I listen to audiobooks regularly with iTunes. But I hate iTunes, so I thought I'd give Audible a try. I downloaded their app, and wanted to buy an audiobook to listen to.
The first step of their app is to log in or register, so I created an account. Then I got to this screen:
The top nav says "Cloud/Device/iTunes" which is straightforward ... sure enough, "Device" had 0 books in it (I hadn't downloaded any yet), and "iTunes" had 1, which was the one I was currently listening to via iTunes. Cool that it imports that. But I wanted to buy a new book, so I assumed this must be via the "Cloud" section.
A number of books are listed, but they are all gray. I assumed these were free samples, but there were only about 10 in the list. I wanted something else, so I went to "Search" and searched for a book. Nothing. I tried searching for several books I wanted, but kept getting no results. (And not even a good no results message, but just nothing, so it seemed like an error.
Then I noticed the nav at the bottom. "Me" went to my account settings, and "News" went to a useless feed of like Audible's blog or something. There was a big button in the middle, but pressing it did nothing. I could not figure out why this unidentifiable thing would have the main real estate there. Anyway, there was a clear "More books" button, so I clicked that. This is what I got:
Great, a vast catalog! That's what I want! Except ... nothing on this page is clickable. There's nothing I can do.
So, that was it. I had basically hit a dead-end in their app. I sent them an email:
How can I use your app? What a terrible first time user experience. I'd like to listen to a book, but there are no results no matter what I search. There's a tab called more books but it just shows a picture. There's also a large button at the bottom in the center that does nothing. How the heck do I get a book?
I received an email from them the next day, asking for a phone number so they can call me. This is annoying ... I had sent them an email, a clear indicator that I prefer to use email. But fine. Then they called me.
Turns out, it seems they have this problem a lot. So why is their app this way? Apple won't let them sell or even advertise books within their app. Turns out, the app is just a listening tool; to buy books, you need to go to their web site, audible.com. The representative was friendly, and gave me a discount for my first books, but this is ridiculous. I was leaving Apple because I didn't like them, and here they got me again anyway. AAAAPPPPLLLLLLEEEEE!!!!!!!