How to purchase digital content in Amazon apps on Android

Amazon removed payment options for digital content from its apps on Android in May 2022, forcing customers to find other ways to acquire ebooks, music, films, and TV shows. While it’s still possible to use the Amazon Shopping app to buy physical items like you always could, you can no longer use any of the company’s apps from the Google Play Store to get digital goods. Thankfully, there are ways to work around this, and there’s even an option to get this functionality back into the apps.

Why Amazon removed payment options for digital goods from its Android apps

Amazon’s Android apps are available through the Google Play Store, which is subject to a number of rules. Among them is a policy that forces developers distributing their apps on the Play Store to use Google’s payment methods only, at least if they want to sell in-app subscriptions or other digital goods. For a long time, Google hadn’t enforced this rule for digital goods, particularly to the benefit of big companies like Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, and more. Now, the search behemoth is cracking down on the practice, though. Starting June 1, 2022, all developers are prohibited from selling digital content using their own payment methods when they want to distribute their apps through the Play Store, without any exceptions.

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Amazon could have opted to switch over to Google’s payment methods, but the company’s payment processing comes with an extra fee that can go all the way up to 30% of the cost of a purchase. Rather than sharing its revenue with Google (and potentially raise prices for customers), Amazon has opted to stop using its apps to sell digital goods altogether. This means that you can’t buy ebooks or digital MP3 music from the Amazon Shopping app anymore, but the implications are reaching further. Amazon also removed its digital stores from Kindle, Prime Video, Audible, and Amazon Music on Android, essentially demoting them to content consumption apps only.

How to bring back the option to purchase digital content to Amazon apps on Android

Due to the open nature of Android, nobody can stop you from installing another app store next to the Play Store on your phone, and this is something that Amazon leverages. It offers its own Amazon App Store as an alternative to the Play Store, and in it, it distributes versions of its apps that still come with the full store functionality. Here’s how to get started with it:


  1. Uninstall the Amazon apps you currently have installed on your phone, like Kindle, Audible, Amazon Shopping, Prime Video, and Amazon Music. Your library is backed up to the cloud, so don’t worry about losing any of your purchases.
  2. Download the Amazon App Store from its website.
  3. When your browser warns you that the file might be harmful, select Download anyway.
  4. Open the file from your notification shade.
  5. A message might pop up, saying that your browser isn’t allowed to install apps from unknown sources. Tap the Settings option and enable Allow app installs from the next screen.
  6. You can then hit the Install button and then Open once it’s done.
  7. Log in with your Amazon account via the Already an Amazon customer? Sign In button.
  8. Use the search field at the top of the app to find the Amazon apps you want to use and install them again.
  9. A prompt will appear asking you to allow Amazon to install apps on your phone. Follow the instructions to get started with installing the first app.


While it’s handy to get Amazon’s digital stores back in its Android apps, you need to keep in mind that this solution might come at the expense of just a bit of your precious battery life. The Amazon App Store essentially offers the same functionality as the Play Store, so it also constantly runs in the background on the lookout for app updates. To keep your Amazon apps up to date, you need to keep the Amazon App Store installed.

There is also the caveat that the Amazon Shopping app isn’t available through the Amazon App Store. This means there is no way back for the Shopping app, which you can only get from the Play Store — you will have to do without purchasing digital goods through it. At least you can still use it for regular physical purchases like you always could.


How to use your browser to purchase digital content from Amazon

If you prefer not to install the Amazon App Store, you will need to use the browser on your Android phone to purchase digital products from the shopping giant. To do that, simply visit amazon.com, log in to your account, and look for whatever content you’re interested in using the on-site search. Once you’ve acquired your ebook, audiobook, music clip, or film from the website, head to the respective Amazon app to enjoy your new purchase. It will automatically show up there after a short moment.

If you’d like a direct link to the various dedicated Amazon stores, here’s what you need to visit:


Amazon Music is available under amazon.com/music, but here, you won’t find the dedicated MP3 store; Instead, it’s just a landing page for the Amazon Music subscription.

How to access content available to you as part of a subscription

If you rarely purchase books, audiobooks, or films and movies because you have a subscription for the relevant platform, not too much should have changed for you. TV shows and movies available to you via your Amazon Prime subscription will still be visible and accessible right in the Prime Video app. The same goes for Kindle Unlimited, the Audible subscription, and the Amazon Music service.

In fact, the Prime Video app from the Play Store has arguably gotten better now that purchase options have been removed from it. When searching for things to watch using the search function in the app, you won’t come across paid content anymore — everything you will see in the Play Store version of the app is content included with the Amazon Prime subscription.


While you may not love that you have to dig deeper to purchase content, it’s easy enough to work around the limitation of the Play Store versions of the Amazon apps by just getting the Amazon App Store. And let’s face it — the removal of the store functionality might actually be good for your wallet, as you might be more likely to finish the books and films you’ve already purchased and that are available in the app rather than going out of the way to buy new content in your browser.


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