Welcome to the 200th edition of Android Apps Weekly! We don’t have anything special planned, so let’s get right into those headlines:
Microsoft updated their Skype app a while back. They made it look more like Snapchat. Pretty much everyone hated it. In the Apple App Store, it fell from a 3.5 star rating to a 1.5 star rating. Microsoft has been fervently updating the app to respond to the criticism. Hopefully fixing the issues will lead to a better Skype for everybody.
Google can tell when apps are asking for too much private information. They use a new machine learning algorithm that groups such apps together for easy reference. We’re not talking about something like Facebook asking for your location. We’re talking about something like a flashlight app asking for your location. Facebook has a legit reason for wanting that. However, a flashlight app does not. It’ll be interesting to see what Google does with this info.
The latest Humble Bundle is now live! This week it’s all about jRPGs. You can pay $1 to get three titles, the average to get three more titles, or a flat $5 for everything in the bundle. Most jRPGs are pretty long. This should easily keep you going for many dozens of hours. Additionally, the games cost $73 on their own. It’s quite an excellent deal for these titles.
Facebook Messenger is officially rolling out advertising. For now, the change is only hitting a small group of people. However, that’ll scale up over time until everyone has it. The bloated messaging service already throws a lot of stuff in your face. Ads are just the latest annoyance. Plus, it’ll help Facebook monetize over one billion active users. It’s a smart business move. However, it’s not one people are going to enjoy.
Google Earth is has an interesting future. People may eventually submit stories and photos at some point in the future. The idea is to turn the app into a global community of images and stories. It’s just a report out of Reuters right now. However, it would be really fun if something like this happened. At the very least, Google Earth won’t get ads or any monetizing. It is apparently their gift to the world. Thanks Alphabet!
For more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, click here to check out this week’s newsletter! There you can find a bunch of stuff we didn’t cover here. That includes info about the Google Play Indie Games Festival, WhatsApp’s latest update, a new Samsung app, and a big Google Play sale! You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below and we’ll send it to you every week! You can also check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates.
Altered Beast is an old beat-em-up game from Sega. You play the role of Altered Beast. Usually you walk around as a human. However, you have the ability to change in a number of various beasts with special powers. The game features five levels, various beasts to transform into, and more. The original cheat codes still work too. That's a nice touch, Sega. The game is completely free to play. You can pay $1.99 to remove ads if you want to.
adidas All Day is a new fitness and nutrition app. It promote well-being, fitness, nutrition, and other stuff like that. Or at least it tries to. At its base, it tracks your activity and calories burned. The app also includes articles about exercises and lifestyle choices you can make to do better. It doesn't take long to figure out how the app works. It even tries to bolster mindfulness about your body and your habits. It's completely free for right now. However, we can see this costing money when it's fully released.
Pathos is a new adventure puzzle game. It's done up in the same style as a lot of recent adventure games. It features 36 environments to explore over six chapters. That means it's not an overly long game. However, it also features simple controls, a decent soundtrack, and a story line. It's not the most difficult game to learn. The game is still a lot of fun, though. You can pick it up for $2.49. It has no in-app purchases or advertising to deal with.
Flowx technically isn't new. It's a re-branded weather app. Frankly, we would've missed this one if it hadn't gotten press elsewhere. It's actually pretty awesome. It shows you comprehensive radar of precipitation, temperature, wind, pressure, cloud cover, and more. It also has a basic 7-day forecast. You can subscribe for $1.99 per year or put down a one time payment of $4.99 to unlock the rest of the features and remove ads. It's a fun little weather app.
Grand Prix Story 2 is the sequel to one of the oldest racing sims on mobile. This one lets you run your own garage and race team. You'll upgrade your crew, cars, and tech as you play. The goal is to have a team that wins all of the races. It's a freemium game. That gives it a different feel than most Kairosoft titles. There is still enough there to be a lot of fun, though. It is free to download and we didn't see any abnormal in-app purchase issues.