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Amazon kills off book purchases via Kindle Android app: Here are a few solutions

Amazon’s Kindle is the most popular ebook storefront around, offering a variety of ebooks for purchase as well as the Kindle Unlimited subscription plan. The company also offers Kindle apps on a variety of platforms, including Android.

However, it emerged almost a month ago that Amazon would be turning off book purchases via the Kindle app for Android. Now, it looks like the time has come, so what does this mean?

Can you buy Kindle books from Android?

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

You used to be able to buy ebooks via the Kindle app for Android, using Amazon’s “one-click” purchase method to seamlessly buy them. You could also subscribe to the Kindle Unlimited plan via the app. This all changes from today (June 1, 2022).

“To remain in compliance with updated Google Play Store policies, the option to buy or rent Kindle books or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited will no longer be available in the Kindle app for Android with the release of app version 8.58,” read an excerpt of an email sent to users of the Kindle app for Android. 

Why can’t I buy books or subscribe via the app?

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The changes come after Google issued a new billing policy for Play Store apps, forcing apps to use Google Play billing for purchases or be removed from the storefront.

Google Play billing means that the search giant would gain a cut from any purchases made. Amazon presumably feels that no in-app purchases are better than Google getting a slice of revenue.

Ebooks aren’t the only Amazon service affected by the billing policy, though. Amazon Music and Audible purchases were also turned off in their respective Android apps.

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How can I still get Kindle books on Android?

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The company explained via its email to users that there are three alternative ways to get new books:

  1. Visit in your device browser and buy them here.
  2. Add books to your Amazon wishlist via the app, then visit via your browser to buy these books.
  3. Use the Kindle Unlimited subscription service to download a variety of books.

It’s worth reiterating that the third option requires you to be a Kindle Unlimited subscriber already, as you can’t subscribe to the service via the Android Kindle app due to these changes. So you’ll need to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited via your phone/tablet/PC browser first if you aren’t a member.

There’s also another potential workaround, as we were able to purchase books via an older version of the Android app (version 8.53). You therefore might not want to update your Kindle app if you still want in-app book purchases — although we wouldn’t be surprised if a server-side change eventually disables this option.