Welcome to the 162nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Google Play has updated their metadata rules to help apps be more user friendly. Some of the new rules include carpet bans on nudity, violence, vulgar language, and drug use. Along with the new rules, Google has released a new set of guidelines for apps to follow. Some of those includes a higher focus on what makes an app special, less keyword stuffing, and a focus on making the content suitable for a general audience. These rules have already gone live.
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends was briefly available in the Google Play Store this week. It’s upload was a mistake according to the developers. It’s actually a tablet test version of the game. For those who don’t know, Legends is a card dueling game similar to Hearthstone or Clash Royale. The difference being that this takes place in the Elder Scrolls universe. It’s still available on PC and has been for a while if you want to check it out.
- Google revealed the winners of their 2016 Material Design Awards this week. There were a few categories, including Charming Engagement, Focused Efficiency, Expressive Layouts, Creative Navigation, and Brand Infusion. The winners of those categories were Fabulous, Airbnb, Kitchen Stories, C Channel, and Asana, respectively. Everyone will officially receive their rewards at the SPAN LA conference later this month.
- Candy Crush is going to get a TV show. Reports say that the show will feature teams of two people who will be running around on a giant, interactive game board in order to play Candy Crush. It’ll be aired on CBS and the co-producing credit is going to Lionsgate. It’ll also appear during the daytime around the same time as The Price Is Right. There’s no word yet on when it’ll air, but it’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.
- Google’s Pixel Launcher was launched on Google Play. The good news is that it’s there. The bad news is that you won’t be able to download it unless you have a Pixel device. This is very similar to how Google did it with Google Launcher. Thus, it’d be a surprise if this didn’t show up on more devices eventually. For now, it’s a good sign that it’s in the Play Store and Pixel owners will certainly get faster updates this way.
For even more Android apps and games news, updates, deals, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here. There you’ll find all kinds of interesting information that we didn’t have time for here. If you’d like, you can use the form below to sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send it to you every Sunday. Also don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!
Marsbot is the latest app out of the developers of Foursquare. This is a simple chat bot that keeps an eye on where you’re going and tries to recommend stuff you might like. Unlike Google Assistant which resides in Allo, Marsbot sends you actual text messages. That means you can communicate with it on whatever SMS app that you’re using. It uses quite a bit of battery if left to its own devices, but it otherwise appears to work pretty well. It’s worth a shot if you’re into that sort of thing.
The Bug Butcher is the latest game out of Noodlecake Studios. This is an action shooter where your job is to kill bugs. The bugs also happen to be gigantic, deadly, and numerous. On top of that, the mechanics are an ode to the old arcade shooter “Super Pang” where you can you can only shoot upward. It’s an action packed experience with plenty of game play and no in-app purchases. It is experiencing some early bugs which should hopefully be ironed out over time.
Surfy Browser is a fun little browser with a solid set of features. Its biggest features include security and privacy. Thus, you’ll be able to lock your browser with a passcode to prevent people from getting into it and viewing your browsing history. You can also save sessions to lockable tiles so that you can pick up where you left off later. It works well enough when it comes to performance and it loaded every site we threw at it. It is an early release app which means there are likely bugs that you will find. It’s totally free to try if you want.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Plants vs Zombies: Heroes is the latest game in the world famous franchise. This one takes a more PvP perspective and you’ll be building teams of heroes that have various powers. You’ll then be dueling them against other players. There is a campaign that you can play through and there are tons of monsters to collect. It is a little bit of the same vein as other PvP titles like Hearthstone and Clash Royale, except without as heavy of a focus on card collecting. It’s not bad, though.
Wallpapers is the other Google Pixel app that was released to the Play Store this week. Unlike Pixel Launcher, this one is available to pretty much everyone. Contained within are all of the Google Pixel wallpapers which you can set as your home screen wallpaper at will. It can also see the wallpapers downloaded to your device in case you want to switch back. It features a few extra functions for anyone who owns a Pixel, but otherwise it’s a fairly simple little wallpaper app.
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If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.