Content-based Apps Like Kindle, Google Books Updated To Comply With Apple’s In-App Subscription Policy

News | Wednesday July 20 2011 2:59 AM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back in February,
, which allowed publishers of content-based
to sell subscriptions for content such as magazines, newspapers, music and video to users using the App Store billing system.
However, at that time Apple also updated its App Review Guidelines, which required publishers to make the same in-app subscription offer as the one made outside the app.
This did not go down too well with publishers as Apple takes a 30% cut of the revenue when a user buys subscriptions inside the app, which would be on top of the revenue it needs to pay content providers.
After facing a lot of criticism for its policy,
. The change in policy meant that publishers could offer content at whatever price they wanted. It was also no longer mandatory for them to offer subscriptions via in-app purchase because they offer paid subscriptions outside the app as long as they don’t point users to external purchasing mechanisms. So they had to remove the direct content sales link from their iOS apps to comply with the change in policy.
In the last week of June, prominent content based app developers like
on their website from their app to comply with the policy before the June 30th deadline.
However, since companies like Amazon, Netflix etc. didn’t release an update to their app before the June 30th deadline, we wondered
or any of these companies will remove their apps from the App Store to protest against Apple ‘s policy.
Thankfully nothing dramatic has happened.
reports that content-based apps such as Wall Street Journal, Kindle, Google Books, Nook, Kobo’s app etc. have recently released an update for their apps to remove the direct content sales link from their iOS apps to comply with Apple ‘s policy. As you can see from the screenshot below, the latest Amazon’s Kindle app no longer sports the Kindle Store button.
Though it’s not a big deal as users will figure out that they need to buy content using mobile Safari, it seems to already cause usability issues. Andrew Watters of ReadWriteWeb reports:
The changes are causing some usability issues. Martin Taylor from ActivityPress reports that books he’d purchased via the Safari mobile browser would not open in the Kobo app. Instead, he was prompted to open the newly downloaded file with either the Bluefire or OverDrive apps, both of which handle DRM-restricted content.
The major booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble might not suffer from these changes or from new usability issues. Customers are likely accustomed to using the Web to buy content from them already and the Kindle does allow users to download content wirelessly regardless of where they purchase the e-book. But these usability issues might be a bigger problem for a company like Kobo.
As Andrew points out, if you want to avoid the usability issues, you have the option to avoid updating the app to the new version.
What do you think? Please share your views in the comments below.
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