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Kindle & other reading apps are live in iTunes

So yesterday was Apple’s deadline for the reading apps, and it passed without a murmur. Apple drew a line in the sand, dared the ebookstores to cross it, and then blinked when they did.

I’m sure everyone is reporting that the apps still work, but did you know that you can still download them? I was able to delete and redownload my Kindle app, also¬† and I also downloaded new stuff.

I’ve tried and successfully downloaded several reading apps, including the BAM Reader (from Books-a-Million) and others. None of the apps I tried had been changed to comply with Apple’s rules, and that makes little sense. It’s clear that Apple did something to change the deadline, conditions, or something. I’m still waiting on my sources to get back to me.

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P A Wilson July 1, 2011 um 1:13 pm

That’s the problem with drawing a line in sand, it’s too easy to erase.

I am very happy if it’s been resolved, but I have this feeling that it’s not.

Ravi July 2, 2011 um 11:08 am

Of course it isn’t. I don’t think anything really changed when Apple decided to back down from their previous in-app purchase rules. Instead, they’ve just decided that it is simpler and less controversial to boil the frogs slowly.

Here’s a hypothetical series of steps I can see playing out on the ebook front:

1. Apple requires that all the e-book apps don’t have buy buttons (today).

2. Apple decides to unify account management and adds a single-sign on framework to iOS that all the ebook apps have to use.

3. Apple decides to add a "universal bookshelf" (where you can see all the ebooks you’ve bought and clicking on a book takes you to its app for reading) and requires ebook apps to plug into it.

4. Apple decides that ebook apps must use iCloud APIs to manage book archiving and downloading.

5. Apple uses the previously captured account credentials and iCloud APIs to make the "universal bookshelf" into a "universtal ebook manager" (where you see all of your archived ebooks and download any of them).

6. Apple decides that it is poor user experience for the "universal bookshelf" to launch a separate app, so it requires ebook vendors to make their viewers into plugins.

7. Apple adds a "buy" button to the universal bookshelf … that goes to iBooks.

8. For the users whose ebook vendors have left iOS by this point, they launch iBooks Match.

9. Since the "universal bookshelf" handles everything users need, Apple sunsets the separate ebook apps.

I don’t expect this particular sequence of steps to play out, but I do expect that Apple will keep turning up the heat one way or another.

Krystian Galaj July 1, 2011 um 2:59 pm

When an app update is submitted to AppStore, Apple probably runs a lot of tests before it allows it to be released. So it’s possible that all those apps that are still not updated are there because Apple takes its time to test, and so it wouldn’t be considered fair to remove old version from AppStore, when it’s not the developer’s fault that the update didn’t pass on time.

Ravi July 2, 2011 um 11:10 am

Krystian, the apps in question have had months to meet this deadline and weeks since the updates T&C became official. If there wasn’t enough time to test the apps before the deadline, how is that Apple’s problem?

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