Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- In a little over a week, Google Allo has been downloaded over five million times. The controversial texting app has been on everyone’s tongue and despite some warnings from the privacy community, people are still eager to try it out on their own. Of course, we don’t know the active user count right now, but we’re betting it’s not over five million just yet. Last weekend, it peaked as the number one most downloaded app in the Play Store.
- The developers of HERE WeGo are starting a new platform to help add live traffic data to the app. What they’re trying to do is make it so that HERE records things like car location and speed along with other sensor data to show traffic patterns. Think Waze, but without users having to input anything themselves. Cars with this feature can also transmit data like when the wiper blades are on, indicating rainy conditions. It’s kind of cool, actually.
- Ubisoft purchased the moderately successful developer studio Ketchapp this last week. Ketchapp is known for its hit game 2048 which was essentially a rip off of the game Threes. The developers have been highly successful even if they’re not known as the most original developers out there. Pretty much anyone with a brain has probably guessed that Ubisoft and Ketchapp will be working to make even more mobile games over time.
- Google announced the winners of their first annual Indie Gaming Festival this last week. Among the winners were Orbit, a game about gravity, Numbo Jumbo, a puzzler, and Bit Bit Blocks which is another puzzler. There were also a handful of games that were selected as runner ups. They should all either be in the Play Store or released there in the near future. We talked about Orbit in our best new Android games that were released in September.
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LEGO Harry Potter are two new Android games that tell the complete Harry Potter story. The first game focuses on the first four years of Harry Potter’s story while the second game focuses on years five through seven. They both play more or less the same way and they can both be classified as platform puzzle games. The first title seems to have a few more issues than the second title, so if you do buy these, make sure to test them out inside of the refund time. They’re both $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
Download LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 here!
Firefox Aurora is essentially the developer channel for Firefox. This app will allow you to check out the newest upcoming features and the latest experimental builds. It works as a browser and you’ll be able to do most of the stuff you usually do on a browser. However, it is experimental which means there will be crashes and hiccups here and there. It’s been around for a while, but it’s now on the Google Play Store in case anybody wants to check it out. Anyone who does should keep in mind that these are not stable builds.
Looty Dungeon is the latest free-to-play puzzler out of Yodo1 Games, makers of the famed Crossy Road. This is a simple and adorable little dungeon crawler where you’ll go from room to room to kill bad guys, find loot, and avoid obstacles. It uses the same graphics engine as prior Yodo1 Games so there’s nothing new there. However, you will find eight bosses to defeat, 50 heroes to collect, and an infinite number of rooms to run through. It’s a freemium game, but so are all the other ones by this developer.
News Pro is the latest app out of Microsoft’s Garage Project. This app allows you to create a giant, personalized news feed based on your interests. They way it works is you log in using one of your social media accounts. The app then gives you a starting point and you can customize further from there. You’ll be able to add and remove topics as you see fit until you get the news that you want. It’s suffering from some early release bugs and it’s not overly intuitive, but it’s worth a shot if you want to try something different.
Banner Saga 2 is the latest in the Banner Saga franchise. It’s a strategy RPG with beautifully done, hand-drawn graphics and a story line that revolves around vikings. Like its predecessor, this game will definitely rank among the best strategy RPGs out there. Your in-game decisions will affect the story line and character deaths are generally permanent. It’s one of the better produced mobile game franchises out there and it should be well worth the $4.99 price tag.
We released a huge update to the Android Authority app this last week that has taken care of a few large issues our readers have been experiencing. The dreaded settings-reset bug is now gone and the app is faster, lighter, and more responsive than ever! We would love it if you gave it a shot, checked it out for yourself, and let us know how we can make it even better. It’s a free download and it remains the fastest way to get the latest Android news!
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If we missed any great new Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.