Ever since Apple required app developers to give the Cupertino-based company a 30 percent cut of in-app subscriptions and purchases, Amazon has looked for ways to get around the policy for its Kindle ebook app. Today the company updated the app with a fairly nifty workaround: it's introduced in-app search to let users find and download free samples of books. As with the prior version of the app, when you get to the end of a free sample, the app offers to email a link to the book on Amazon, where you can purchase it.
It's still far from seamless, but today does mark the first time since 2011 that iPhone and iPad users can search even a portion of Amazon's Kindle catalog from the mobile app. In the past you could only download and read books you had first purchased from the full website. If you only had your mobile device, that meant you had to exit the Kindle app and load up Safari to get a new book. Of course, with the new search feature you'll only be able to browse for books that have free previews, though the majority of popular titles have a sample. Previously, Amazon launched a completely iPad- and iPhone-optimized HTML 5 web app to avoid Apple's steep 30 percent cut while serving those who wanted to purchase from mobile.