Kindle Android App No Longer Offer Book, Music Purchases

Amazon’s Kindle app on Android is much more complicated now than it was before.

The popular e-commerce company recently emailed users that they can no longer use the e-reader’s Android app to rent or buy ebooks, and pay for Kindle Unlimited subscriptions and music through Audible, per CNET.

The rental or buying of ebooks, as well as the purchase of Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, was previously done directly through in-app purchases.

Kindle In-App Purchase Removal Details

According to an email from Amazon, the change was necessary to “remain in compliance with updated Google Play Store policies,” which require apps to use the Google Play billing system to charge for “in-app features and services.”

Amazon was one of the companies that Google allowed to use their own third-party billing system to collect in-app payments, Engadget said in its article. However, instead of giving Google a cut for every ebook it sells on its Android app, Amazon removed purchases altogether.

The search giant takes a 15% cut from transactions using its PlayStore billing system.

Google’s updated policy covers digital content, subscription services, upgraded versions of a free app, and cloud services like data storage. Meanwhile, orders involving the sale of physical objects like groceries and clothes in apps or peer-to-peer payments or purchases made by gambling apps aren’t covered by the updated rule.

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Apps that do not comply with Google’s updated Play Store rule will be removed from the PlayStore.

Amazon did the same with its Kindle iOS app earlier in May, wherein the company removed the app’s ability to offer in-app purchases to avoid giving Apple a cut of its in-app payments for ebooks and other digital content, such as music, and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, per The Verge.

To create a workaround for iOS users, Amazon will direct customers to Amazon’s iOS app and go back to the browser, navigate to Amazon, and buy the content they wish to have using that route.

For Android users, Amazon seems to have taken a similar but shorter route. Instead of directing customers to its Android app, customers will have to pay for content on a web browser and then, access the books through Kindle’s digital library.

The whole process is tedious and frustrating, to say the least.

Kindle In-App Purchases Might Still Come Back Soon

Amazon is not alone in its removal of in-app purchases to avoid paying a cut to Google. Barnes and Noble removed direct purchasing for the Android version of its Nook app.

However, there is hope for the feature to return to Kindle as Google partnered with Spotify to test its third-party billing systems, which could be due to Google’s legal battle with Epic Games.

It is unclear if Amazon will soon be a part of this new third-party billing system.

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