Amazon Underground “Actually Free” appstore is shutting down

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.

  1. Nick says:

    The whole thing was extremely confusing anyway.

  2. TechyChris says:

    Not surprised, this was a terrible idea (for the consumer) from the get go.
    Just another invasion of privacy.
    Not sure if app developers ever really benefited much from it.
    I refused to use it. It seems lately EVERY product and/or software update Amazon comes out with becomes an invasion of privacy.
    I know other companies do this to some degree but lately Amazon seems to be on a quest to know size underwear I have on, if you know what I mean!

    • Mewtwo says:

      Every in-app purchase generated an invoice for ZERO amount. It was quite an annoyance and intermingled with “real” invoices. Needed to filter these emails as Amazon system was not designed to handle this “actually-free” situation. I wanted the initial invoice for a zero purchase (including books, etc.) but the additional ZERO amount invoices was just too much.

  3. Alex says:

    There were cases when I ignored some Google play promos because the same app was available in the amazon underground. How silly I was…

  4. Ichijoe says:

    Well that sucks…

  5. Magister says:

    Good riddance. I hated amazon underground.

  6. Anon says:

    This really sucks

  7. jbrodack says:

    I don’t see why consumers would dislike the service. What was the invasion of privacy over other apps?

    I liked the service but figured it wouldn’t be sustainable.

  8. applepie says:

    I thought Amazon Underground was good. I will miss it.

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