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Audible Bows to App Submission Rules

Just wanted to briefly share with you that is now also giving into Apple’s much criticized app review guideline that forbids linking to a web-based shop from within your app:

11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected

Audible just e-mailed their customers explaining their workaround. I am posting this because it is an example of how you can work around this annoying restriction.

Audible writes:

Dear Oliver,

We’d like to update you on a change to the Audible application that affects the way that you access the Audible mobile store. In order to comply with recent policy changes by Apple, we’ve removed the “Shop” link from within the app that opened your web browser and took you to the Audible mobile store.

You can still shop the mobile store, and we’ve created a “Shop Audible” icon that you can add to your home screen so it’s always one click away. To do this, launch your web browser on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, go to, and follow the instructions to “Add to Home Screen”. You can watch a quick video to walk you through the steps, or call us at (888) 283-5051 if you have any other questions.

That’s it. The link is gone, but everything else is the same. You can still shop the store, and all your books will still be available in the app.

Thank you,
The Audible Team

In addition to the e-mail they also provided a video guide:

This way Audible can continue to update their app which otherwise the app review team would continue to reject. It is a weird policy but unfortunately there is no other way to get around it.

Categories: Apple


  1. “there is no other way to get around it”

    Actually there is. Just use in-app purchases.

    It’s not fair that Apple distributes your app for free when you get real revenue from it.

    What Audible did is just some kind of free riding. It’s kind of cheating. Maybe 30% is a bit expensive, but “too expensive” is always what pirates say to justify their actions. When an individual does this, we condemn them. We should be all the more rigorous when profitable businesses try to play against the rules.

  2. You are forgetting that there is no way how a company with a large catalog of digital products can get them set up as InAppPurchases. It would require for Apple to make an API for that and Apple sucks at APIs.

  3. Can you clarify something for me?

    As I am understanding this, the issue is only with links or buttons that link to a web based store, or URL in order to buy something.

    But it doesn’t include apps like Amazon, or GoDaddy, or Zappos (or many, many others) that allow users to buy stuff using the native app’s shopping cart. Right?


  4. Apple is only objecting to digital content and subscriptions sold outside of their infrastructure. Physical goods are ok, because IAP are even forbidden for these.

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