Amazon 'Unlocked' To Offer Customers Paid Android Apps And In-App Purchases For Free
Amazon already gives away Android apps and games on a frequent basis, and starting soon, it will kick off a program that will dole out in-app purchases at no charge as well. According to a leaked internal presentation, the program is called Android Unlocked and it will offer a selection of paid apps for free, as well as remove the cost for in-app upgrades and purchases.
You can think of it as a sort of Amazon Prime for Android apps. The leaked presentation, which was obtained by TechCrunch, features both games and apps, including Sega America's Sonic Dash, UsTwo's Monument Valley, MobiSystems' OfficeSuite 8 + PDF Converter, and Ultimate Guitar USA's Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords, to name a few.
You'll notice that Sonic Dash is a free app, though it does have in-app purchases such as powerups that would be free as part of the Unlocked program. The same is true of paid apps that participate in the program -- everything about them will be free to the user, though how exactly it works isn't yet known. From looking at the slides, it appears as though in-app purchases will be automatically unlocked.
This will be Amazon's latest attempt to bolster its Appstore for Android, both on the consumer side and to draw more developers into the fold. Regarding the latter, Amazon's collection of Android apps and games hasn't yet exceeded 400,000 titles, well short of the 1.2 million that are offered on Google Play. Apple's App Store also boasts 1.2 million apps, though obviously they're iOS titles, not Android.
Not all Android device owners are gung-ho to install a separate app store, especially one that doesn't have the same number of titles as Google Play. However, a program that offers paid apps for free and waives the costs of in-app purchases could prove too tempting to pass up.