Amazon has a vastly improved user interface in the works for its Prime-branded video smartphone application but there's no deadline for the update yet, according to the head of Amazon Studios, Jen Salke. During the executive's talk at the Television Critics Association Summer 2018 Press Tour, Salke said she has been using the interface for quite some time via a device stored in her office. However, it is still mid-development and Salke is hesitant to put a timeframe on its release, saying only that it will be coming "soon." No information has been provided with regard to what changes will be included either as she only described the U.I. as very "cool" and "much much more intuitive." With that said, the head of Amazon Studios went on to say that the current version of the application has garnered considerable feedback from critics. She also indicated that she shares some of those views which ultimately prompted the company's reinvestment in a redesign of the interface.
Setting the vague prospects of a better application experience for Amazon Prime subscribers, Salke also may have inadvertently hinted at another attempt by the company to create its own smartphone. Although her comments were later clarified, the executive initially stated that the development team has been providing the new interface via a "prototype phone" that's in her office. The clarification means that the initial comment should be taken with a grain of salt at very least. With that said, it does raise speculations about whether or not Amazon just isn't ready to talk about a new prototype Amazon-branded smartphone that's in the pipeline. It's at least as likely that no new device is on the way, given the previously attempted device's shortcomings. Like the online retail giant's Fire-branded tablet, the handsets ran on a locked down variation of Android called 'Fire OS'. Those simply didn't take off like Fire tablets have, although the reasons for that are debatable and range from its walled-garden nature to a complete lack of Google Services – including Play Store for apps.
Regardless of whether a new device is incoming at some point in the near future, a new interface for the Amazon Prime Video app will almost certainly be welcomed by most users. Although there's no information about the changes themselves, there have been a few common threads in terms of complaints leveled against the app by users. Among the most frequently noted issues are unspecified glitches with playback and app crashes but users also complain that the search feature doesn't work as well as it could. Moreover, there's no easy way to find something to watch, according to some users, without using that search. Fixes for those types of issues could be a part of the update when it does finally begin to be rolled out.