Here’s why Amazon won’t let you buy books on the Kindle app for Android anymore


Amazon told customers on Tuesday that they can no longer rent or buy books or pay for Kindle Unlimited subscriptions using the Kindle app. In an email, the company explained that users will need to pay for digital content on a web browser and then access the books through their app’s digital library.

The change was necessary “to stay compliant with updated Google Play Store policies,” Amazon said in the email.

Screenshot of a notification that says in part:

The Kindle app for Android displays this message when users click a link that says “Why can’t I buy on the app?”.


The notification was sent one day before the deadline set by Google to comply with the policy. The Android maker said in 2020 that apps must use the Google Play billing system 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 like data storage. The company then gave app developers until June 1, 2022 to comply.

Google is taking a 15% transaction cut on its Play Store billing system. The fee was cut by 30% in January. The billing system is not used for the sale of physical items such as groceries and clothing or for peer-to-peer payments or gambling that takes place on apps.

Google said it will remove non-compliant apps from the Play Store starting Wednesday. Amazon implemented the change in version 8.58 of the Kindle app for Android. The app show a notification that in-app purchases and rentals are not available.

The company would also in-app purchases disabled on its Audible and Music apps, in addition to removing digital shopping features on its Shopping and Prime Video apps.

iPhone users are already familiar with this arrangement for the Kindle app. Apple forces e-reader makers to remove links in their iOS apps that allowed people to make purchases in 2011, even though the links redirected to a website.


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