Welcome to the 274th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- We announced our picks for the best new Android apps and best new Android games from 2018! Every app and game launched some time in 2018. Some notable selections include Bouncer, YouTube Music, Carrot Weather, Dolphin Emulator, PUBG Mobile. Fortnite, Part Time UFO, and many others. There are over 50 total selections between both lists and each one’s honorable mentions. Check them out at the links above!
- Google launched a huge update for the Google My Business app this week. It is basically a complete re-design with small businesses in mind. Business owners can now upload photos easier, add and edit information easier, and track various metrics. This is a redesign of an older app and that’s why it’s not below in the app section. Still, it’s a fairly significant update and it makes a lot of the functions easier to use.
- Facebook had a couple of problems this week. The first was a bug that potentially exposed private photos to just about anybody. It only affects photos uploaded to the service but not publicly shared. The bug allegedly affected up to 6.8 million users in total. The second problem is a little more serious. Facebook gave Spotify and Netflix access to your private messages. Netflix denied that it ever asked for such permissions. This problem is still a work in progress, though. Hit the link to learn more!
- A former Microsoft employee accused Google of sabotage in regards to the company’s Edge browser. Basically, the employee accused Google of changing YouTube site code for nefarious reasons. The change added a blank div space and that prevented Edge browser from recognizing it as a video site. Thus, Edge could not engage in its hardware acceleration mode. Google claims it was an accident. However, Google has intentionally thrown competitors under the bus like this before. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
- On a positive note, Google Play and several developers are having massive year-end sales on the Play Store. Some of the stuff available includes subscriptions for HBO and Starz, image editor Picsart, and TuneIn Radio. Additionally, Clash Royale, Pokemon Go, Lineage 2, PUBG Mobile, and Summoners War. Some additional stuff includes John Wick and The Predator movies, several TV shows, and even a few bucks. Hit the link for more! Additionally, Square Enix is putting its popular series of Final Fantasy ports (along with Chrono Trigger) on sale as well. Happy hunting!
My Board Game Collection is what the name suggests. It keeps track of all of your board games. The industry is in the midst of a rise of popularity and collecting board games is actually fairly popular. Why shouldn’t we have an app to track them? The app uses Board Game Geek as its search engine and you can add all of your games. You can then access the game’s official website, game manuals, and other resources from there. You can also sort your games for things like complexity, number of players, and average length of time per game. My Board Game Collection is in beta right now. Thus, expect bugs and frequent changes. However, we actually really liked it.
ROME: Total War is a new real-time strategy game. The game features a full RTS experience without any freemium nonsense. Additionally, the game features 19 playable factions, deep tactical game play, massive battles and more. Players train troops, manage their cities, and conduct combat against the bad guys. The touch screen UI is serviceable as well and we didn’t have any trouble playing the game. Some players reported crashes at the end of battles, but these reports are few and far between. It’s a shame that we already wrote our best Android games of 2018 list because this would probably be on it. Perhaps in 2019!
00:37 is a minimal style fitness app. It doesn’t have any exercise routines or instructional videos. Instead, it lets you create timers for various exercises for your own routine. You can track each time you perform the exercise as well and organize your results for a variety of metrics like tags, routine, alphabetically, etc. It’s a little tedious at first. However, it actually works quite well once you get it all set up and ready to go. It’s an open beta so you can expect bugs and other potential problems. Otherwise, it’s a neat little minimal fitness app that cuts out a lot of the fluff.
Beach Buggy Racing 2 is the latest game from Vector Unit, developers of the popular Riptide GP series. This is a standard kart style racing game similar to its predecessor. It plays a lot like Mario Kart. You race through tracks, pick up weapon boxes, and launch weapons at the other racers for a competitive edge. There are several playable characters, over 40 cars to unlock, online multiplayer races, various customizations, and a couple of extra game modes not in the first game. The game ramps up its grind game rather quickly and we’re not fans of that. Additionally, it has the occasional bug like most new mobile games do. Otherwise, it’s quite enjoyable.
Widget Drawer is a neat idea for widget lovers out there. It essentially creates a whole new drawer similar to the app drawer. However, this drawer is solely for widgets. Some launcher apps have this functionality already, but this app works anywhere. Basically, you create the drawer, populate it with your favorite widgets, and that’s it. You then decide how to access the drawer with a little tab on the side of the screen that is also lightly customizable. We would like a free demo version. Thus, we recommend really giving it a shot inside of the refund time. Otherwise, it worked well for us.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments! Also, check out our weekly Android Authority podcast here!