Amazon will be officially shutting down its Underground Actually Free program under which users could download free versions of Android apps and games. Launched in August 2015, the program under Amazon s Appstore offered free versions of apps and games which normally cost money on Google Play Store. The in-app purchases within some apps and games were also made free through Amazon s Underground Actually Free program. The e-commerce giant has now announced that this program will be shutting down completely by 2019. Also Read - Amazon 'Mega Music Fest' offers deals on boAt, Sony, JBL headphones, speakersAlso Read - Amazon Fab Phones Fest: Best deals on Realme Narzo 50A, Samsung Galaxy M12, and more
The program was initially available only for users of Amazon s Fire tablets. Amazon, later, went on to make the program available for other Android users as well, with the launch of a dedicated app which was available on the e-commerce website. The discontinuation of Underground Actually Free program will not take place immediately but in stages, and Fire tablet users have some perks over other Android users. The program will completely shut down in 2019 and until then, Fire tablet users can continue to access the Underground Actually Free store and the previously downloaded apps and games will not be affected.
As for the users on the Android devices, they can also continue using previously downloaded apps but will be won’t have access to the Underground Actually Free store from summer of 2017. The specific date hasn t been mentioned. Post the discontinuation, users on other Android devices will be able to access the store to purchase physical goods and access Amazon Prime Video content. Amazon has also said that from May 31, it will stop accepting new games and apps submissions for its Underground Actually Free program. Developers can, however, keep sending updates to their existing apps and games until 2019. ALSO READ: Amazon Underground offers free access to paid Android games and apps worth $10,000
Amazon, in its blog post, did not really list a specific reason as to why the program is shutting down but did point out ways developers can earn revenue on the Appstore. Developers who have their free apps and games on Underground Actually Free program, earned through the amount of time users spent accessing them. Amazon said that developers will continue earning for their existing apps and games. The company also announced that now they can earn by converting their game characters and imagery into branded t-shirts via Merch by Amazon.” For customers, Amazon said that they can save on every game with Amazon Coins which would be available on discounts and developers would continue getting their 70 percent revenue share. ALSO READ: Amazon Fire TV stick first impressions: What s in the box, how to set up, is it better than Chromecast, and more