the information page for the film.
From here, you’ll see the same display described above for rentals and purchased films, but instead of displaying the rental or purchased message, you’ll see a Prime logo along with “Included with Prime.” Below this are the standard buttons for “Watch Now,” which streams the content to your device, and “Download,” which stores the movie offline on your device. And like with your purchased TV shows, you can download episodes of select Prime shows just by tapping on the download icon next to each episode name.
Of course, there are some limitations to downloading Prime episodes on your tablet. For one, not every Prime title can be downloaded. Only certain Prime titles are available to download automatically, which means some movies or shows may not display the Download icon. There’s no ultimate list for what content is and isn’t able to be downloaded; you’ll have to download content on a case-by-case basis. You should also note that only paid Prime members can download Prime content; Amazon Household members can stream Prime shows or movies, but won’t be able to download those titles to their devices. Finally, there are some limits to downloading Prime content on your account:
- Available titles can only be downloaded to two compatible devices at once. This means if you have a smartphone and two separate tablets, only two of those devices can hold that downloaded content at once.
- Depend on your location, downloaded Prime content is limited to 15 or 25 titles at once.
- Amazon says on their support site that downloaded videos stay on your device for thirty days, and must be finished after 48 hours of starting the movie, similar to a rental. It’s unclear if Amazon’s site is talking about actual rentals, or is actually discussing Prime content downloaded to your device. Therefore, there may be some amount of time limits when downloading Prime content, similar to a rental.
Overall, you’ll find that the download options for Prime content are flexible enough to work well for most streaming content online, though it isn’t as widely available as if you were to rent or purchase a movie through Amazon’s own marketplace. Finally, we should mention you can adjust the storage settings for your download (between your internal storage and your external micro SD cards) in your settings menu under “Storage.”
Downloading Movies Purchased Through iTunes
A year ago, the idea of watching movies purchased through iTunes or other digital platforms (like Google Play) on your Amazon Fire tablet was ridiculous. There’s no such thing as an iTunes application for your Fire tablet, after all, and most tech companies like to keep their entertainment locked into single platforms in order to keep you in their ecosystem. But in October 2017, Disney partnered with nearly every media studio and movie rental companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Vudu to make it easier than ever to share your movies between platforms.
Dubbed Movies Anywhere, and based on the original Disney Movies Anywhere platform the media giant has been using for years, the service allows you to sync your library between Amazon, Google, Apple, and Vudu to keep all your movies together in a digital locker that is shared between platforms. So long as your film collection is made up of movies from partnered studios (which includes every big name outside of Paramount, who are considering joining the platform), signing up for a Movies Anywhere account will allow your films to sync between devices.
Head over to the Movies Anywhere site and create an account. Once your account is activated, you’ll be asked to sync as many of your media accounts as you can. To sync your iTunes library into your Amazon account, simply log into both platforms with your username and password, and you’ll see your library synced between both accounts. This means, for example, if you previously purchased movies on both iTunes and Amazon, you’ll see those films populate both within your iTunes account and within your Amazon account. You can sync all four accounts to make sure your cross-platform library appears between devices, so if you’ve purchased movies from every corner of the internet, you can finally view them in one place.
Once you’ve synced your library, you can either download the Movies Anywhere app on your tablet, or you can simply use the library option in your Videos tab to download your films for offline viewing. Because your synced library will appear as Amazon content, just follow the same steps provided above to download your movies for offline viewing. They’ll appear in the “Library” portion of your videos tab on the home screen, and can be saved indefinitely on your device.
Downloading Movies Streaming on Netflix
Finally, any Netflix user can also use the Netflix app to download select movies and TV shows from the Netflix app to your Fire tablet for offline viewing. Not every movie or show on Netflix works properly or is able to be downloaded for offline viewing on Netflix, and there are some limitations, but for the most part, anyone looking to watch content streaming on Netflix wherever they go, without using up their data plan, can do so with their Fire tablet.
If you haven’t already, you’ll have to dive into the Amazon Appstore to download Netflix and log in with your account. You’ll have to download the app to your device from the Appstore, and once you’re signed in, select the proper account or profile associated with your own Netflix list and settings. To download content from Netflix to your Fire tablet, simply search to find the content you wish to download and load the show or movie page on your device. Like with Amazon Prime, not everything is able to be downloaded on your device, and you may find movies or shows that simply can’t be downloaded. In our experience, almost every Netflix Original can be downloaded and stored, as can a wide variety of third-party content like The Boss Baby or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. TV shows like Riverdale can be downloaded as well, but some shows like Gilmore Girls or Shameless cannot be downloaded on your device. Likewise, Disney movies like Incredibles 2 or Lilo and Stitch cannot be downloaded either, even though their Dreamworks competition allows it.
Overall, you’ll have to take everything on a case-by-case basis when streaming on Netflix. If the option is there, you’ll either see the Download icon appear next to the option to add the film to your list and to rate the content, or you’ll see the icon appear next to each episode title for a television series. You can find your downloaded series by tapping on the menu button in the upper-left hand corner and tapping on the “My Downloads” option from this list. The list of downloaded media will display the size of the download, and you can select items to remove using the icon on the top of the page. Finally, you can adjust your downloading settings by scrolling all the way to the bottom of this list and tapping on the “App Settings” option. From there, you can change your download video quality, the download location (with the choice between internal storage or using your micro SD card), and of course, you can remove all downloads from your device.
As with Amazon Prime, there are some limits on what you can do with downloading content to your devices. Certain movies expire after a certain amount of time being downloaded to your device, and like with Amazon Prime, some films or episodes of television will expire 48 hours after you’ve started watching them. You can renew and redownload these titles, but some titles can only be downloaded or renewed a certain amount of times before you’re locked out of downloading that content. The download limits depend on the studio and distributor behind the film or show, and each limit is set on a case by case basis. You’ll receive a warning from Netflix before you hit your final download count, along with a date for that specific title.
Whether you choose to pick up the Fire 7 at its bargain price of just $50, or you choose to upgrade to the Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10, you’re in for a great experience watching your favorite movies and televisions shows both streaming and offline. While some movie services—most notably Hulu—have yet to add offline viewing to their apps, any rented or purchased content within Amazon can be saved right to your device’s storage. Likewise, plenty of shows and movies streaming on both Amazon Prime and Netflix can be saved to your device for offline viewing, though they each come with their own fair share of restrictions. And finally, thanks to the brand new Movies Anywhere service, you can watch your purchased iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Ultraviolet content downloaded directly on your Fire tablet. If you plan on purchasing a new Fire tablet for the holidays, you’ll be happy to know your favorite content can go with you no matter where you go.