Amazon Launches App Store That Claims To Show Other Actually Free Apps

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 1.16.10 PMIn a relatively novel idea, Amazon has launched a new store called Amazon Underground that claims to provide Android users with a list of top apps that are actually free – no hidden in-app purchases here.

The e-commerce giant announced the new venture today in a letter [PDF] to consumers, noting that the store offers “over ten thousand dollars in apps, games and in-app items that are actually free.”

Amazon's letter announcing Underground. [Click to enlarge]

Amazon’s letter announcing Underground. [Click to enlarge]

The company says the store is a partnership with thousands of developers and aims to ensure that customers aren’t purchasing apps and games that are marked free, but turn out not to be.

“They use in-app payments to charge you for special items or to unlock features or levels,” the company says of apps available elsewhere.

Underground will be different, the company claims.

“You will find 100% free versions of popular premium titles,” the letter states. “We’ve made this possible by working out a new business model with app and game developers.”

That model works by Amazon paying developers a certain amount per-minute played 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,” the company says. “Just look for apps and games marked with an ‘Actually Free’ banner.”

Amazon says that while you might normally go to Google Play to download such an app, it’s not possible with Underground, thanks to Google’s rules against allowing an app that offers apps or games to be included in its store.

Instead, users have to download Underground directly from, which isn’t as easy as it might seem, especially if you don’t have a Fire phone. The Verge points out that the process entails changing security settings and installing an .apk to access content that is largely available in the Google Play Store already.

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