If you’ve ever tried to buy a book from the Kindle or Audible app on your iPhone or iPad, you might have been surprised that there’s no store in the app. Instead, you have to go to Amazon’s website, buy the book, and send it to your app.
Why doesn’t the Kindle app have a built-in way to buy books? In a word: money. Apple takes a 30% cut of all digital goods sold through iOS. This covers stuff like apps and songs, but it also includes things like eBooks sold through third-party apps. If Amazon included a Kindle store in the Kindle app—or even in their Amazon shopping app—then they’d have to pay Apple 30% of the price of every purchase. Some companies, like Google, get around this by charging people who buy things through an iOS app 30% more, but that’s not Amazon’s way.
How to Buy a Kindle Book On Your iPhone or iPad
To buy a Kindle book on your iPhone or iPad, you have to exit the app and head to Amazon’s website in your mobile browser. After signing in, click the “Departments” link, and then head to the Kindle Store. You can also go straight to Amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/.
Now you can browse the best selling Kindle books or use the search bar at the top of the screen to find the specific book you’re looking for.
Find the eBook you want. I’ve gone with Good Intentions: A Supervillain Story, a novel by How-To Geek’s own Michael Crider.
If you’ve got more than one Kindle device or app, tap the “Deliver To” option, and then select the iPhone or iPad to which you want the book sent. And don’t worry—that selection is just where the book gets automatically sent. You can sign into any other Kindle device or app tied to the same account and download the book there, too.
Next, tap the “Buy Now With One Click” button. If you aren’t already signed in, you’ll be prompted to sign in now.
And just like that, you’ve purchased a Kindle book on your iPhone or iPad. Head to the Kindle app and it should show up in your library automatically.
How to Buy an Audible Book On Your iPhone or iPad
With the Audible app, things are marginally better. You can use the Discover tab to browse audiobooks, and then add them to your Audible wishlist. You still can’t buy them in the app though.
To buy an Audible audiobook on your iPhone or iPad, you need to once again use your mobile browser. Head to Audible.com and find the book you’re looking for. I’ve gone with Terry Pratchett’s absolute classic, Thud!
Scroll down and then choose either the “Buy Now with 1 Credit” option (if you have credits) or the “Buy Now for” option to pay whatever the audiobook costs. Tap “Confirm Purchase” and the book is added to your Audible library.
Apple blocking Amazon from selling eBooks through their apps—at least without Apple taking 30%—is a pain for Kindle fans, but at least the work around is simple: just use your browser.