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Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Let’s take a look at the biggest headlines from the last week:
- Facebook Messenger is primed to get a huge Material Design update in the near future. However, that’s not all its getting. Testers of the app are reporting that Facebook is also working on multi-account support as well as SMS and MMS integration, which is kind of funny considering Hangouts abandoned that feature just a few weeks ago.
- Twitter is now trying out a new Facebook-style algorithm that will try to show you relevant tweets instead of a chronological order. So far, the reaction has been polarizing because some people love it and others hate it. However, if you end up with it, you can disable it in the settings menu so at least it can be turned off.
- Telltale Games announced this week that they’re going to be releasing a new episodic adventure based around Michonne’s character in The Walking Dead. If it’s anything like their prior games based around the series, then this one is going to be awesome. The release date is February 25th.
- ASICS, the well-known sportswear company has announced that they’re going to buy Runkeeper. This followers in the footsteps of other sportswear companies such as UnderArmor acquiring Endomondo and ADIDAS buying Runtastic. We don’t know how much they paid for it or what’s going to happen to the app, yet.
- It was rumored this week that Opera, makers of the famous browser, could be bought by Chinese investors for $1.2 billion. This comes on the heels of another announcement about an exclusive premium apps club where subscription members can download all the apps they want for a price. The service is kind of awesome and we’ll let you know more when we find out.
For even more Android apps and games news, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter! There we have well over two dozen stories that we didn’t get to here. If you’d like, you can sign up for the Android Apps Weekly Newsletter using the form below and we’ll send it directly to you every Sunday!
[Price: $3.99 (for now)]
GTA Liberty City Stories is the latest Grand Theft Auto game to hit the Play Store and this one is the first one designed specifically for mobile. It plays more or less like your usual GTA title except this one has shorter, more streamlined missions along with improved mobile controls from prior games in the series to create a better mobile experience. It’s suffering from some release day issues but those will be fixed eventually. It’s $3.99 which is 40% off.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Chromer is a fun little application that lets you use Chrome Custom Tabs on applications even if the developer doesn’t support it. It’s not necessarily a new application but it received a huge update this last week that added webheads, which opens links in bubbles similar to Flynx and Link Bubble. The new feature works really well and seems to blend in well with the existing functionality. The app is free to download and it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for another bubble web browser.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Alto’s Adventure is a new 2D infinite runner with a simple premise. You are to ski down a mountainside, collect llamas and coins, and perform awesome tricks. Of course, there are also obstacles to avoid. It’s a simple game and most of your controls involve either tapping or tapping and holding to get desired results. It looks good and it plays well which makes it worth checking out. It’s free with in-app purchases, just like most infinite runners.
MyShake is a fun little application developed at the University of Berkeley and it was built to detect earthquakes. It’s true that normal people will get next to no usage from an app like this, but if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, it could be a good idea to have something like this around. It measures shakes, includes safety tips for surviving an earthquake, and keeps a log to see how many there have been. It’s entirely free and it’s really cool that Android has an app like this now.
Square Enix continues their torrid pace of re-releasing classic Final Fantasy games with the release of Final Fantasy IX. This game takes you on the journey of Zidane and Garnet as they stop the evil queen who is doing all kinds of terrible things. It features a 30+ hour experience with a long story, plenty of side quests, and some of the most lovable characters from the Final Fantasy franchise. It has some release day issues, but otherwise it seems to work well. It has a steep price tag at $16.99 but at least there are no in-app purchases.
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If we missed any big Android apps and games news, tell us about it in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.