How to get paid apps for free on Android & no In-App Payments
Having a smartphone without apps is like a sandwich without a filling.
And a new tool from Amazon lets you get costly Android apps for free.
Other apps that appear to be free, but actually sting you through in-app payments can also be had for naught through the new service called Amazon Underground.
"We've made this possible by working out a new business model with app and game developers," Amazon said in a statement.
"We're paying them a certain amount on a per-minute played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees. To be clear, we're the ones picking up those per-minute charges so for you it's simply free."
Amazon says you'll be able to tell these apps from an "Actually Free" banner spread across the app's icon tile.
Sadly, because Google Play doesn't allow an app to be put on your phone that then lets you install further apps, there's a bit of jiggery-pokery required.
Step 1: Go to this address and download the APK
The first stage (if you've got an Android phone - sorry, there's no love for iOS here) is to head to Amazon.co.uk/Underground on your device and click to download what's called an APK file.
It'll be stored in your phone's download folder and you'll need to update your phone's security settings before you can install it.
Step 2: Install the app
Go to your Android phone's Settings page, then navigate to "Security" or "Applications".
Once there, find the "Install from Unknown Sources" check box or switch and activate it.
After this is completed, go to your downloads folder and click on the app file (Amazon_App.apk) to install it.
You'll need to activate the "Unknown Sources" option on your phone before before you can install the Amazon app
Step 3: Sign in and start getting free apps
Once you've got the app installed on your phone, you'll be able to dive in and start browsing the offerings.
At first glance it appears to be just like the Amazon shopping app. The trick is to click the three lines in the top left to bring up the menu, then click on "Apps & Games".
This will bring you to Amazon's own app store-within-an-app. The free offerings will all be clearly marked.