Welcome to the 251st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- A study proclaimed Android Auto safer than standard car infotainment systems this week. This is hardly surprising. Android Auto is extremely simple, but effective and functional. By comparison, most car infotainment systems are busy with a cluttered UI. The study showed that people performed tasks more quickly in Android Auto by about 24%. That’s not a small amount. Android Auto is still difficult to find in vehicles. However, it’s getting more and more common.
- Pokemon games on mobile make a ton of money to the surprise of no one. Recent data suggests that Pokemon Quest already earned $3 million in its first week of availability. Pokemon Go saw a reported haul of $104 million during May of 2018 when the game suddenly made a resurgence. That is encouraging because that means Nintendo is making tons of money. That makes it more likely that more titles are heading our way.
- Google confirmed that third party apps can read your emails this week. That makes sense, even if it’s not a good thing. Google stated that third party apps can ask for permission to read one’s email for a variety of reasons. The simple fix is to simply uninstall those third party apps. That seems fairly reasonable. Those who don’t want their email read by third parties simply need to disable third party add-ons that ask for it. Easy enough!
- Gameloft’s famous Asphalt series is getting its next game very soon. Asphalt 9: Legends saw another trailer recently. It’s available for pre-registration as of earlier this week. The game should have many of the same elements as prior titles with some fun new additions, tracks, vehicles, and other stuff. It should rise to be among the best racing games in fairly short order like its predecessors. Hit the link above to pre-register if you want to.
- Google Duplex is getting all kinds of bad press lately. We guess people can only see the worst in things. In any case, reports indicated that Google was shopping Duplex to call centers and similar businesses. Google denied these claims and said that their focus was consumer use only. Thus, this is a thing that we likely don’t have to worry about for a while. It’s probably better to keep its roll-out slow.
World of Tennis: Roaring '20s is a rare new tennis game. It's set in the 1920's. That theme is reflected by the character designs, tennis court designs, and other similar aspects. Players get online multiplayer, simple mechanics, various character customizations, leaderboards, clubs (guilds), and more. The controls need a bit of work. Otherwise, this is actually a fun little time killer. The developers also plan to include things like weekly events and other such things.
Kiwi Browser is a new browser with a lot to like. It uses a Chromium 69 base. Thus, it feels and acts a lot like Google Chrome. Some features include a surprisingly effective pop-up blocker, first in its class crypto-jacking protection, a night mode that doubles as an AMOLED mode, support for 60 languages, and some UI tweaks. This is actually a pretty decent browser. Those who don't sync with Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc may actually like this one quite a bit. It's completely free at least for right now.
Spitkiss is a new puzzle-platformer game. It uses slingshot style mechanics. You fling the main character across various parts of the level. You avoid obstacles, completely the level, and progress to the next. There are 80 levels, simple controls, and effective graphics. There's a narrative that borders on the political and that has colored some folks' opinions on it. It's really just an enjoyable little puzzle-platformer, but it's nothing revolutionary. It's also cheap at $1.49 with no in-app purchases or advertisements.
Spotify Lite is Spotify's foray into the lighter mobile app space. It features the basic controls such as playing music and playlists. The app also includes Spotify's legendary discovery features and data tracking. That's about it, though. The app is vastly scaled back from its full counterpart. That is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on the experience you enjoy. In any case, the pricing structure is identical to the normal Spotify. Those looking for a lighter experience can try this. Anyone happy with their current Spotify experience should probably just stay there.
Dead Island: Survivors is a new zombie survival game. It also has fighter elements. You run around, beat up zombies, try not to die, and collect various things. It has a very aloof atmosphere about it. The game also includes traps, various heroes, co-op game play, and tons of places to explore. It's a freemium game and that drags the experience a little bit. Aside from that and the occasional bug, this is a very above average mobile game.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments! See you next week!