comiXology introduces new iPhone and iPad app, removes in-app purchases, following Amazon acquisition

comiXology has introduced all-new apps for iPhone and iPad in order to remove the ability to purchase new comics from within the app. Now, in order to get new comics, you have to go to comiXology's website, buy them there, and then go back to the comiXology app and download them. If this sounds similar to how the Amazon Kindle app works, it should. comiXology was recently acquired by Amazon. From the comiXology blog

We have introduced a new comiXology iPhone and iPad Comics App and are retiring the old one. iPhone and iPad users will now buy comics on comixology.com and download to the app. All your purchased books will be readable in the new app once you've downloaded it and taken the following steps:

  • If you don't have a comiXology account, go to comiXology.com to create one, or create one in the original Comics app!
  • In the original Comics app, log into your comiXology account.
  • Sync your in-app purchases to your comiXology account by tapping the Restore button on the Purchases tab.
  • Download the new comiXology app. This will be your new home downloading and reading comics.
  • Start shopping on comiXology.com. New web purchases will appear in the "In Cloud" tab in our new app.
  • If you have comics downloaded in the old app, no problem! You can continue to read them there without re-downloading to the new app.

It seems as though comiXology does recognize how much of a hassle this is for folks though. They're proactively offering a $5 eGift Card credit to all those who have purchased through the comiXology platform in the past.

This credit will be automatically applied throughout the day to those accounts who are eligible and all of those eligible have 30 days to purchase books with that credit. That's not too bad but still, a hassle.

No word yet on whether or not the Marvel or DC apps, which are white-labled from comiXology, will get similarly updated or if they'll be left with their IAP ability intact.

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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There are 33 comments. Add yours.

Wyatt says:

So if I'm reading this correctly. You can no longer purchase comics through the app itself. If so then it's no longer as user friendly as it once was.

Gazoobee says:

This is sad. Amazon is the worst. Talk about selling your soul to the Devil.

I'm so glad that I didn't decide to invest more time/money in Comixology and went with an alternative reader instead. I'd be right pissed off by all of this if I had actually purchased any significant amount of stuff from them.

They are of course only doing this to escape paying Apple it's cut for the purchases. The Android version of the app will also of course, link right into Amazon's store.

bobbob1016 says:

Or, they didn't want to lose 30% of their revenues to Apple. There's that too.

Carioca32 says:

"That too" is an understatement, that is the whole reasoning behind this. Of course Apple should take its cut since they're providing the environment, but a 30% cut on all in-app purchases is ridiculous. As for inconvenience, when this happened to the Kindle app it was inconvenient at first, but I quickly got used to it.

bobbob1016 says:

Honestly, I don't think Apple deserves really anything over 5%, as all they do is administrative. They don't really do much with the apps troubleshooting wise, they just handle billing/refunds. If they did more, they'd deserve more imho.

rogifan says:

Apple isn't the only one that takes 30%. I believe Google Play store does as well. What ads you basing that 5% on? Do you have hard data on what it costs Apple to maintain the App Store and handle credit card purchases?

Oletros says:

"Do you have hard data on what it costs Apple to maintain the App Store and handle credit card purchases?"

Then don't force they paying system and allow Amazon/B&N/Netflix ones

bobbob1016 says:

Wow, I didn't know I'd need hard data for a general statement. I can make a logical statement as to why they definitely don't deserve 30% though. They don't refund many in-app purchases (as they refer to the original seller for most of them). They did have that recent ruling against them re-in-apps, but I highly doubt they're refunding them all out of Apple's pockets.

They're running this as a business, they want profits. Do you really think the 30% is them running at cost or profit? It's almost definitely with profit, so it should likely be less as they don't actually provide the content. They shouldn't be entitled to 30% of Netflix fees because Netflix handles all the billing on their end, as does Amazon, as does Hulu and so on.

cardfan says:

I suppose you don't think providing Amazon access to millions of customers all with credit cards is worth 30%? Since when did Amazon worry about margins anyways?

Microsoft recognized it needed that access.

bobbob1016 says:

So, with that logic, Hyundai is entitled to a percentage from McDonald's, as they provided me access to McDonald's just now. Would Amazon.com not work on an iPad? Why do they *have* to go through Apple? It's almost like Comcast charging Netflix for the privilege of getting to their users.

Dev from tipb says:

No, it is not.

Sent from the iMore App

bobbob1016 says:

Further, does a Mall take a % of the money that a store earns, or just charge them a flat fee? Technically the developers pay to be in the store, $99+the price of a Mac to develop on. Yeah, it's not much, and yeah, I'm not expecting that to cover everything, but there is no way that 30% is just break-even for running what they run.

rogifan says:

And yet Microsoft has no problem using IAP for Office. Because they know the sales from offering IAP will make up for the cut they're giving Apple.

Google Play store also charges a 30% commission. Do you think that's too high too?
https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/112622?hl=en

bobbob1016 says:

Microsoft only has to answer to themselves on pricing, Amazon/Netflix/Hulu, answer to others. A teenager is ok with minimum wage, but not many people with kids would be. So you're comparing apples and oranges, or kindles and surfaces. How can Apple sell for 650 when the Nexus is 349? Same thing with Microsoft doing it while Amazon can't.

bobbob1016 says:

Also, re Google charging 30%, they only charge 30% when they manage it. They give the option, see:
http://www.androidcentral.com/comixology-updates-android-app-following-b...

They still have in-app, just not through Google Play.

Oletros says:

" Of course Apple should take its cut since they're providing the environment, "

No, they aren't. Apple doesn't store, distribute or advertise the comics

escapedrift says:

They are providing the app in the App Store and ability to read anywhere thus people use the app.

Oletros says:

Yap, as you say, they provided the app, nothing more. Ability to read anywhere? That is provided by any mobile device where the app can be installed.

Darryl Brian says:

What alternative reader do you use?

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escapedrift says:

i've only bought from image, so will re-download that app and use it...surely, they won't remove the in-app purchase from them?

khobia2 says:

Yep. Much chagrin over at Appleinsider blog over this as well. This really sucks in my opinion. So that's it for Comixology where I'm concern. If I didn't enjoy reading so much would have given Kindle app the boot long ago.

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Les74 says:

Well, that's it for me. Just downloaded this 2 weeks ago and was enjoying it. Buh-bye!

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richard451 says:

meh. it's still an awesome app. who cares if a billion dollar corporation doesn't get their cut. If Apple had a problem with it, they wouldn't allow it in their store.

gavz83 says:

I'm okay with the change, specially if creators will get more money for their work, it will Just get some time to get used to but not a reason to delete the app and complain about it !

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Dev from tipb says:

This is an interesting test case, and a bad one for those of us who think Apple's relevant App Store policies are absurd. While there are hard core comics fans out there, there are at least as many who make impulse purchases. Additional friction - no matter who is at the root - is going to cut deeply into those sales. For books, this is not so much of a problem, but for single issue comics, this could cut deeply.

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botvp95 says:

I don't mind the change at all. I actually was buying from the web store anyway because I like the idea of the creators getting more of the money I spend. Not to mention, Apple was censoring what was sold in app. The web store has always been a better option for me. It has a better layout and it's easier to find things on there. Comixology is a great app because it's a fantastic reader. That's all I've ever needed it for.

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Negaduck says:

I officially hate Amazon.

kingv84 says:

I concur.

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Eric_Kow says:

What got me into comics was the convenience of buying a having access straight away, where ever I was.. Bam right there. The barrier of entry was removed and I could buy old comics and catch up to current events.

I don't care who benefits financially, Apple or Amazon, they make a ton of cash already. All I know is that buying digital comics just got harder for me, it's not the price that got me originally it was the convenience.

This whole notion of buy on alternative platform and perform a sync seems like a step backwards.

Real shame.

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kingv84 says:

The Android version still has the store in the app and you are able to pay with PayPal or credit card, just not with Google wallet. I really hate the crazy rules in the Apple Appstore, at least Google allows apps to be in their store even if they do not use the Google payment system. Apple needs to stop being such a dictator and open the store a bit.

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williamsbh76 says:

Another good independent app going the way of big business and the pissing match between apple and amazon. Sigh... Delete!

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