Google Play Store policy change means you can't buy Audible or Barnes & Nobl...
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Google Play Store policy change means you can't buy Audible or Barnes & Noble books on Android
Published 7 hours ago
Might have to rekindle your relationship with Kindle
Whether you're looking for the latest bestsellers or a classic work of literature, there's an ebook or audiobook out there for you, readily available via apps on most devices — and best of all, they are often less expensive than their physical counterparts. If your preferred method of building a digital library relies on Barnes & Noble's app or Amazon's Audible, however, looks like a change in Google Play policies is about to make it just a little less convenient to grab the latest bestseller next time you're browsing B&N's online bookstore.
As noted by The Verge, a Google Play policy change taking effect next week will mean Barnes & Noble's Android app users will no longer be able to purchase books using the in-app payment system. Amazon doesn't get away unscathed — you can't buy titles in the latest Android version of the Audible app, either. The reason behind this change is Google's requirement that all apps use its billing system, partly due to taxes on some app store purchases. The thing is, it's no secret that Google has been planning on these changes regarding in-app purchases since September 2020. B&N and Audible just waited too long, even though Google gave retailers extended time to get ready.
Here's how it will affect users, according to a page on Barnes & Noble's website: "As of April 4, 2022, with the release of Nook Software Version 6.1, the ability to purchase has been removed from the Barnes & Noble Nook app for Android and the Nook HD 10” Designed with Lenovo (...) Digital content purchases can be made on BN.com using the account registered to your NOOK account, which will then sync to your Library. Additionally, you can add books to your Wishlist from the app, which will sync with your Wishlist on BN.com so you can remember and purchase your favorites easily."
With Audible, the situation is pretty much the same, however, customers will still be able to use their Audible credits in the app and buy more credits as well — which may be a solid way to bypass this issue for now. Another workaround might be not updating your Nook app, but for users who have automatic updates, well, it's too late.
The Verge notes that Google recently announced a pilot program that will indeed let developers use their own billing systems, but there's a catch — they'll have to offer Google's billing system first. It will be interesting to see how this policy change affects the sales of books, and whether it will really put a noticeable dent in either app's active user base.
Steve Huff (115 Articles Published)
Steve is the Weekend News Editor for Android Police. He was previously the Deputy Digital Editor for Maxim magazine and has written for Inside Hook, Observer, and New York Mag. He's the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC's hit "Breaking Bad" prequel, "Better Call Saul."
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