Whenever a company hawks something as "free," most consumers, thanks to sleazy and insidious advertising schemes, know that nothing is usually truly free.
The cost is typically baked into some purchase related with the "free" gift or service.
Amazon's free Android app of the day and its 34-app package offered this weekend are truly free. Not only are they free, but several boast a high value proposition for Android device users needing good productivity tools or a new game to play on the train ride home or with the kids on the next rainy day.
In addition, Amazon offers a nifty "test drive" feature that lets users literally test drive an app on a PC or mobile computing device to avoid downloading an app they won't like or realize they don't need. By clicking the "test drive now" button, a copy of the app is launched via Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud servers and lets users explore the features as if it were running on a mobile device.
Amazon's recent 34 free apps, which represent a total value of $105, are nearly evenly split between games (Five Nights at Freddy's 2) and productivity/work tools (NeoCal Advanced Calculator). Each is rated in terms of age appropriateness as well as user feedback on a star rating of one to five, with five being tops.
Of the 34 free apps, 33 boast at least a four-star rating, and many boast prices well above the usual 99 cents to $3 average cost of mobile apps. There's one with five stars, OpenDocument Reader, which also has some extraordinary ratings from users.
The free app bundle is being offered to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Amazon Appstore. All the apps can be used on Android devices as well as Amazon Fire tablets.
Not every app is useful to everyone. Not everyone needs a database manager or has someone wanting them to read the Amelia and Terror of the Night storybook out loud.
However, anyone with a passing interest in photo shoots, whether improving on Instagram shots or creating photos worthy of framing, likely would get something useful from Element of Photography Pro. The list of gaming apps offers something for both boys and girls, those who like horror and those wanting edutainment, with learning experiences from the likes of Alphabet Aquarium and Monkey Preschool Explorers.
So, in this case, free is not only free but a worthwhile freebie opportunity. Of course, there is a reason Amazon is making 34 Android apps free for the taking for a limited time: positive marketing. After all, it just takes a few seconds to check out the free app of the day and download it, and that provides opportunity for Amazon to entice visitors into actually buying something or subscribing to a service while they're on site. Therein lies the value proposition for Amazon.