Google Books is the first major app to be booted from the App Store for not complying with Apple’s latest in-app purchases policy. Apple’s new rules, which went into affect on June 30, state that no app can provide a link to purchasing additional content outside of Apple’s ecosystem.
Unfortunately, Google decided not to remove the link to its own eBooks store from its app, and it is no longer available as a result.
Google’s app first hit the App Store in December, and along with Amazon’s Kindle, it’s one of the major rivals to Apple’s own iBookstore. However, whereas Amazon’s Kindle and a number of other applications have been updated to comply with Apple’s terms, Google has so far decided not to bother…
Apple’s new App Store rules mean it’s impossible for developers to avoid Apple’s 30% cut for additional content and in-app purchases. They can no longer provide links in their applications that take users to external stores. A number of apps are yet to be updated to comply with these terms, and while it was initially believed that Apple may have scraped the policy, it now seems to be booting those apps that refuse to comply.
A number of other applications, such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, the Wall Street Journal, and now Amazon’s Kindle, all scrambled to get their app updates out over the weekend for fear of Apple’s wrath. Despite any official word from either Apple or Google confirming the reason for blocking Google Books from the App Store, it seems Google was too late with its update.
Do you use Google Books? What’s your opinion on Apple’s new terms?
UPDATE: And Google Books is now back in the App Store without the “Buy Books” button.