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Amazon will end its free mobile app program this summer

Image: Amazon
Image: Amazon
The Amazon Underground app store will no longer accept submission after May 31st. Amazon will also no longer list free apps for Android after 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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 05 > Amazon will end its free mobile app program this summer
Sam Medley, 2017-05- 2 (Update: 2017-05- 2)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.