Readers will no longer be able to buy or rent Kindle books or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited through the Amazon app for Android; this change keeps the app in compliance with Google’s updated Play Store policies. You can always add to your library by buying or renting books through amazon.com from a web browser. Google Play billing policies state that any app available through the Play Store must utilize it to process payments, and not their own payment processing service. This has undoubtedly caused lots of frustration with major app providers like Epic Games, Barnes & Noble and now Amazon, especially as Google Play takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases!
While I’m a big fan of the Google Play Books ecosystem for eBooks and audiobooks, I appreciate that a great number of people prefer Kindle and Audible. Because Android is the most popular handheld operating system, it’s safe to assume that the majority of those people own a Samsung, Pixel, or other Android smartphone and are used to buying books through the Amazon app. Unfortunately, as of June 1, 2022 – little over a week away – this will no longer be available. When customers try to purchase a Kindle eBook, the Amazon app now displays a “Changes to your app” notification, as shown in the screenshot below from Ars Technica.
Last month, Audible was no longer allowed to offer audiobook purchases or rentals either (you can still spend free purchase vouchers in the app though). For now, it looks like Amazon is playing ball, stating that they’ve made the appropriate changes to keep its apps in line with Google’s wishes, but I imagine it won’t take this lying down.
Did you ever buy Kindle eBooks or Audible audiobooks through the Amazon app on Android? Let me know in the comments what you think about 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 by encouraging the opposite.
Barnes & Noble actually had to completely end digital purchases on the Nook HD 10″ due to this billing update since the Nook runs Android. Google claims that it has implemented a strict policy against other payment processes to keep users from getting confused with the Android user experience and so that there are no additional charges in the app. Basically, it wanted to limit the amount of communication a developer could do within their app in a billing sense, instead encouraging devs to communicate freely outside of the app for such things.