Amazon ends “Free App of the Day” promo and introduces Amazon Underground

Amazon has ended their long running “Free App of the Day” promotion which offered a different free paid app every day through their Amazon Appstore for Android. In its place, Amazon has introduced Amazon Underground which claims to offer “over $10,000 in apps, games and in-app items that are actually free.” A new Underground Apps section has been added to the Amazon Appstore which currently includes 471 paid apps which you can get for free. Additinaly, Amazon has rebranded their shopping app in their own appstore into the Amazon Underground App which, according to the updated description, “includes enhanced features that aren’t available on the Amazon Shopping app found on Google Play.”

Unlike the old Free App of the Day promotion, these Amazon Underground free apps are listed separately from their paid counterparts. Searching for apps in the Amazon Appstore will bring up two listings for the same app if the app is offered in the underground section. For example, Castle of Illusion can still be purchased for its regular price of $9.99 even though there is a free version in the underground section. The underground app listings appear to have tighter restrictions on which devices they can be installed on. Castle of Illusion is a Fire TV compatible app, yet the free version cannot be installed on the Fire TV.


More information about Amazon Underground has been revealed. The reason there are separate underground app listings is because Amazon is introducing a new business model with these underground apps. They are free to you forever, but Amazon will be paying developers a certain amount on a per-minute played basis. This means, unlike with the Free App of the Day program, developers will actually be reimbursed by Amazon for including their apps in this program. Additionally, all Amazon Underground apps are completely free with no in-app purchases. Amazon says this is a long-term program, rather than a one-off promotion, which they will continue to introduce more benefits into.

  1. David Covey says:

    So what about ios users?

  2. 1000milshiveringfurryholes says:

    Cute, this doesn’t work on the Fire Phone. Good job Amazon.

    Here’s an idea, make ONE app that has the app store, shopping, etc and make it work across the board.

    • TOBOTamson says:

      I am amazed that Amazon would launch this but forget to make it compatible with their Fire Phone. There are days I regret buying this phone. Amazon customer care told me Underground will be available on the Fire Phone in a few days… obviously, I am not holding my breath.

  3. Some One says:

    Actually according to the refine section in Amazon Underground…ALL the apps offered are ONLY compatible with amazon tablets! Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Jim says:

      From reading the “letter” about Underground I can see where you were confused. What it really means is that the “Underground” app automatically installs on Fire Phones and Tablets, for all other android devices you must download the Underground app yourself. So far the apps I spot-checked were all compatible with my non-Amazon devices.

  4. It’s actually a worthless, cheap move from Amazon in order to push the rest of their store to customers who only want Android apps. First of all, the vast majority of the apps present in the “underground” are free versions with limited functionality (that are available for free already in GooglePlay). The few “premium” paid apps, were previously featured as “Free App Of The Day” in the past 3 years. The “underground” app itself is a full Amazon store app, with a wakelock that keeps it running all the time consuming resources. It doesn’t offer anything that you can’t get from other sources or even the Amazon App Store. Uninstalling it right away.

    • Jeff says:

      True, many of these have been free before, but there are some that have never been free.

      Also, some of the always free apps you are talking about also come w/ FREE in-app purchases. So that’s why they are part of the Underground program.

      Instead of Pay to Play, it’s now Play to Pay (the developers) :)

    • Peter Elloco says:

      I saw some apps that are free in Google Play, but when playing them, in-app purchase items are also free, which is not the case in Google Play. And there are lots of premium apps that I didn’t catch on their Free App of the Day, so still worthwhile. This is a good opportunity to try some of those as well.

  5. Clean says:

    This is actually really awesome!!! There is really good game called Dig a Way that until now was only available on the Apple store where it was featured earlier this year, and not only with Amazon Underground you can install it on your Android, but everything that you had to purchase on the apple version is now ACTUALLY FREE. Here is the link.

    • Kosh says:

      I’ve seen this exact comment, word for word, on another site. Are you the dev or are you using bots to spam for your game?

      • Manabi says:

        The reviews on Amazon are pretty fishy too, all four of them 5 star and very short with no real justification for the rating. I’d say it’s definitely the developer.

        And I shall totally avoid that game too thanks to the spamming. Congrats to the developer, it looked somewhat interesting otherwise.

  6. Deej says:

    Apps I ordered through the Underground web store do not appear in the old Appstore under “My Apps -> Cloud.” Nor do they appear anywhere in the new Underground app – only applications ordered through the Amazon store app appear. “Amazon Underground” appears as an app update in the Appstore, and it replaces the Amazon shopping app, not the Appstore.

    It looks like the Appstore’s days are numbered as that functionality is being merged into the shopping app, possibly in a bid to get past Google’s censors?

    “Data Tracking” must be enabled and turned on for Amazon in order for the Underground apps to record time and report back to accounting so the devs can get paid.

    • Deej says:

      Actually, upon reflection, this didn’t get past Google’s censors – it’s an Amazon storefront with a merged special Appstore, so must be downloaded separately. Amazon “Underground…” Eureka!…

      And the update showed up in the App store because I had installed the Amazon store from there.

      I still haven’t found any solution to the apps ordered from the web Underground store not being listed on the device. It seems like I can only order from within the Amazon Underground app itself, and web ordering is somewhat broken at the moment.

  7. Nymo says:

    Really curious to see if and when the Underground program hits Fire TV. I mean, if you can guarantee many hit games to be “Actually Free” right when you get your Fire TV, that’s a great selling point for the platform.
    The the business model is really interesting. The only thing I can think of that’s kinda similar is PlayStation Plus, but with no subscription and instead of a lump-sum upfront for being free, the devs are being reimbursed based on how much people use their app.
    Super interested to see how this initiative goes…

  8. Jerry says:

    Anyone read the new permissions that come along with Amazon Underground? I feel like that is a catch, like you get these apps for free if you let Amazon spy on your phone. One permission is even “Monitor incoming SMS messages, to record or perform processing on them”.

    • Kosh says:

      It’s unfortunate that so many people stop caring about that sort of thing when you dangle something free in their face.

  9. mGuest says:

    I think Amazon Underground Apps will require a prime membership, when becoming popular.

  10. Jack Astor says:

    Doesn’t work on any of my Amazon devices, I have 6 of them.

    But it works on all 4 of my Samsung devices.

    Does that make any sense at all?

    • Neo says:

      Thats because Underground is integrated into the kindles appstore.

    • Dave M says:

      Actually, it does make sense. Your Samsung devices are all fully Android. Your Amazon devices are Amazon’s forked Android. Since they made the Underground platform compatible with Android, your Samsung devices work. They didn’t make it compatible with all of their forked version of Android.

      Are your Fire devices older than your Samsung devices? If not, it is a good reason to avoid forked Android platforms.

  11. mcmed says:

    Has anyone tried to sideload underground apps to the fire tv?

    • Manabi says:

      Probably won’t work, unless you can sideload and get the Underground app plus the Amazon App Store app working. It requires an updated App Store app on Android to allow it to monitor time played, so both are required.

      • mcmed says:

        It works! I tried AGK File and loaded the apps from my smartphone to the fire tv directly. I’ve tested Castle of Illusion and Space Marshalls, they work perfectly even with Xbox controller!

  12. Steve says:

    Amazon underground is truly evil, full-blown Big-Brother spyware. As a developer, this is among the worst I’ve seen.

    Monitor your messages, your location, and copy your contacts! They even want permission to turn on your camera!

    What’s more, this app is targeting full REPLACEMENT of the regular Amazon App Store. If you still have the old App Store you are fine, but you can’t get it for a new or wiped phone; nor can you bypass it by going to Amazon from a browser– you will most likely have to install Underground in order to install an app from I’ve tried several.

  13. Amazon Underground
    Oh .. I just found out now

  14. Hello. impressive job. I did not imagine this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!

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