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Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for this week:
- Google has unveiled its plans to give official Google Play Store awards starting at Google I/O this year. It’ll be called the Play Awards and the categories are Standout Startup, Standout Indie, Best Families App, Best Use of Material Design, Best Use of Google Play Games Services, Early Adopter, Go Global, Most Innovative, and, of course, the Best App and Best Game. It’ll be interesting to see who wins, but I really hope it’s not freaking Buzzfeed News.
- In one of the more awesome things we’ve seen this year, developer Alibek Omarov has ported Counter Strike 1.6 to Android. It’s a free download but you will need Counter Strike 1.6 installed from Steam in order to play it. It seems to work pretty well and it’s even compatible with game controllers. If you’ve been looking for a good shooter on Android and don’t mind tinkering a bit, this is a fun little project.
- Coachella has teamed up with YouTube to offer 360-degree video live streaming for the entirety of the event. Of course, it’s Sunday now so you’ve missed most of it by now but there is still time to check it out before the festival ends Sunday evening. All you need to do is get the YouTube app and head to Coachella’s YouTube channel to get started. This, of course, comes on the heels of YouTube announcing 360-degree live streaming video with spatial audio.
- App Annie came out with it’s Q1 numbers for Google Play and the Apple App Store. As per the norm, Google Play had far more downloads while Apple had far more revenue. The same things are true as they were before, including China being a huge source of revenue for Apple, Android users spending less money per download, and all of that jazz.
- The US government suggested this week that Google and Apple should censor encrypted applications on the various app stores so that we can’t download them. Unfortunately for the police, this situations is easily worked around by, you know, side loading an app, and continues to show just how little government officials understand technology.
For even more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you’ll find all of the stuff we didn’t have space for here. If you’d like, you can sign up for the newsletter using the form below and you can get it sent straight to your email every Sunday!
Exploding Kittens [Price: $1.99]
You may remember Exploding Kittens as the one of the most funded projects in Kickstarter history. This game is essentially a spin-off of the popular Cards Against Humanity where you’re given a bunch of scenarios and then you use noun cards to try to make it as ridiculous and funny as possible. Like other games in this genre, the humor can be dirty and dark at times but those with a healthy sense of humor should enjoy it quite a bit. It’s $1.99 with no in-app purchases.
Giphy [Price: Free]
Giphy released their official application on Android here recently to moderate success so far. Much like the acclaimed website, you can browse for various gifs based on category, keywords, and a variety of other factors or you can just see what’s trending on any given day. The app functions and even looks pretty much like the website so it should be easy enough to figure out your way around. There are some release day bugs here and there, but nothing too serious.
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
The latest Warhammer 40k was released this week with a fairly positive reception so far. To put it simply, this is a big game. There are 170 campaign missions with a full blown story line which is steeped in action and chaos. You’ll also be able to customize your character, create new gear, and upgrade just about everything. To keep things fresh, the developers also include daily challenges so you can get even more gear. It may be one of the best freemium games released this year.
Chrooma Keyboard [Price: Free with in-app purchases]
It’s true that we’ve talked about Chrooma Keyboard before, but it underwent such a huge change this week that we felt like talking about it again. To keep up with the competition, Chrooma Keyboard is now free with in-app purchases so if you’ve been balking because of the price, you have no excuse anymore. Along with that came an update that added a new settings app, new color styles, a new prediction algorithm, and preference syncing. Everyone that bought the app will get upgraded to premium for free. Check it out!
Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories [Price: $9.99]
Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories was announced last year and fans of the series were really hoping that this wasn’t going to be a freemium rip-off of the series they loved. Unexpectedly, this is a full Harvest Moon game. It fancies itself a farm and life simulator where you must grow crops, make friends, perform tasks, and take care of your little digital life. There are no in-app purchases, so you get the full game when you buy it. It’s a pleasant little surprise and Harvest Moon fans should definitely grab this.
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If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.