Here’s why Amazon will no longer let you buy books on the Kindle app for Android

Amazon let customers know 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 people should pay for the digital content in a web browser and then access the books through their apps digital library.

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

Screenshot of a notification that partially states "To remain consistent with Google's updated Play Store policies, readers will no longer be able to purchase 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 that says, “Why can’t I purchase the app?”


The announcement came a day before a deadline set by Google to comply with the policy. The Android maker said in 2020 that apps should use Google Play’s 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 company later allowed app developers until June 1, 2022 to comply.

Google reduces transactions by 15% on its Play Store billing system. The fee was cut from 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 incompatible apps from the Play Store starting Wednesday. Amazon implemented the change in version 8.58 of the Kindle app for Android. The app displays a notification that purchases and rentals in the app are not available.

The company has 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. Apple required e-reader manufacturers to remove links in their iOS apps that allowed people to make purchases in 2011 even though the links were redirected to a site.