Amazon will end its free mobile app program this summer
Amazon’s free app program is going up in smoke.
The largest online retailer is terminating its Underground Actually Free app program that allowed iOS and Android users to download a daily selection of apps for free. App developers that already had paid apps listed on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store could apply for the program. If accepted, Amazon would list the app for free on their own app marketplace and would pay the developer royalties based on how many minutes the app was used when downloaded through Amazon. Some popular apps (like Lara Croft Go and Goat Simulator) have gone through the program.
Amazon will stop taking submission for the program on May 31st and will no longer offer free apps for Android devices this summer. However, Amazon will allow updates to apps until 2019, when the entire program is officially closed.
No reason was given for the shutdown, but there are some likely causes. Amazon may be shutting down this program to shift focus to app development for Alexa-enabled devices. It would make sense for Amazon to stop incentivizing app development for other platforms and start incentivizing app development for their own. Another reason could be pressure from Google and Apple; the Amazon App Store was once listed on the Google Play Store but must now be installed manually via an APK.
If there are any apps you want to try out for free, the clock is ticking.