Tuesday, July 26, 2011

B&N and Amazon bow to Apple's demands... at last

First of all, do note that due to a publishing snafu, yesterday's book review of The Witches of Chiswick got pushed back to the 19th.  I've corrected the date to yesterday's date, so it should show up in the proper place now, but you may miss it if you get blog updates via a reader or if you follow my blog via your Blogger dashboard.

I have other news as well.  It appears that Barnes & Noble and Amazon have both capitulated to Apple's demands, or at least the updated demands, which was mainly to remove the direct link to their web store from the app.  Last night, while checking for app updates on my iPhone, I noticed that both Nook and Kindle had updates waiting.  Sure enough, both updates removed the link.

Of course, the deadline was actually nearly a month ago, so these updates are late in coming — but supposedly Apple was working with them to bring them into compliance with the new rules.  I also seem to remember from another article that Apple backed off a bit and said the June 30th date was more of a guideline than a deadline.  Okay, whatever.

For most of you who read ebooks on your iPhone or iPad, this won't change much of anything for you, except that you'll have to the ebook store's site via your web browser instead of tapping a link inside the app.  In other words, it just creates an extra step — if you shopped from your iThing in the first place.  Personally, I find it much easier and faster to do my shopping on the computer, and download the new titles to my device when I am done.

Of course, there are no doubt some idiots in the world who won't be able to figure out how to shop without that link in the app — but they probably aren't buying many ebooks, either.

What are your thoughts?  Will these app changes alter your shopping and reading experience substantially?  I for one am glad that Apple didn't win with their initial bluff, which would have placed severe limitations on readers, if not eliminating the ability to read on iThings altogether (unless of course you support iBooks, which I don't).

Of course, the biggest way Apple's demands affected me was by encouraging me to get my own Nook back in April, out of concern that I wouldn't be able to read on my iPhone anymore.  Even if that didn't come to pass, I'm still glad I got my Nook — it offers a much more enjoyable reading experience than the iPhone!

I'd love to hear from others.  Has this had any impact on how you read — or shop — for ebooks??

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