As of next week, users will no longer be able to purchase ebooks on the Audible or Barnes & Noble NOOK Android apps. This is because Google updated its payment policy in 2020. It stated that developers were required to use Google Play’s payment system and had to remove any in-app billing systems. To comply, Google initially gave developers until Sept. 30, 2021, but extended it until March 31, 2022. It appears that Audible and Barnes & Noble have waited until the last minute to make this change. If developers don’t comply with the policy, the company will remove them from the Google Play Store.

Google isn’t the only company enforcing developers to use its billing system. Apple has a similar policy. Both tech giants have been criticized for these policies because of the ‘app store tax.’ Epic Games took Apple to court to change this policy. The video game company almost won, but due to a last-minute stay on an injunction, Apple got to keep its policy forcing developers to use its system. Last year, Google faced a similar lawsuit when 36 states and the District of Columbia sued the tech giant over claims that it runs the Google Play Store as a monopoly.

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As of April 1, 2022, users will no longer be able to purchase ebooks with debit or credit cards on the Barnes & Noble NOOK app on Android for 3.23 versions or newer, as well as on the “NOOK HD 10 Designed with Lenovo.” In addition, sale purchasing will also not be available, and users won’t be able to update their account and payment information on the app. Users will lose the ability to purchase audiobooks on the Audible app on April 4, 2022. If users don’t update these apps, they would still be able to buy ebooks, but the experience may not be as good as the latest version.

What Users Can Do On The Audible & NOOK Apps

Google Play Store on an Android phone

On the Audible app, premium members will still be able to purchase audiobooks with credits and buy additional credits. On the Audible and NOOK apps, users will be able to add titles to their Wish Lists and have full access to their libraries. The rest of the app functions remain the same. Customers will be required to use Google Play Store to buy ebooks or go to the Audible and Barnes and Noble websites. Purchases on their websites will sync to the users’ devices.

Many users already have subscriptions set up through the Google Play Store, so using that billing system won’t be much of a hassle. But if users don’t wish to use that billing system, using the company’s website should be a viable alternative. It just takes a few additional steps to buy an ebook. First, the user can save the title to their Wish List, then go to the website to complete the purchase. The ebook will then sync with the app and the person can begin listening or reading.