Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for this week:
First up this week, Google is introducing two new ways for developers to beta test apps. The first is an open beta where all you need is the link while the other allows users to sign up using their email addresses. Prepare for far more betas to hit the Play Store in the future.
Last November, Microsoft released the Visual Studio Emulator for Android. The only problem with it was that developers had to use Visual Studio to develop apps. Now developers can use Android Studio or Eclipse and still use the Visual Studio Emulator and life was good again.
In one of the bigger headlines this week, Google announced that they’ll be eliminating the need to sign into Google+ to comment on YouTube. This, paired with the news that Google+ will be removed from other services, has kick started yet another round of rumormill nonsense about Google+ shutting down. It’s probably not.
Bethesda announced Fallout Shelter back at E3 earlier this year and said it was coming to Android but not specifically when. We now have an official release date which is August 13th. That’s two weeks folks, so get your thumbs ready!
Microsoft is developing an Android launcher called Arrow Launcher. It’s in private beta right now but you can find the download here. It’s a little light on customization features but an overall strong effort that actually feels like something for Android. We expect it to do quite well.
For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter. There you’ll find all the content we didn’t have time for here. If you’re so inclined you can also sign up using your email address and have this info sent straight to your email every single Friday!
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In addition we do now have a Twitch channel! We usually stream on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at 5PM EST. However, this week I have to send back my Nvidia Shield Tablet thanks to that recall so I won’t have my streaming device. Still, you should go subscribe and then you’ll be ready when we get back online!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Rovio has released the actual sequel to the original Angry Birds game this last week. It’s called Angry Birds 2 and it actually does improve on the original Angry Birds experience. It comes with multi-stage levels, spells, and even boss levels which is sure to bring some much needed freshness to the aging franchise. There is also a multiplayer experience with tournaments that you can compete in. It’s kid friendly and free to play.
Boxer Calendar is a new calendar application that comes from the same people who brought us Boxer Email. It has quite a few features to choose from including theming and customization, various calendar views, Material Design, and support for Exchange and Google Calendar. The unique feature is the ability to send your availability to other people at a moment’s notice to help plan events and get togethers. There are some release day bugs do keep an eye out for that.
A Day in the Woods is a hybrid puzzle game and board game with fairly decent graphics for its genre. The premise is simple, you must guide the girl to Grandma’s house while avoiding all the things that don’t want you to get there. You actually play as a wisp that controls the field which can be customized by unlocking various things. There are also 60 levels, seasonal backdrops, and the game has no in-app purchases. It’s a fun little title and it’s worth checking out.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 was released on the Google Play Store this week and marks the second FNAF release this year. This one takes place in a bedroom where you must check the bed behind you, the closet, and two doors in order to keep the creepy bad guys at bay. The game is rather short, but very challenging and we even streamed this one on Twitch. It’s only a few bucks and there no in-app purchases. If you like shock, you’ll probably like this.
Virtually everyone who has heard of benchmarks know about 3DMark. It’s the benchmark software all the pros use and now it’s on Android. This will push your device to its limits to see just how good it is for gaming and it also compares it to other Android, iOS, and Windows devices. It’s totally free with no in-app purchases and no advertising which means most of you have already left to go download and now I’m wasting my breath.