Amazon “Unlocked” could be like Prime for Android apps



If you’re a fan of the Amazon Appstore you’re well aware of the free apps Amazon gives away every day. Anyone can take advantage of the deals, but you have to use Amazon’s own Android Appstore. An internal presentation obtained by TechCrunch suggests that Amazon will be taking free apps to the next level with a new program.

The program is called “Unlocked,” and it sounds a lot like Amazon Prime. The Unlocked program would offer paid apps for free, and even unlock all in-app purchases for “free-to-play” games. It’s unclear how the program will work, where the free apps will be located, and how much it will cost. Amazon already offers many perks for Prime subscribers, such as free shipping, movies, TV shows, and music. It would make perfect sense to roll this into the current Prime benefits.


Would you use the Amazon Appstore for the Unlocked program? Would you consider signing up for Amazon Prime if it meant free Android apps? Would you sign up for a standalone program to get free apps?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. Probably not, they’re app store isn’t as popular with devs, meaning less apps that are up to current design guidelines or very appealing, and apps don’t get updated as often when issues occur when compared with the Play Store. Maybe things will change if this takes off but I doubt it.

  2. No

  3. Nope, want no part of Amazon and their walled garden

    1. How is Amazon providing you another app store on your Android device a walled garden? If you buy one of their devices you’re entering their walled garden certainly, but not if you just use their app store.

      1. I am personally running both Amazons store and Googles Play store on my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013) personally so I get the best of both worlds. IT may be running Jelly bean still but there aren’t any apps I can not use on the device.

        1. Did you have to root or somehow hack your Kindle Fire HDX to sideload the Play Store? I haven’t paid too much attention to how locked down they are, I’ve just heard that they only come with the apps that Amazon chooses and the Amazon app store.

          1. Since I always root my android devices for titanium backup that’s how I managed to get the play store up and running. You would have to check DeanO to see if it’s likeable to do without root

  4. I only use the Amazon app store, the free app of the day is great, so this kind of a service would just be icing on a great cake.

    1. You ONLY use the Amazon appstore? Damn, more power to you. The slow interface and mostly delayed updates keep me limited to only a few apps on there.

  5. I seldomly use Amazon App Store..only when very cool apps are available… I got Splashtop Remote Desktop..and it was awesome..real story:

    I finished a midterm extra credit paper for my Anthropology Class.. When I got to class..I realized I did not put it in my back pack..I had 15 minutes til class…I hop on my school’s WiFi, I activated Remote desktop and got access to my home computer, I opened the paper..then emailed to myself.. Went to the school library and printed it out..I was a little late to class…but in time to turn my paper in…thanks Amazon!

    Oh yeah and to answer the question.. No…I don’t want that Amazon Unlocked thing…

  6. I’m curious how developers are compensated fro this. I hope it’s not like the free app of the day in which they get $0.

    1. I thought Amazon pays for each download….

      1. According to this website:

        they don’t pay anything. I was sure they do.

        1. Damn.

        2. I hate when people give half the story. the story in your link clearly indicates that the developer of apps offered fro free are fully aware in writing that they will not be compensated. The example given is of a game that was being downloaded only 20 times a day. The developer agreed to do it for the exposure. He was hardly getting rich off of 20 meager downloads. So no, they are not compensated, but they do agree up front in writing .

          1. That’s true. Still, they don’t get paid when this deal is used. It’s not that Amazon takes apps at random and sets them as free for a whole day without paying. It’s something that is really for free and the developers agree to use it (but only when they want to).

  7. I’ve gotten a ton of free apps and games from Amazon, many of them useful. I just pay attention to when they periodically give away several at a time. The one upside I see, other than the free apps, is that I’m logged into all my family’s devices with my amazon account but only my phone with my Google account so when I get an app through Amazon it’s available on all or devices. If I buy it via Google Play, I either have to log into the other devices with my Google account (which I don’t want to do for various reasons) or buy the app again with another account to get it on that device.

    1. I do the same thing.

      1. This, plus aptoide (for legally free apks) equals no point in Amazon.

    2. I just use ES File Explorer and save a copy to Drop Box, then access DB from my wife or daughters device and install the app that way. Then you also have a back up if you need it for some reason.

      1. Get yourself Network Connections and trace your ES File Explorer login to Dropbox.

        Then go change your Dropbox password.

  8. I don’t buy many apps, but when I do it’s in the Play Store with Rewards money.

    So Google is already giving me free apps by me letting them track me even more. Wait..

  9. If it comes with my Prime membership then sure. If I have to pay more then no. I love the amazon app store. I’ve got over 100 apps for free, and I prefer buying apps through amazon so I can share them with my whole family without having to sign into my Google account on all their devices.

  10. If the Amazon App store didn’t screw the Dev’s so hard on the “free” apps to the point that they abandon them I would consider it. If the “free” Apps were as good as or better than they were when the Amazon store launched, I would still consider it. Granted, the Developers have every right to not allow their apps to be offered for free, but, to incentivise the program, Amazon could at the very least reverse the model and give them .xx% of what they would make otherwise. In any event, Prime is successful because of the added values Amazon extends. Free 2 day shipping, movies and TV shows with a few Amazon originals… It’s definitely worth it if you get the student discount, or if you don’t and do a lot of Amazon buying. Apps, they would be an interesting bonus, but hardly a deal maker.

  11. Only time I ever used the Amazon app store is when they piggybacked it into their shopping app and forced people to download it in order to get the Instant Video app. I’m not a marketing guy, but that just sounds like the wrong way to go about it. Why make it more difficult for customers to use your service? I’m not going to buy your shitty Fire tablet. Ever.

  12. Awesome!

  13. this is great and all but will developers really like it?? will they support the app store at this point? I would imagine you will end up seeing less updates than they do now on there. I cant remember the last time I received an update for a game I downloaded on there. I’m not AWARE of this at all, I’m really asking if someone can explain it to me =)

  14. The Amazon App Store has one purpose for me. That is good apps that normally cost money are on a super sale or free. Though 80% of the apps I did get for free I dont use at all. I simply got addicted to FREE games or apps that served no real purpose but sounded awesome.

    This might be cool for those that buy into the Amazon eco-system.

  15. Amazon’s app store is irrelevant for me, as the apps are hardly ever updated and have a far higher chance of being geo-locked (ie: blocked) for me than the regular Google Play store.

    I used to use it for my Ouya or phone, in order to “sideload” apps, but I’ve found that Aptoide is far better.

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