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Welcome to the 215th Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Android 8.1 rolled out this week. Quite a few new changes came to it. One of the changes includes a new way of handling notifications. Apps can’t send notifications more than once per second. This fixes a long standing problem of tons of notifications coming in at once and being really annoying. The notifications will still flow at the normal rate. It just won’t sound off as often.
  • Google let go of Nik this week. DxO purchased the company from Google. Google is keeping Snapseed, obviously. DxO is taking over the Nik PC software. It’s currently free to download from their official site. However, DxO promises new software sometime in 2018. There aren’t a ton of details about it yet.
  • Google announced a new security endeavor this week for apps. The terms are fairly simple. Security researchers that find security holes in high profile apps get a cash reward. Google doesn’t want to know about the bugs. They just want them fixed. There is a benefit for Google, though. Fixing those holes makes the Play Store and Android a safer place. It’s a win-win for Google and all these apps.
  • WhatsApp announced a big new feature this week. The ability to globally delete messages. There is a caveat, though. Removed messages still leave a space in the chat. There’s a message that appears to let other people know that a deletion took place. Thus, it’s not usable to correct a minor faux pas. Aside from that, it’s a welcome new feature. It should roll out sometime soon.
  • Google announced 50 new Google Assistant commands for kids. Smart home stuff normally isn’t for kids. However, this huge drop of kid-friendly stuff shows that Google wants it to be a whole family kind of thing. There are some things that kids can’t do. That includes make purchases or play YouTube videos. Most of the commands include fun little kid-friendly games and other activities.

For more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! You can subscribe to the newsletter using the form below to get it every Sunday evening!

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Now Playing History

Price: $0.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Now Playing History is an app for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners. One of the features of the phone is identifying songs playing on the lock screen. This app keeps track of all the songs the phone identifies. It sorts the songs by date. You can also tap on the songs to play them in your music streaming service of choice. Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners should definitely check this one out. It goes for $0.99 with no free version.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Now Playing History

Death Road to Canada

Price: $9.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Death Road to Canada is the latest game from Noodlecake Studios. It's a shooter with tons of replay value. Your goal is to stay alive for as long as possible. It also includes branching decisions that affect the outcome of the game. It also includes witty humor, tons of gear to collect, and more. You can even have a team full of dogs if you want. It's probably a bit too expensive at $9.99. However, there are no in-app purchases or advertisements.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

LaunchBoard

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
LaunchBoard is an app drawer replacement app. It doesn't show you icons like normal app drawers. Instead, the app pops up a keyboard. You type in a few letters and the apps pop up. This isn't much different from the app search in Google's Android. However, it makes it available on devices that wouldn't otherwise have it. It's also faster in some cases. The app is free with no ads or in-app purchases. It's also great for older devices.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Love You to Bits

Price: $3.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Love You to Bits is a new indie puzzle game. It also has elements of adventure and sci-fi. The game's story is mildly reminiscent of Machinarium, but with more story line. A clumsy, adorable robot is on the search for his robot girlfriend. The game features fun puzzles, good looking graphics, and simple game mechanics. It's also a pay-once game with no in-app purchases or advertisements. We wouldn't be shocked if this one got popular.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Love You to Bits

Another Widget

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Another Widget is a decent little widget app. It works mostly with your calendar. You can see dates and your upcoming appointments. The app also adds weather information when you want it. Otherwise, it's just a really basic widget maker. It also doesn't cost anything and has no ads. It should work with most themes as well. There really isn't much more to this one. It's pretty good.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Another Widget

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! Thanks again for reading and check back next week for more!

Joe Hindy
Joe Hindy is known as the 'app guy' around these parts. He also likes to branch out and talk about a variety of other topics from gaming to TV tech, and more.