After Apple introduced their 30% commission fee to all in-app purchases on their devices, Amazon has been trying to find a way to prevent them from taking a slice of their pie whilst also trying to make their Kindle reader as ubiquitous across as many platforms as possible.
Apple have recently said that any purchases made from within an application on their devices must be subject to a commission rate of 30% which has upset a lot of developers including Amazon, why should Apple not only take a 30% fee for the application sale but also from subscriptions within the apps themselves? e.g. Buying a book or magazine from within the iPhone/iPad Kindle reader.
We all had our suspicions that this is just Apple trying to make their books cheaper than Kindles by forcing iPhone/iPad Kindle users to ultimately pay an additional 30% fee to cover the costs, which to many people seems a bit underhand and is a growing example of what happens in the IT industry when a single company takes too much control (PC Manufacturers and Windows debate anyone?). After Apple introduced this fee to its terms a few weeks back, Amazon released an update simply removing the buy book button from within the Kindle reader, users didn’t really care as they can buy books via the Amazon Store, via the Kindle itself or from the PC application and then just sync the new purchase across to the iPhone/iPad. No great hardship but it does smack of Apple cutting off its nose to spite its face, isn’t Apple’s mantra all about ease-of-use?
First of all let’s think about the costs and issues involved in providing the Kindle Reader for lots of devices: –
- Lots of developers creating lots of apps versions for different operating systems
- Lots of slightly different ways of interacting with the application because of the differences in the way each device works
- Multiple payment handling processes for each device, Apple’s App Store and Androids Apps Store for example
- Different support teams capable of providing help depending on which operating system your using
What would be better is a single application that is compatible with any operating system. What if they released a version of the Kindle Reader on the ‘Cloud’ instead? Well that’s exactly what they’ve just done, you can find it here.
In order to ensure the application is as feature rich and as consistent across different platforms as possible, whilst also allowing your books to be read while you’re offline, they’ve written it in the new standard HTML5 web format. HTML5 is set to revolutionise the way web applications work by allowing web developers to produce cloud applications that are as feature rich as local applications. It’s also a faster and more stable solution to all the Flash problems, remember that Flash isn’t supported on Apple devices but HTML5 is.
There is a small drawback though and that is that you’ll need a web browser capable of supporting HTML5, if you’re running Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari you’ll be fine, if not I’d strongly recommend you go to Chrome as it’s the fastest and most stable browser available today.
If you have an Android or Apple device, simply go to the site via the devices browser, you can then read books online & offline and make purchases directly from within the App without anyone being able to take juicy cut. Genius.
Amazon’s Answer To Apple’s Terms: A Web-Based Kindle Cloud Reader — Brilliant On PC, Better On iPad – TechCrunch, 9th Aug 2011