Welcome to the 143rd episode of the Android Apps Weekly show! Let’s take a look at the headlines from the last week:
- Google Play got a new feature this week that will recommend that you uninstall applications that you don’t use. This will save you space, obviously, but depending on the type of app, it may also help save you a bit of battery life. This is one of the few actually useful cleaner features we’ve seen and it should be rolling out right now.
- Amazon debuted Alexa in browser format this week. This idea is that you can test out and use the Alexa service without having to drop $200 on a device that carries it. While it’s not overly useful for anything other than seeing what it’s like for right now, it’s still a fun way to see what Alexa is all about.
- In a blog post late last week, Google celebrated the one year anniversary of Google Photos by announcing that Photos has accumulated 13.7 petabytes of photos. That’s about 182 years of HD movies worth of space if you watched them back to back. Most of those are selfies, obviously, and it shows how successful the service has been.
- A few Microsoft apps have received updates this week with a new “Tell Me” feature. This allows you to quickly search for various tools inside of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint so that you don’t have to go rooting around the app or a Google Search in order to find them. Given that there are entire college courses to teach you Microsoft products, this is an excellent feature.
- In an effort to make Google Now and “Okay, Google” more friendly, Google has hired Emma Coats from Pixar. For those who may not know, Coats has worked on movies such as Brave, the Spongebob Squarepants movie, and Monsters University. The goal is to make Google Now feel more human to go along with its efficiency.
For even more Android apps and games news, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! Admittedly, it was a bit of a slow week in the world of apps, but there were still some updates and news worth checking out that we didn’t have time for here. If you’d like, you can sign up for the newsletter using the form below and we’ll ship the newsletter straight to your virtual door every Sunday! For even faster news updates, check out the Android Authority app!
Mekorama [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Mekorama is a free to play puzzle game where you must navigate a robot through obstacles to get to the end of the level. The game includes 50 levels in total and focuses more on relaxation and creativity than it does challenge or excitement. The game is entirely free to play with the in-app purchases essentially being donate buttons where you can pay for it if you want to. It’s a nice, simple little time killer that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Google Maps Beta [Price: Free]
Google has launched Maps Beta in the Google Play Store. The idea is to give you the chance to check out the latest Google Maps features before they hit the main application. You’ll have to join the beta group before you can get it and it should just update Google Maps with the latest beta version after you do so. Currently, the beta version is 9.27 while the stable version is 9.26.1 so there is a difference between what you have and what you can get.
Sky Force Reloaded [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Sky Force 2014 was one of the best freemium games out there and now a new Sky Force is among us. Sky Force Reloaded offers a lot of the same stuff as its predecessor, including really good graphics for a top-down shooter and the basic game play features are still there. Some new elements to the game include buff cards, new planes to collect, and more stuff to do during missions. This is going to be one of the best freemium games of 2016 so you might as well try it out.
Swipe for Facebook [Price: Free / $2.85]
Swipe for Facebook has been out for a while, but it seems to be quickly becoming one of the go-to third party Facebook apps. Unlike the regular app, this one has Material Design, themes, and even layouts that mimic other social media networks, like Google+. It’s a little bit more clunky overall than the regular Facebook app in terms of feel, but all of the features are there, including baked-in Messenger support and some additional stuff that you won’t find in the app. There’s a free version and a paid version and they’re both pretty good.
Transformers: Earth Wars [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Transformers: Earth Wars is a kingdom building game where you must build up a base, defend it from opponents, and attack the bases of other people to win stuff. Yes, that means it plays an awful lot like Clash of Clans. In this variation, you’ll be able to collect various Transformers characters to help out, summon reinforcements, and use various Transformer abilities to get the upper hand. It’s nothing really overly new, but fans of the genre could find it enjoyable. Like most kingdom builders, this one is free with in-app purchases.
Related best app lists:
- Check out some other awesome Facebook apps!
- Find more awesome games like Clash of Clans for Android here!
If we missed any Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! This is an update of a formerly written article, so check the comments for some suggestions from our readers! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.