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  #1  
Old 07-25-2011, 07:01 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Today's iPad Kindle App Update Removes Kindle Store Button

<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//at/auto/1311615075.usr1.png" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>I was updating the apps on my iPad today - which is a daily occurrence that I wish Apple would streamline or automate somehow - and I noticed that the new Kindle app, released today, removes the Kindle Store button. This change has been brewing for a while now because <a href="http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/apple/apple-mafia-wants-30-cut-of-app-subscriptions.asp" target="_blank">Apple wants 30% of everything sold via any app</a>. Taking 30% for selling an app itself is a good deal compared to the 50% cut most mobile developers we used to forking over in previous years. But when it comes to content where there are multiple parties involved and everyone wants a piece, 30% is untenable.</p><p>You have companies like Rhapsody and Amazon who are resellers of the content someone else creates - so they're the middle men - and Apple put a gun to their head and said "Give us 30% or get out". Amazon did the only thing that makes sense: they made the Kindle app a read-only tool, not a purchasing tool. Anyone using an iPad, myself included, will now have a degraded experience because I'll have to grab my Kindle 3 or Android phone in order to quickly purchase a book. The alternative is to buy the book via Safari on the iPad, and while it's not exactly difficult, it's certainly a lot less slower than buying from an app that allows for one-tap purchase of books.</p><p>What's your take on Apple's demand to have a 30% cut on every piece of content sold via an iOS app?</p>
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:39 PM
Dyvim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Amazon did the only thing that makes sense: they made the Kindle app a read-only tool, not a purchasing tool. Anyone using an iPad, myself included, will now have a degraded experience because I'll have to grab my Kindle 3 or Android phone in order to quickly purchase a book. The alternative is to buy the book via Safari on the iPad, and while it's not exactly difficult, it's certainly a lot less slower than buying from an app that allows for one-tap purchase of books.
Have you used the Kindle Store from your iPad? Because if I recall correctly all it ever was, was a button that would launch the Kindle website in Mobile Safari. There was no one-tap purchase from within the app to begin with- even the Buy Now link at the end of each free sample would just redirect you to the correct page in mobile Safari. So all that's missing is that web link within the app. Now you have to launch Safari yourself and browse to the kindle store, but after that the buying experience is the same (Ok, so this isn't true for the free sample since you need to find your specific book). Anyway, it seems to me like you're making a mountain out of a molehill as regards the Kindle app specifically. Arguably they should have been allowed to build their own in-app store from the beginning, but that's another story.

I sort of have mixed feelings about the policy. As a consumer, I don't really care for it, since it degrades the end user experience for everyone. As a developer, I fully support Apple's 30% cut for App purchases, and realize the position this loophole put them in: if companies provide free apps that get funded outside of the App Store, then how does Apple get paid and what's stopping all other developers from following suit in order to avoid the 30% cut? Perhaps a smaller cut of content purchases would work (not that I expect Apple to go for that unless forced to by consumer demand and competition).
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:18 PM
DaveSadler
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Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
As a developer, I fully support Apple's 30% cut for App purchases, and realize the position this loophole put them in: if companies provide free apps that get funded outside of the App Store, then how does Apple get paid and what's stopping all other developers from following suit in order to avoid the 30% cut?
Maybe apple should charge a one-time flat rate to developers for apps that accept in-app purchases. Thoughts?
 
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:19 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
Have you used the Kindle Store from your iPad? Because if I recall correctly all it ever was, was a button that would launch the Kindle website in Mobile Safari. There was no one-tap purchase from within the app to begin with- even the Buy Now link at the end of each free sample would just redirect you to the correct page in mobile Safari.
Hrmm. Now that I think about it, no, I never did purchase a book on the iPad - I buy them on my Kindle. So for me, the iPad has always been a read-only device. What you're describing sounds reasonable, but removing that button is a barrier to buying books. Not a big one for you and I, but for less techy people it might be significant.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2011, 03:04 PM
tsatryan
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Here's my solution - I just elected to not upgrade to the newer version. The only change was a loss of feature, so upgrading was more like a downgrade... so I didn't.
 
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2011, 09:42 PM
Sven Johannsen
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Originally Posted by DaveSadler View Post
Maybe apple should charge a one-time flat rate to developers for apps that accept in-app purchases. Thoughts?
How do you come up with a price or price schedule? You'd be pitting a company like Amazon with potential book sales to millions? against little game developers with an occasional extra feature or level.

I think an in app purchase is a purchase and if Apple is going to get a cut, do it on a per purchase basis. In this case they just enforced on the readers what was happening in other apps.

Personnally I'd just as soon browse Amazon and B&N on my PC than on the iPad anyway, if not on the Kindle or Nook, so it doesn't bother me. Just happy the option exists to read on other than the native device. I have Kindle, the wife has Nook. We can use each others accounts and read on the iPad or Iconia Tab.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2011, 09:50 PM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
Here's my solution - I just elected to not upgrade to the newer version. The only change was a loss of feature, so upgrading was more like a downgrade... so I didn't.
Workable short-term, but eventually they'll get you with a feature you'll want that will come with the features you don't.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2011, 02:40 AM
Chris Gohlke
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That really peeved me off. I didn't like the fact that Apple came out and decided they could take away a feature of an app that they had previously approved. What if the Kindle app had been a paid app rather than a free app? What if there wasn't such an easy workaround? It just sets a bad precedent. I'm returning my iPad 2 this week for a number of reasons (just bought an Acer Iconia) and while this wasn't even the tipping point of issues, it certainly didn't make me like the iPad or Apple more.
 
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