Kindle users can no longer rent or buy books or pay for Kindle Unlimited subscriptions using the eReader’s Android app, Amazon told customers in an email Tuesday. Instead, people will have to pay for content on a web browser and then access the books through their app’s digital library.
Amazon said in the email that the change is necessary “to stay compliant with updated Google Play Store policies.”
Google clarified in 2020 that apps must use the Google Play billing system to charge for “in-app features and services”, which include digital content in addition to subscription services, upgraded versions of a free app and cloud services such as data storage. The billing system is not used for the sale of physical items such as groceries and clothing in apps or for peer-to-peer payments or purchases made in game apps.
Google is taking a 15% transaction cut on its Play Store billing system. The fee was in January.
The deadline for complying with the policy is Wednesday, when Google announced it would remove non-compliant apps from the Google Play Store. Amazon has already implemented the change in version 8.58 of the Kindle app for Android, with the app displaying a notification that in-app purchases and rentals are unavailable.
The company also reportedly disabled in-app purchases on its Audible and Music apps, in addition to removing digital purchase features on its Shopping and Prime Video apps.
iPhone users are already familiar with this arrangement for the Kindle app, as Applein their iOS apps that allowed people to make purchases in 2011, even though the links redirected to a website.