Farewell to Kindle book purchases in the Amazon app on Android
While I’m personally quite into the Google Play Books ecosystem for e-books and audiobooks, I can understand that there’s a much higher percentage of people who prefer Kindle and Audible for their content. Because Android is the dominant handheld operating system, it stands to reason that most of these same people also have a Samsung, Pixel, or other Android device and are used to buying their books through the app. Amazon.
Unfortunately, this will no longer be possible from June 1, 2022 – that’s in about a week! As you can see in the image below from Ars Technica, the Amazon app now shows users a “Changes to your app” message when they attempt to purchase a Kindle eBook.
Readers will no longer be able to purchase or rent Kindle books or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited through the Amazon app for Android; This change keeps the app in compliance with updated Google Play Store policies. You can always add to your library by buying or renting books from amazon.com from a web browser.
Google Play’s billing policies state that any app available through the Play Store must use it to process payments, not their own payment processing service. This has undoubtedly caused a lot of frustration among major app providers like Epic Games, Barnes & Noble and now Amazon, especially as Google Play is taking a 30% cut of in-app purchases!
Last month, Audible was no longer allowed to offer audiobook purchases or rentals either (you can still spend free vouchers in-app). For now, it looks like Amazon is playing ball, saying they’ve made the appropriate changes to make its apps conform to Google’s wishes, but I imagine it won’t.
Barnes & Noble actually had to end digital purchases on the 10″ Nook HD altogether due to this billing update since the Nook runs Android. Google says it has a strict policy in place against other payment processes to prevent users from getting confused with the Android user experience and to ensure there are no additional charges in the app. Basically, he wanted to limit the amount of communication a developer could do within their app in a billing sense, instead encouraging developers to communicate freely outside of the app for such things.
Have you ever purchased Kindle e-books or Audible audiobooks through the Amazon app on Android? Let me know in the comments what you think of the Play Store billing policy update and whether or not you agree with it. I can understand why Google is doing this, but I can also see where Apple has built a better setup encouraging the opposite.