How to get paid Android apps for free

by: John DyeNovember 20, 2015


It’s human nature to want something for nothing. However, piracy really hurts developers, and it even hurts the Android ecosystem as a whole. For those wanting to balance those two desires – the attraction to free deals and the aversion to hurting developers – a few options exist that let you have the best of both worlds. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can get paid Android apps for free without resorting to piracy.

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GetJar is the largest independent Android app store outside of the Google Play Store. They’ve been in business since 2004, which means GetJar has developed alongside the smartphone industry as a whole.

GetJar was originally created as a developers’ beta-testing platform. It was designed by developers for developers, and their model has remained developer-friendly to this day. The store app, which cannot be found in the Google Play Store, offers an expansive listing of paid apps for the low, low price of Free, and you can take advantage of these offers by visiting their website.

Using a third party store does come with its own risks, however. The Google Play Store heavily regulates what apps are made available and carefully screens out malware. With GetJar, you can’t expect the same level of security that you might be used to. Use discretion when getting apps from any third party store.

Amazon Underground

Amazon Underground logo AA

Amazon Underground was recently introduced as an evolution of the company’s free app of the day program. Not only do you have access to a massive index of paid apps for free, Amazon Underground even makes some in-app purchases available at no additional cost.

So how do devs make money? Underground uses a very different payment strategy than has been conventionally used by smartphone and tablet app providers. Amazon Underground lets you use the apps for free and pays the developers based on how many minutes you use the app. In theory, this encourages app developers to make apps that are consistently engaging and bring users back for more. In reality, it’s not really certain whether this advantages developers or not. However, the only way to learn is to try it out. For now, Amazon Underground is offer tons of normally pricy apps for free. Best to take advantage of it while the getting is good!

The real bonus here is in the in-app purchase. This is a huge benefit to mobile gamers, as it deftly steps around those models that require you to buy coins or whatever for additional play. No more waiting around for 24 hours for more playtime to arrive, you can “purchase” as many in-app benefits as you want absolutely free. This perk varies from app to app, but most of the ones we tried out put no limit on in-app purchase quantity.

Google Play is still going to have a larger selection of apps, but if you’re looking to play without paying, Amazon Underground is hard to beat.

Google Opinion Rewards


It’s a simple little app. Periodically, Google will send you a question, and then they pay you Google Play store credits for your answers. Sometimes you get two or three a day, other times it might be a day or two between queries. Payouts vary widely, but most questions see you earning somewhere between $.10 and $.99.

This might not seem like much, but these payments can really add up quickly. I use Google Opinion Rewards almost daily, and as a result, it’s been quite a while since I paid for an app out of pocket. As long as you don’t mind offering up your personal spending habits and interests to the mighty hivemind of Google, this is an excellent way to build up some Googlebucks and turn yourself into a Google mogul. I’m currently sitting on a staggering portfolio of almost $6.00, and all I’ve had to do is periodically remind Google that I rarely go to Applebee’s, don’t watch many sports, and have never rooted for truffles.

Yes, they actually asked me when I last rooted for truffles.

Download Google Opinion Rewards



AppGratis offers a free app to its users every day and discounts on a wide selection of other apps.  Most of these deals are only twenty-four hours long, and the way this service benefits developers is that it helps unrecognized apps get attention. Developers who are struggling to get their game or application noticed will sign a deal with AppGratis allowing the company to make the app available for free through their services.

When you pirate an app, the developer always loses. However, if you help a new app get use and attention it otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, you’re really helping them out. AppGratis is a perfect marriage of free software and guilt-free availability. They’ve featured big name apps like Angry Birds and Whatsapp in the past, so you might as well check out what they’re offering. Who knows. The app you snag from them for free might just be the next major fad, and you’ll have the smug satisfaction of being in the know early with no damage to your wallet.

Grab AppGratis



AppSales is a service that lets you build a wishlist of apps that you want but which you aren’t willing to fork over cash for. When one of your desired apps goes on sale, AppSales will let you know. By default, AppSales will alert you if an app on your wish list drops in price by a minimum of 25% and has seen 1,000 successful downloads at that price. You can adjust these options to fit your specific needs.

AppSales is the perfect option for the budget-conscious user who would prefer to wait for a deal than experience instant gratification. With this app price monitor, you can check out the history of any app’s selling price, and learn to anticipate price drops. This system combines really well with Google Opinion Rewards, as it lets you stretch your Google Play dollars much further.

Get AppSales


You might not be able to legally get any specific app you want for free, but using these services on the regular can really up your odds of stumbling upon a killer deal and snatching it up. Some free app services come and go as legal agreements expire, but these have been chosen for their projected longevity and the amount of benefit they offer to regular users.

Did we miss anything though? What is your favorite way to ‘hack’ the system and get paid app content for free? Let us know in the comments!

  • NamelessStar

    loved the amazon undergroud got a couple of apps that had in app purcahses that are all 100% covered making the games far more fun.

  • Hotbod Handsomeface

    Get apps for free

    – Step one: download apk from “black market” site
    – Step two: profit

    • Robert Stevens

      And hope that the APK wasn’t hacked and isn’t stealing info from your phone.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        Psh, one look at my “info” and they’d more than likely give it right back, lol.

    • Great Dude

      This list is for developer friendly downloading apps and not for piracy apps.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        Where did it say “only list developer friendly methods”? If we’re going to have a complete list of options, then ALL options should be identified.

        • Great Dude

          “In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can get paid Android apps for free without resorting to piracy.”

  • is another site that lists applications that are now free but used to cost money. There’s a ‘free’ section on the front page.

  • Kiyan Hocek

    1. Download Apk Extractor App
    2. Get Google Play Credit of at least $5
    3. Buy the app you want from Play Store
    4. Use Apk Extractor to create Apk of app(within 2 hours of purchase)
    5. Go to Play Store and find the app, redeem the app(within 2 hours of purchase)
    6. Find extracted Apk file and install app from Apk file
    *This may not with all apps

    • Michał Olesiński

      I use this way for a long time. But I use credit card. If the app has obb data you must remember to rename or move folder on time uninstall.

    • Great Dude

      Would you bring some grocery to a cheif and then let him cook for you and after that eat that food without paying the chief anything?
      Piracy means taking advantage of other peoples work unethically .
      I understand that there is exceptions like for people who lives in some country without Google Play or maybe someone in need to that app but really poor. Otherwise most apps you either not really in need for them or you can have an alternative free app that do similar stuff and there is many free games.
      Developers deserve money for their work.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        Thanks Captain Obvious for the definition of piracy. Did you ever when you were younger in your righteous life record a song you liked from the radio on to a mix tape? Ever copy a CD from a friend that you liked a lot? Same thing, the tech is just better these days. So go fvkk off with your holier than thou teachings.

        • Great Dude

          Even when I was a child I didn’t bought piracy CDs or recorded songs from the radio to make a mix tape.
          When there was a great game ,I would usually go and buy it and in case I don’t find it then I would go and copy it from a friend (which is an exception).
          I am not saying that you are some kind of a bad person nor I am saying that you should have a bad day.
          Just because we are different you shouldn’t be insulting me and I am not faking anything.

  • abazigal

    So what’s the catch with Getjar? Why are the apps being offered for free? Are they done so with the explicit knowledge and consent of the developers? What’s in it for them?

    That section of the article is quite low on details.

  • nebulaoperator

    Amazon Undeground is utter rubish.Even though I got £10 gift on my account I deleted it. App store is slow and buggy its beyond imagination. Once you download app its OK . I managed to get one. It’s not worth a hassle in my all honestly.

  • I see blank screen when i click Amazon Underground. I’m not in us ? is this amazon underground things us only ?? I remember downloading free app of a week before this underground thing.

  • Great Dude

    Google opinion rewards and Amazon underground are region specific though.
    I remember JetGar on the old symbian days. I surprised to see them here. I would make look at this site later.

  • Nerdologist Jon

    Google rewards is the best app. I haven’t had to pay for an appointment so long. And the best part is I have my tablet and my phone hooked up on it. My GPS stays on all the time with my tablet and it stays in my car. So Google sends me loyts of two or three question surveys about what store did I visit when and nhow was my experience and I get add little as 10 cents up to 50 cents and if I made a lot of stops I can get five of these surveys in a day. It adds up to free apps movies or whatever .

    Oh man, I totally forgot about get jar. I use to use that site to get .jar files for my BlackBerry devices of old, my old Samsung and Motorola and unlocked Nokia devices. Man so many memories from that site. It was the app store before there were even app stores. Before the app frontier became tamed and monitoried by the giants forces known as Google and apple. Lol. I’m going to have to take a look to see what’s going on there. Man so many useful utilities. I remember when I would hack a Motorola razr I would get some apps from there and load it to make customizing fun….anyway good stuff

  • moin khudkhudiya

    I can’t use Google opinion reward in my country. I am from India. Is there any alternative available for my country

  • Marty

    I pointed out the Amazon Underground out in an Android Police game article and was berated from one end of the comments to another…furiously. It was as if I was advocating piracy. I just figured they didn’t know what the Underground was.

  • Raw Mess

    Moat of these apps are not available in my country Nepal.I do not own a credit card and buying play coupons are way too expensive . A $10 coupon costs 2200 here that is way expensive than actual value . I have always wanted to purchase poweramp player . Hope one of these app helps me

  • Techngro

    Love Google Opinion Rewards. I get surveys pretty much every other day and for usually just 2 or 3 questions, I get some change. And yes, it adds up very quickly. I have $12 right now. I don’t even have anything I want to buy. ;)

    • Maria Hernandez

      Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer has gone so far as to Support the practice “Work at home” that I have been doing since last year. In this year till now I have earned 66k dollars with my pc, despite the fact that I am a college student. Even newbies can make 39 an hour easily and the average goes up with time. Why not try this .. trer