Amazon to Pull Wires Off Android App Program Underground

May 3, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Underground, one of the sole features of Amazon Store that offered ‘actually free’ apps, is having its days numbered. The services of Underground will be pulled down by May 31 according to an announcement made by the tech behemoth the previous day.

Underground was introduced in 2015 as a replacement to the free app service offered by Amazon’s storefront prior to the date. Under the program, developers could submit apps and software to make a cut based on the time spent on each app.

The highlight of the feature was its offering of apps free of charges, labelled under ‘actually free’. It also covered in-app purchases contrary to the measure employed by the popular storefronts like those of Google and Apple.

However, those free apps will come to a close, starting May 31, which is the deadline set for developers to submit their apps. Post the date, Underground will have no new addition of apps. However, it will still continue to offer the already available apps including support for them for over a year.

Developers will be continued to be provided with a reimbursement for the apps that have been submitted prior to the deadline. The complete takedown of the service will be fulfilled by 2019, following which the Underground feature will be completely wiped out from the Amazon Store.

This comes as a quite surprise as Undergound was one of the salient features of the Amazon storefront. The absence of the feature will leave Amazon Store with no breadth in content of Google’s platform. This, added with the fact that the platform will have to be side loaded, should naturally discourage many users from surfing the storefront of Amazon. A replacement feature appears to be on cards, but Amazon hasn’t revealed further info on its plans as of now.

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