Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Amazon interface change makes NOT subscribing harder

There was an article last week that I haven't addressed. It talks about a change that Amazon made to the Fire TV interface, and the author wasn't happy about it.

The change is a small one, but it can indeed cause issues. AFTV News reports that Amazon changed the default button to download an app to instead download and subscribe. That is a small, but critical change.

When searching to install select apps, such as Paramount+, Apple TV, Philo, Starz, and others on a Fire TV, the default option is no longer to simply download the free app, as it has been for the last 10 years. Instead, the default option has now changed to both download the app and simultaneously subscribe to the service.

These automatic subscriptions are processed through Amazon, so, even if you’re already subscribed to one of these affected streaming services directly, you may find yourself double-subscribing when all you intended to do was download the free app and log in with an existing subscription. The option to "Download app only," which used to be the default option for all apps, is now the third button in on an app’s download screen.

What’s worse is if the streaming service offers a free trial before the paid subscription automatically payment begins, the icon displayed to both simultaneously subscribe and download the app is the same cloud-download icon used for apps you’ve already downloaded in the past.

It is true that reading the screen would allow the user to know that they were subscribing, but for people that have used the interface for years, changing the functionality the way they did could indeed cause. Think about it. Have you used a streaming device for years? Many times long-time users will automatically go through the motions of performing a series of steps without even looking. They're familiar with it. Then it is changed. Well, that's what happened.

My Streaming Life doesn't usually involve Fire TV devices. Yes, I have Fire TV devices, but I rarely use them. I don't really like the Amazon interface. Now I like it even less.

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