Amazon has decided to shut down the Underground Appstore, in part this summer, and completly in 2019. The Fire and Android device appstore, which offered “actually free” apps and games, was launched in August 2015 as an experiment to pay app developers based on the amount of time their apps were used, instead of through upfront app and in-app purchases. All apps and their in-app purchasable items in the Underground appstore were free to the user and monetized by Amazon through other means, such as advertisements.
All support for the Underground appstore will end in 2019. Until then, current Fire tablet customers will continue to have access to both their previously installed apps, as well as the Underground appstore itself. Access to the Underground appstore on non-Fire tablets, i.e., Android phones and tablets, will end this summer, but those customers will also be able to continue using any Underground apps they’ve previously installed.
Developers will continue to be paid for all Underground app use. They can even continue to publish updates to their existing apps until 2019, but no new apps will be accepted into the underground appstore after May 31st.
The regular Amazon appstore will not be affected by the closure of the Underground appstore and will continue to opperate. When Amazon launched the Underground appstore, they simultaneously discontinued their very popular “Free App of the Day” program where they offered a new normally paid app free each day. Perhaps we’ll see a resurrection of that program or something similar.