Welcome to the 342nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
- The US Secret Service bought phone location data from everyday apps. Itâ€™s actually a fairly fishy event. Anybody can buy location data through data mining companies. However, most companies use it for advertising. The Secret Service allegedly used it to track people down. Senator Ron Wyden is working on a bill to prevent this in the future via the Fourth Amendment. Hit the link to read all of the details.
- Instagram had a fairly negative week. The app introduced a suggested posts feature that puts the posts of strangers at the end of your feed. This isnâ€™t too bad until the developers inevitably push it too far and interweave it into your regular feed. The company is also facing a lawsuit for allegedly collecting face data without permission.
- Nvidia GeForce Now now officially works on Chromebooks. The game streaming service is a bit of a dark horse in the race between larger initiatives like Microsoftâ€™s XCloud and Google Stadia. The move to function on Chromebooks makes the platform a little more friendly to gamers. Hit the link to learn more.
- Google is doing more weird stuff with its messaging apps. The current rumor is Google replacing Duo with Hangouts Meet. This one is strange because Duo is actually really good and people seem to actually like it. However, the plan would be to replace Duo with Meet sometime in the next few years.
- Epic Games, Google, and Apple are officially having it out in public. Epic Games published an update to Fortnite that gave users the opportunity to buy V-Bucks directly from Epic Games instead of using Google or Apple payments. This is, of course, against the rules of the App Store and Play Store so the app was banned from both services. Now, Epic Games is suing both companies for the right to sell goods on its own app without paying a 30% tax. Additionally, Google tanked Epic Gamesâ€™ deal with OnePlus to have the game natively on the phone, which plays into this whole drama as well. Hit all the links to enjoy the chaos or click here to install Fortnite if you need to.
Price: Free / Up to $3.99
Unexpected is a puzzle game that makes heavy use of interactive riddles. There are sixteen stories to play through and multiple endings and achievements to obtain. It gives the game a lot of replay value. There are some adult situations and some creepy stuff so we donâ€™t recommend this one for kids. The art style is decent and the gameâ€™s controls are easy to learn. The game is free with advertising or you can pay to remove the ads. To be honest, the ads arenâ€™t that bad either.
ScreenHive is an interesting digital wellbeing app. It puts a floating window over your device with a timer. The timer goes up when you start using your phone. The premise is to show you how long youâ€™ve on your device in real time so you can self regulate how long you spend on it. The window is small enough and didnâ€™t interfere with use of the device. Itâ€™s also a free tool. We actually quite like the simple idea with the simple execution. There are no complicated menus or anything like that. You just get to see how long youâ€™ve been on your phone so you can cut yourself off.
Bid Wars Stars
Price: Free to play
Bid Wars Stars is a free to play multiplayer game. You browse various lots, bid on them, and sell the contents of the lots for money. It includes mechanics to look around a storage locker to see all of the contents and some tools to guess the worth. The NPCs are dramatic and gregarious to keep the mood light and in line with the popular TV shows in this genre. The mechanics are solid. However, there are some odd restrictions that makes progress difficult at higher levels along with the usual array of new game bugs. Itâ€™s decent and should improve over time.
LitePass: to the Lite version!
LitePass is an app browser. It basically lists every Lite version of any given app for easy reference. You find the one you want, click it, and download it from the Google Play Store. This is actually a decent way to keep track of all the Lite versions of various apps and a good way to replace some battery munching apps with its lighter, less intensive counterpart. The app has a super basic UI, but it works as advertised.
Super Shot Golf
Price: Free to play
Super Shot Golf is the latest arcade golf game from Hothead Games. It plays a lot like those arcade golf games you may have seen in restaurants and bars when you were younger. Players determine shot strength and direction to try and get a hole in one. There are various unlockable balls and clubs for better precision and power and unlockable courses for more variety. Itâ€™s a free to play game so donâ€™t expect too much depth, but itâ€™s a fun time waster for golf fans.
Thank you for reading. Try these out too:
- 15 best puzzle games for Android
- 10 best productivity apps for Android
- 15 best free Android games available right now
- The best third party app stores for Android and other options too
- 10 best golf games for Android
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments!