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Amazon Underground wants to kill off in-app purchases

Richard Easton
27 Aug 2015
Amazon Underground
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The revamped Amazon App Store offers apps that are "actually free" including in-app purchases

Amazon's long been offering Android apps through its own Amazon App Store but now the company has revamped it with Amazon Underground. The newly updated Amazon Android app now has a dedicated Underground Apps section that touts "Actually Free" apps and games. Amazon has used this slogan as an indication that apps downloaded from Underground and labelled as "Actually Free" will also include all future in-app purchases, so you are in fact getting it for free.

In the past, app developers would make a majority of their money through in-app purchases, often providing apps and games without an initial charge as a trojan horse. Amazon has introduced a new business model whereby it has agreed to pay developers a "per-minute" rate for apps in place of their usual in-app charges. In an open letter to its customers Amazon stated "To be clear, we're the ones picking up those per minute charges so for you it's simply free", continuing "The Amazon Underground app is a long-term program rather than a one-off promotion."

Amazon Underground screenshot

Amazon will recoup some of this outlay by showing advertising when apps are first launched and occasionally there after. So far the selection of apps and games is reasonably limited and mainly focused around child-friendly games and a few productivity apps but hopefully the catalogue will grow over time as more developers get on board.

If you don't already have the Amazon app installed, you'll need to download the app directly from your phone by visiting: http://www.amazon.co.uk/underground

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