Apple’s guidelines for apps distributed through its App Stores can make it a difficult decision for companies, and developers, to allow for in-app purchases of any kind. But it looks like Amazon has finally decided to change its mind on the matter as far as video rental and purchases are concerned.
Update: This is all very exciting. It turns out that Apple has an “established program” that includes “premium” video apps subscriptions. This program now includes Amazon Prime Video, which is why it can technically support in-app purchases in this case. This allows Amazon Prime Video to use its own payment methods. This also means Amazon is indeed avoiding the 30% Apple tax.
The original article continues below.
As was first reported today by The Verge, Amazon has made an important change to its Prime Video app on iOS/iPadOS and tvOS: you can now buy and rent content directly from the app on your iPhone, iPad, and/ or Apple TV. This supports both films and TV shows, and this is a huge change for Amazon. For years now the app has required iOS and tvOS users to visit Amazon’s website directly if they wanted to make a purchase or rental, adding another step in the process which could be very annoying for some customers.
Amazon, and other companies/developers, route customers out of the app to make purchases to avoid Apple’s 30% cut on all in-app purchases. But now Amazon is removing that step and letting customers buy directly from the iOS and tvOS app.
So now when an Amazon Prime Video user opens the app they should see a message that reads, “Browse, rent, or buy new release movies, popular TV shows, and more — now within the app”.
The best possible news here, other than the obvious, is that Amazon has not apparently raised the prices of a purchase or a rental to account for the Apple tax. Some platforms have done this in the past, so it’s good to see Amazon is not going down this route. The original report notes that it’s not clear if Apple and Amazon have worked out some kind of deal to see the latter company avoid the full tax or not.
When you want to buy or rent something, you’ll get a slide-up panel that will tell you what you’re about to purchase, show the payment method, and the price. It’s worth noting that your saved payment methods on your device won’t be an option, but rather your payment options saved on Amazon itself. I gave it a shot on my iPhone and I wasn’t able to change the payment method while checking out.
With that in mind, it’s possible this could change soon. If Amazon and Apple didn’t work something out here, and Amazon is somehow avoiding the 30% tax, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this all get shut down pretty quickly. But, here’s hoping that isn’t the case because this is genuinely good news. Still, something to be aware of, at least.
The Amazon Prime Video app now includes a store tab on the bottom of the app as well, which will make it easier to find content to buy when you want. There are lists of new films and shows to get, including the recently released The Invisible Man.
This is a huge change and a welcomed one at that. What do you think? Better late than never, right?