Amazon confirmed the customer notification to CNET. The company said in the email the change is necessary “to remain in compliance with updated Google Play Store policies.” Screenshot of a notification that says in part, “To remain in compliance with Google’s updated Play Store policies, readers will no longer be able to buy or rent Kindle books or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited through this app.” The Kindle app for Android displays this message when users click on a link saying, “Why can’t I buy on the app?.”
Starting on Wednesday, Google aims to remove applications that don’t utilise its Play Store billing system for many in-app transactions. In January, Google reduced the proportion it receives from app download and in-app purchase costs from 30% to 15%. According to an email issued to Kindle customers on Tuesday, users can’t rent or buy books or pay for Kindle Unlimited subscriptions using the e-Android reader’s app. People will instead have to pay for material using a web browser and then read the books through their app’s digital library.
The deadline for complying with the policy is Wednesday, at which point Google said it will remove non-compliant apps 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 aren’t available. iPhone users are already familiar with this arrangement, as Apple required e-reader makers to remove links in their iOS apps that enabled people to make purchases in 2011, even if the links redirected to a website.
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 like data storage. The billing system isn’t used for the sale of physical objects like groceries and clothes in apps or for peer-to-peer payments or purchases made in gambling apps. Google takes a 15% cut of transactions on its Play Store billing system. The fee was cut from 30% in January.
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