Early yesterday we reported that the Amazon Free App of the Day was going away without much explanation from Amazon. We probably should have held off just a little bit before posting because it wasn’t too long after that that Amazon announced a new program, Amazon Underground.
Amazon Underground is a very clever idea and is a complete departure from how apps were previously used, sold, monetized, etc. All apps in the Underground catalog are 100% free, there are no upgrades, no in-app purchases (or if there are in-app purchases in the app Amazon covers the cost of them), in Amazon’s words they are #ActuallyFree.
On the flip side this means that Amazon needed to change the way that developers make money. A developer wouldn’t want to have their app in the Amazon Underground if there was no benefit to them. To compensate for this Amazon pays the developers by tracking how much time a user spends actually using the app and pays the developer twelve cents per hour. It gives developers incentive to make their apps more engaging and makes it possible for them to make more than what they would for a one-time purchase or off of in-app purchases. It also means that developers who don’t have engaging apps could make less as less time is being spent by the users actually using the app.
You still have to jump through all the hoops of installing the apps that you did with the Amazon Free App of the Day but Amazon makes it pretty easy with download links and directions here.
Roy likes to dabble in all things Android and contributes everywhere he can. He owns the site rwilco12.com and its accompanying forum, he develops his own apps and ROM’s, is a Moderator and Recognized Developer on XDA-Developers.com and is the VP of Public Relations for AndroidFileHost.com.