Welcome to the 141st episode of Android Apps Weekly! Let’s take a look at the headlines from the last week:
- It has been officially announced that Android apps are coming to Chromebooks. The feature will roll out sometime later this year and should include well over a million apps and games. It won’t be available for all Chromebooks, as older models will be getting the shaft, but this is a big deal for the OS as a whole.
- Google also announced Allo and Duos, a couple of new messaging apps meant to be used in tandem. Duos is a one-on-one video chatting service while Allo is a text messaging service that includes smart features from Google Assistant. Allo will have encryption and both apps seem to have quite a few features. We’ll know more when it gets released later this year, but you can sign up for pre-registration now. This will be alongside Hangouts, which reportedly isn’t going anywhere.
- Android Wear 2.0 was announced at Google I/O and you may be wondering why this is featured in an apps news roundup. That’s because the new OS will allow apps to be installed and run natively on the watch without a phone companion which is will make watches standalone devices instead of just companion devices. That’s exciting.
- The Google Play app awards was announced at Google I/O this week. Some of the winners included Clash Royale taking best game, Pokemon Shuffle Mobile taking the Go Global award, and the best app was Houzz, which is an interior design app. All of the games were Freemium which is kind of disappointing but the apps were pretty decent if you want to check them out.
- Pokemon GO is now open for beta registration for people in the United States. Signing up for the beta has no assurances that you’ll actually get in, but it is an opportunity to try the app out before everyone else. The good news is that even if you don’t get selected for the beta, you can still get an email notification when the game is widely available.
For even more Android apps and games news, check out this week’s newsletter which is linked here. Google I/O was a big event and there a ton of I/O and non-I/O announcements that we didn’t have time for that you should definitely check out. If you’d like, you can sign up for the newsletter using the form below and we’ll send you the newsletter every Sunday. Or you can download the Android Authority app to get the latest news as quickly as it comes out!
Poncho is a cute little weather application. The app is designed around its cartoon characters and delivery system of the weather in a way that is a little more colorful and fun. Below the style, it features twice daily weather forecasts, public transit alerts, hourly forecasts, and alerts for things like high pollen, allergy, and humidity conditions. It’ll also give you tips for the weather, like whether or not you should bring an umbrella. It’s free to download, but you’ll have to sign up for the beta first by clicking the button below.
Playbook by Google Play is a developer-oriented application that helps you learn the ins and outs of the development atmosphere on Google Play. It has lists of things like best practices, tips on how to increase the quality and usability of your app, and tips on how to publish and distribute your app. Please note, bugging the Android Authority app guy on Google+ is not one of the suggestions. It’s done up in beautiful Material Design which is a nice plus. It’s also in beta right now and you can join the beta by clicking the button below.
[Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases]
Assassin’s Creed Identity is the long awaited action-RPG that was finally released this last week. For those who don’t know, Identity is a game that takes place in the Assassin’s Creed universe, but gives you the ability to create your own characters and go on a variety of adventures. It features open world mechanics, various controller options, and plenty of content to enjoy. There have been a few release bugs and it seems like people aren’t overly happy with the third party controller support, but otherwise, the reviews have been generally positive.
Spaces is a new initiative from Google that has been kind of baked into Google+. The idea is that you set up a space for a specific topic, people join, and then everyone can post stuff about that topic or just talk to people who enjoy the same stuff. Think of it like Collections on Google+, except everyone can contribute content instead of just one person curating everything. It’s a nifty idea and it comes with its own app so you don’t have to go through Google+ all the time.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Vector 2 was released this week. For those who never played the first Vector, the game revolves around parkour-themed platform mechanics and you must escape from the proverbial Man in order to remain free. It features minimal, silhouetted graphics, simple controls, and you can even do stuff like stunts when you jump. It’s a fun little time killer that adds some depth and length from the previous title and it ends up being a better experience overall. It has some early bugs, but nothing to get angry about.
Related best app lists:
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.
That about does it for this video folks. If you want to watch more, we have a ton of Google I/O videos on the channel and Krystal’s Android Wear 2.0 video linked up there on the screen and in the video description below. Before you go, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and keep it tuned to Android Authority because we are your source for all things Android. As always, thanks for watching everybody, and have a wonderful day.