The flagship Amazon Kindle app for Android no longer supports the purchasing of Kindle books. It was originally supposed to happen on June 1st, 2022, but Amazon pushed out a new update to the app today, version 8.58 and when you open the app, it says it will no longer supports the buying of new content. This change is to remain in compliance with the new Google Play Store policies. Amazon is letting customers know that you can add books to your Wishlist and then buy the ebooks on an internet browser and send books directly to the Kindle app. However, if you have purchased ebooks in the past, they will continue to be in your library.
Good e-Reader originally broke this story in early May and everyone thought that this would never happen. We had heard from numerous contacts within Amazon that they were planning on disabling in-app purchases in all of their apps in June. The first app to lose all purchasing functionality was Kindle Shopping for Android, as of a few weeks ago. You could just buy hardcovers or paperback novels, or mass market paperbacks. I bet it was really surprising to millions of people today, when the Kindle app was updated and users were greeted by a big popup saying that the purchasing of digital content was no longer supported. The Store entry at the bottom of the navigation bar has also disappeared.
No Amazon branded app for Android lets users purchase audiobooks or ebooks anymore. Audible disabled in-app purchases about a month ago, so you can no longer buy audiobooks directly, however you can still use credits or take out a subscription. Barnes and Noble quickly followed suit and disabled in-app transactions for audiobooks and ebooks. Why is this happening? Why has Amazon done this? It is primarily attributed to Google now enforcing their own billing policy. They are now forcing app developers to use the Google Billing system for all in-app transactions and they will take a 30% cut out of anyone making more than one million dollars a year, which Amazon certainly qualifies. Digital books have a small profit margin and paying 30% does not have financial sense and Amazon would lose money for each ebook sold.
What can you do to continue buying ebooks on Android? Instead of downloading the app through Google Play, download the Kindle app from the Samsung App Store, which has a different billing system. You can also download the Amazon App Store and download the Kindle or Audible app, since Amazon handles all of the billing.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.