Amazon update makes buying Kindle ebooks on Android much more annoying

Reading on the Kindle app and Kindle ereader
(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you own one of the best Amazon Kindle ereaders, but like to use your Android phone to buy books rather than navigate the device's built-in store (and given how slow it is, we don't blame you), then we've got some bad news for you. 

As spotted by Ars Technica, you can no longer buy Kindle ebooks via the Amazon app on Android phones - this was already the case on iPhones, and now everyone else has to suffer too.

Amazon isn't coy about the reason behind this, as when you try to buy an ebook through the Shopping app, you're told "this change keeps the app in compliance with Google's updated Play Store policies" - pointing the finger there, are we Amazon?

This is in reference to Google's requirement, starting on June 1, that all in-app payments will go through Google Play - this means the search engine giant gets a cut of the profit. Rather than hand over some of its money to Google, Amazon clearly wants some mutually-assured disruption.

How to continue buying Amazon Kindle books

There is a workaround for this problem, though weirdly it has nothing to do with the actual Kindle app. 

No, if you head to the Amazon website in your web browser, you can still send your bought books to your Kindle - this is a little more time-consuming than just using the Amazon app, but still works.

Of course, you could alternatively use the store on your Kindle, or on your computer, but personally, we find our smartphone the quickest option for browsing books to send to our ereader.

What's odd is that Amazon's own Kindle app (which you can use to read your ebooks on a smartphone or tablet) doesn't let you send things to a Kindle ereader - maybe Amazon thinks that nobody who has a Kindle will read on the app, and vice versa.

Unless Google's Play Store payment option push is reversed, it sounds like the Amazon app won't be your way of buying ebooks for the foreseeable future.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.