Amazon has announced a new Android app that contains all of the content from the normal Amazon app, but with the addition of a revamped store for Android apps and games. Amazon Underground is a new app that could see users replacing both the Amazon app as well as the Appstore in favour of the online giant's new app. One of the key features of the new app allows users to download premium apps for free. Want to know more? Here’s how it works:
Amazon has partnered with developers to make in excess of ten thousand dollars worth of games, apps and in-app items free. The apps in the new Underground Store are usually paid apps, but Amazon found another way to compensate the app developers. So the 'Underground apps' will be branded as “actually free,” and it also replaces the free App A Day program.
So this all sounds great for consumers but I instantly wondered what's in it for the developers? Well, the company will pay developers based on how long a user actually uses a certain app. Amazon will be monitoring the per-minute use and developers will waive in-app purchases and upfront costs.
This strategy employed with the Kindle Unlimited subscription service — where by Amazon pays royalties to the ebook writers depending on how many virtual pages you read, and the Amazon Underground program is basically the same thing, it could also be compared to unlimited music streaming services such as Google Play or Apple Radio.
So adopters of the new App will also find paid apps, freemium apps as well as physical and digital goods. In fact the entire Amazon App store catalogue have moved to the Amazon Underground app and The only new addition to people's user experience will be the “actually free” program.
So if you like the sound of this and would like to try it out for yourself you will have to head over to Amazon's mobile site to download it as Google/GooglePlay doesn't allow competing app stores on the Play Store. However, the original Amazon App will remain on GooglePlay. If you are using a Fire HD and Fire HDX you will have access to the Underground store automatically.
It will be interesting to see if this move by Amazon will pull a significant number of users away from the GooglePlay Store and I wonder what the uptake of this will be by big name developers. One thing if for sure that people love something for nothing so fingers crossed it can become a success for everyone involved.