Apps & Software News

RIP: Amazon is Killing Its Underground Free App Store

Amazon began offering popular paid applications and games for free back in 2015 when they launched their Amazon Underground program. Rather charging a fee to download the apps, Amazon decided to pay developers dependant on how much time users used their software.Everything looked like roses and chocolate from the get-go, but this effort has pretty much flopped. And it’s obvious, as not many other apps have gone free in exchange for per-minute payments.

Everything looked like roses and chocolate from the get-go, but this effort has pretty much flopped. And it’s obvious, as not many other apps have gone free in exchange for per-minute payments. That’s why Amazon is shutting down Underground.

In an announcement in their developer portal, the company announced that Underground will be shut down entirely come 2019. Different increments of time will bring stages that’ll eventually block users from accessing the program.

For instance, at the end of this month, Amazon will no longer accept further submissions to the Underground app store. Come Summer ’17, those using the Amazon Appstore for Android will be restricted access to Underground. Fire tablet support for the store won’t expand beyond the current lineup of devices. Additionally, those with Fire tablets can still download and update apps through Underground until 2019.

If you’re an Amazon developer and have apps published to the Underground Appstore, you’ll still be able to update them through 2019. And as previously stated, you have until May 31st to publish any new ones. You can learn more about this change here.


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Max Buondonno is a technology enthusiast who has been working as a journalist in this industry for more than two years. He has grown up in the age where everyone has a smartphone which has influenced his decision to become a professional technology writer, his passion in life. He's dipped his toes in the development of websites, while you can ask him anything about Apple, Google, or Microsoft and he's bound to give you an answer. He's reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and email.

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