Welcome to the 145th episode of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Earlier this week, Pinterest up and acquired the crew from Fleksy Keyboard. Unlike when Microsoft bought SwiftKey, Pinterest is swallowing up the development team from Fleksy which means the keyboard will likely get much fewer updates moving forward. For now, we don’t know for sure what will become of the keyboard, but it’s not looking good.
- During E3 2016, it was announced that Pokemon Go would be released during July at the latest. More information was also released about the optional wristband which will cost $35. Some other details have been revealed, like the fact you’ll have to walk a bunch to make eggs hatch like regular Pokemon games. The hype is high and we’ll see how it goes next month.
- A recent study was released this week that showed app download numbers to be down by a dramatic amount in the US. This could be caused by a number of reasons, but the most likely ones are that people have already have these apps and don’t need to download them, or they’re comfortable with the apps they’ve got. The conclusion seems to be that this is just the app market becoming more mature.
- Microsoft had a busy E3 this week, but one of their major announcements was the release of Minecraft Realms. This allows you to buy servers directly from Microsoft to play Minecraft and also includes cross-platform support between mobile, PC, and Gear VR. We imagine consoles will be included later. On top of that, mod support is apparently coming as well.
- Microsoft also announced that they intend on purchasing LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. LinkedIn is the social network known to be used by professionals and a ton of people even use it to host their resume’. We don’t know how these two companies are going to work together or if it’ll be like SwiftKey where they remain separate, but the boards on both companies voted unanimously so it’s probably going to happen soon.
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[Price: Free]Weather Mate is a new, simple weather app that shows you basic weather info at a glance. It’s not feature heavy like many others so it should do well if you’re looking for something quick that just tells you the weather. It has Material Design, a minimal interface, and it’s done up in the MIUI8 style of design as well. It’s a solid app, but it is new and some issues are being worked out. The developer has also expressed that widgets and notifications are coming in future updates.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
The NHL playoffs may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying hockey. Hockey Hero is a new top-down hockey game where you must dodge defenders, get to the paint, and score a goal. You won’t be playing full hockey games which is a bit lame, but you can unlock all the standard NHL teams and it’s not a bad way to kill a few minutes. It features 8-bit graphics along with arcade style controls. It’s a free download and the in-app purchase strategy isn’t too bad.
Rhapsody VR is a nifty idea where it provides a platform for artists to host and stream 360-degree content. The general idea is that you’ll be able to watch live music performances in 360-degree video. The app should work with Google Cardboard or just you holding your phone and it’s not a wholly different concept than what Coachella did earlier this year on YouTube. The app is having some problems with its design and performance so it may not be worth downloading right now, but keep it on your radar in case they decide to clean it up and make it nice.
Heroes of Loot is a retro-style dungeon crawler where you pick two adventurers and then go kill some stuff and collect loot. The main premise of the game is that you’re trying to find the Loot King’s lair and grab the ultimate loot. There are four total playable characters, each with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses and there are a variety of quests to go through and loot to grab. Unlike most dungeon crawlers these days, this one is a pay-once game with no in-app purchases.
Xbox has rebranded their Xbox Smartglass application and are now calling it simply Xbox. The update game this last week and while it’s not a complete redesign, there were visual and functional tweaks to bring the app more in line with the Windows 10 version of the Xbox app. You’ll still be able to do a bunch of things like respond to messages and see who’s on, and you’ll be able to see activity feeds and access a controller to control your Xbox. The only thing missing is the ability to voice chat. Anyway, it’s still free if you want it.
Related best app lists:
- Check out more awesome weather apps and weather widgets!
- Listen to music with style with the best music player apps for Android!
If we missed any bit Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments!To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.