On 28th April 2017, Amazon made an announcement saying that it would soon end support for it free app program, Underground Actually Free. The app offers free versions of many apps and games on Android phones and Fire Tablets, including jetpack joyride, Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions, Monument Valley, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, Office Suite Pro 8 and much more.

Underground Actually Free was first launched in 2015 and it grew into include thousands of apps, initially available for Android but later adding support for Fire Tablets. It provided users free apps, by paying the developers royalties on a per minute basis. A lot of the apps offered were the same that could be found on the Google Play store, with some even having free in-game purchases.

Amazon to shut down its free Android app program, Underground
Amazon to shut down its free Android app program, Underground

However, it could not be downloaded through the Play store, and therefore users had to download it from Amazon’s website. In reality, Amazon was trying to build its own app store and wanted to use the Underground Actually Free app program to expand its reach and appeal to a lot of new customers.

Underground Actually Free

In the statement made by Amazon, it said that the company will end the acceptance of submissions for the free app program on the 31st of May 2017, though the complete end of support for it will occur in 2019. Access to the store will continue throughout the summer of 2017.

While previous users, such as those of the Android phones and Fire Tablets, will be still be allowed to use the apps they have previously downloaded from the program, support for and access to the Underground store will not be increased beyond the current number and type of devices. Developers already providing apps to the store will be allowed permission to continue to update their apps until the end of the service sometime in 2019.