Earlier this summer I shared an amazing new resource for snagging paid apps (and paid features in free apps) for FREE – Amazon Underground. In that post, I highlighted the best multiplayer family games based on my family’s opinions. Since I still run into people who don’t know about Amazon Underground, today I’m sharing what I consider the best apps for teens (tested and approved by my own three teens) that are available for free on Amazon Underground.
What Is Amazon Underground?
In my opinion, it’s the best kept secret in the world of smartphones and tablets. Amazon Underground offers thousands of apps completely free, with absolutely no catches. In a world where bait-and-switch tactics abound, many of us are skeptical of deals that seem too good to be true. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to wrap our heads around Amazon Underground.
As a busy mom who doesn’t have time for shady sales tactics, and the parent of a college student that is sucking my wallet dry, I can assure you that Amazon Underground is just as amazing as it sounds. Not only can you download free apps that you’d otherwise have to pay for, but you can also access levels and features in free apps that usually cost extra.
To access Amazon Underground, go to https://www.amazon.com/underground on your Android smartphone. If you have an Amazon Fire Tablet, just look for the Amazon Underground catalog in “Apps” and look for apps with the “Actually Free” sash in the left corner.
Several of my friends have gotten nervous when they download their first underground app because a prompt appears to walk you through the process of approving “unknown sources.” This has to be enabled for you to download apps and games from sources other than Google Play to your Android device. Apps and games downloaded from Amazon Underground will NOT harm your device.
After you’ve downloaded the Amazon Underground app, it’s easy to get the games and apps you want. Here’s a quick how-to you might have seen if you follow me on Instagram.
Best Apps for Teens
My teens always have their cell phones with them, except for times that we don’t allow it (e.g. at the dinner table). I love that they have a handheld calculator, camera, map, and phone with them at all times that fits in their pocket.
There are hundreds of apps that make their lives easier and more entertaining. However, just a handful stand out to me as being especially valuable. Some of these are helpful tools and others are games that do more than entertain.
Dictionary (Pro Gold)
The name of this app is misleading since it is much more than a dictionary. In addition to standard dictionary functions, the Dictionary app includes a thesaurus, vocabulary builder, games, encyclopedic information, and multiple languages.
Easy Voice Recorder Pro
Even as adept as teens are at typing on their phones, it’s often faster and easier to record thoughts, reminders, and important details via speech instead. Easy Voice Recorder Pro is one of the easiest voice recording apps to use and manage.
Teens do a lot of reading between homework, test prep, and the college admissions process. Reading Trainer helps them improve their reading comprehension and speed so they can process more information quickly.
For students in band, orchestra or chorus, Tunable is a must-have app. It serves as a chromatic tuner, tone/chord generator, metronome and recorder to help students play in tune and on beat.
One of the great things about modern mobile devices is that our teens always have a camera available to record all of life’s fun events. Pic Collage is a fun and super easy way to create collages of those pics.
Best Game Apps for Teens
My teens also play a lot of games on their phones when they are killing time. Some of these are actually educational and I’m thrilled they enjoy them. Others are really just for fun, but it’s clean fun and all of them enjoy them (a rare miracle among my diverse offspring) so those earned a spot on my list too.
Block! is a basic puzzle game where you have to fit different block shapes together to fill up the board. Simple in concept, gradually more difficult to accomplish as you progress to harder levels.
Flow Free is another puzzle game that is strangely addicting. You have to connect two dots of the same color without crossing paths with any of the other colors. Everyone in my family loves this game and we often work together to find the solutions for the more difficult levels.
Word Twist is a fun game for teens who like word searches or anagrams. The object of the game is to find as many words as you can from six random letters. To move on to the next round you have to find at least one six-letter word.
Mind Games Pro
Learning is a skill and one that I believe improves with practice. I love that Mind Games Pro makes brain training fun. This app includes games to help with several different cognitive skills including abstraction, attention, face memory, flexibility, and spatial memory (among many others).
My 16-year old daughter loves Doodle Jump. In this game you guide the Doodler upwards trying to avoid obstacles along the way. This is one of those games where my kids are seeming savants compared to their fledgling mother who can never make it past level one.
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing
If your teen prefers driving games, Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing is the best one available for Android devices. Players can choose from 69 different cars and 5 city districts. The graphics are pretty amazing as are the customization options for the vehicles.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.