Amazon and Kobo have modified their mobile apps in response to Apple's in-app policies, with Kobo announcing it will also build an HTML5 e-reader app for the Web.
Store policies concerning in-app purchases are beginning to force other
companies to react.
already issued an updated Kindle for iPhone application
that removes the
Kindle Store button. That means anyone attempting to use an iOS device to
purchase Kindle e-books will need to route over to Amazon's Website, instead of
being able to order the text via the application itself.
rival, Kobo, also removed links to its storefront from within the iOS application-and
is actively building a workaround of sorts, in the form of an HTML5 application
for the mobile Web. What's more, the company is angling this "HTML5 eReading Web
app" as an "optimized" experience for iOS users, in the process revealing a
conflict with Apple.
"Over the past
weeks, Kobo has worked with Apple to create a solution that would benefit the
iOS eReading community within Apple's new App Store guidelines," read a July 26
press release from the Toronto-based company. "Unfortunately, Apple has
mandated that Kobo, along with all eBook retailers, substantially change the
eReading experience for consumers by removing in-app access to the Kobo store."
Kobo isn't the
first company to consider an HTML5 alternative to an App Store application. The Financial Times
decided to launch an
HTML5 Web application, for example, in order to deliver content to multiple
devices while maintaining a lock on the customer relationship.
the challenge of delivering multiple versions of the same content and with what
they see as the punitive terms and conditions of some platform providers,"
Forrester analyst Nick Thomas wrote in a breakdown of the Financial Times'
decision, "other publishers are keen to see if the
model offers a way forward."
publisher interest, he added, "HTML5 is not yet appropriate for mainstream
adoption. But the FT's
an important salvo in the battle over the future of paid apps."
policy dictates that developers strip in-app purchasing mechanisms from their
offerings. "Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines,
newspapers, books, audio, music and video) that is subscribed to or purchased
outside the app," read the recently-updated guidelines, according to TechCrunch
, "as long as there is no button or
external link in the app to purchase the approved content." In-app purchasing
will apparently continue to net Apple some 30 percent of the fee.
Apple has relaxed its in-app terms since February, when it dictated that media
publishers sell subscriptions via the App Store at rates preferable or equal to
those offered via other channels, with Apple taking 30 percent of the fees. Apple later stepped back from that part
publishers to sell in-app subscriptions at any desired price.
case, it seems as if Apple's policies are starting to chafe some companies in
the mobile-applications space.
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