Amazon has decided to remove book purchases from its official Android app, in response to upcoming changes to the Play Store, which will force Google to pay for each micropurchase.
The controversy of payments in app stores continues. While Apple and Google continue to fight to maintain control (and the percentages they take for each purchase), justice in countries like South Korea and the Netherlands, and future legislation in the EU, may force these giants to implement methods of alternative payment.
But in the meantime, Google wants to make sure everyone jumps through its hoop. Starting June 1, all apps available in the Play Store will have to use the Google platform for any payment. Technically, this rule is not new, but until now Google had been permissive with some apps, such as Amazon’s, which allows direct purchases without going through Google Pay.
As of June 1, that will change, and apps that still allow payments will be removed from the Play Store, the store that comes by default on the vast majority of Android phones.
Instead of implementing Google payments in its app, Amazon has preferred to eliminate them completely. It started with Audible audiobooks, and now it’s no longer possible to buy Kindle books using the Amazon app. It’s not clear if other products will be affected; physical books are still available and we can buy them as usual, using the Amazon platform.
On the other hand, if we try to buy an electronic book from the Amazon app, we will not see the purchase button, being replaced by a message that says “purchase on amazon.es”, indicating that we must open a browser and enter the official page to buy the book. Additionally, Amazon has included a link to the question “Why can’t I purchase in-app?”, which opens a pop-up explaining that Amazon has made the decision “to comply with Google Play Store policies.”
At the time of this writing, the Kindle app hasn’t been changed yet, and it’s still possible to buy books using Amazon’s payment platform, but presumably it will also undergo the same changes.