Amazon has been trying to boost its Appstore installs for some time now. The company has consistently given away tons of paid apps and games for free through various promotions and the popular Free App of the Day program. But now the company is putting the kibosh on giving away one free app every day, and is instead offering users much more than that. Amazon has just launched a new Underground application for Android that claims to offer users “$10,000 in apps, games and in-app items that are actually free”.
We first heard about a similar program back in March, but back then it was known as Amazon Unlocked. Whether this is the same program or not, we’re not entirely sure. But here’s how it works: Amazon is offering users hundreds of paid apps and games for free, and they’re even covering the cost of in-app purchases found in these titles. The company is doing this by using a new business model with app and game developers. Amazon explains:
…we’re paying [app developers] a certain amount on a per-minute played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees. To be clear, we’re the ones picking up those per minute charges so for you it’s simply free. Just look for apps and games marked with an “Actually Free” banner.
We’re not entirely sure if this move would benefit developers in the long run, but we do know Amazon hasn’t gained an extremely popular track record when it comes to paying devs what the deserve.
To install this new app, you’ll need to take the same steps as you would if you were installing the standard Amazon Appstore application. You first need to make sure the Unknown Sources box is checked in your settings menu, then navigate to amazon.com/underground to get the download link. Once your .apk file has downloaded, press the install button, and you’re all set. All of the Underground applications and games can be found in the Apps & Games section of your new app (accessed through the slide-out menu on the left).
If you’d like to browse through some of the “actually free” apps and games before jumping through all of these installation hoops, you can find a list of featured apps here.