Android Tech News

Amazon Stops Giving Away Free Android Apps

Dave Parrack 01-05-2017

Amazon is discontinuing its Underground Actually Free program. Which means Amazon will no longer be giving away free Android apps to anyone who wants them. The good news is that if you didn’t know Actually Free was even a thing, you have a few months left before it disappears.


In 2015, Amazon launched the Underground Actually Free program. This allowed Android users to download paid apps and games for nothing, with even the price of in-app purchases slashed. It was a legitimate reason to choose the Amazon Appstore over the Google Play Store Google Play vs. Amazon Appstore: Which Is Better? The Google Play Store isn't your only option when it comes to downloading apps -- should you give the Amazon Appstore a try? Read More .

Actually Free Is Actually Disappearing

Unfortunately, Amazon has now announced it’s discontinuing the Actually Free program. This is in the same blog post that the company promises to “continue to expand the Amazon Appstore experience”. As for Amazon Underground, the shuttering of Actually Free will take place gradually over several stages.

First, Amazon will stop accepting new app and game submissions from May 31st, 2017. However, everyone will “continue to enjoy previously installed Underground apps and access the Underground Actually Free store”. And existing developers will continue to get paid for every minute customers spend using their apps.

Next, in the summer of 2017, Android devices other than Fire tablets will lose access to the Underground Actually Free store. And access for Fire tablet users will not extend beyond currently supported devices. So don’t buy the next iteration of Fire tablet and expect to nab a load of freebies.

All support for the Underground Actually Free program will end at some point in 2019. Which means that even owners of existing Fire tablets will be adversely affected. We have to hope that Amazon will then launch something to replace Underground Actually Free. Otherwise we all lose.


Get Paid Android Apps for Free

Everyone likes a freebie, and Amazon’s Underground Actually Free program has been providing plenty of them. However, it seems that the costs associated with giving so many freebies away to so many people has forced Amazon to kill the program before it bankrupted the company.

Thankfully, there are other ways to get paid Android apps for free legally How To Get Paid Android Apps For Free, Legally Are there paid apps in the Play Store that you want, but just can't afford? Don't worry. It's possible to snag those apps for free. Read More . And even Google has introduced a new “Free App of the Week” section Google Is Giving Away a Free Android App Every Week Apple has been offering a "Free App of the Week" for several years. Now, Google is following suit, with its own "Free App of the Week" for Android users. Read More on the Google Play Store for those people too tight to ever pay for anything. So don’t mourn the loss of Underground Actually Free too much.

Have you been making use of the Amazon Underground Actually Free program? If so, which apps have you nabbed for free? Are you upset that Amazon is discontinuing Actually Free? Or is this the first you’ve even heard of it? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Amazon, Freebies.

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  1. likefunbutnot
    May 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    This is pretty bogus. Amazon's App Store has some pretty big shortcomings, but one of my favorite aspects of it were free versions of commercial apps. They were especially great for kids given access to an Android tablet, as the Amazon Underground version of a given app often provided free in-game currency for games with Microtransactions.

    Nothing on Android quite has "Kid Mode" as fully developed as I would like, but a Fire Tablet with Amazon Underground Free Apps was probably the all-around best experience I could find. I could dump a young person in Amazon FreeTime with scads of paid games already installed and know they weren't going to be along in an hour to tell me they needed more gems or coins or whatever so they could get their level 17 Pork Knights. That was actually a fairly major selling point of the Kindle Fire platform overall in my opinion. I'm sorry to see it go, since I don't feel that Google's Family Sharing setup is nearly as useful or robust and relatively few contemporary Android devices ship with multi-user or kid-friendly support.