Welcome to the 260th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google may be working on a Google Play loyalty program. A teardown by 9to5Google showed us some of the details. There is code that suggests that people earn points for buying stuff on Google Play or spending money in general. Those points are reportedly usable for even more apps, games, TV, books, and other stuff on Google Play. It’s definitely a neat idea. It would also get people back into the Play Store to download more stuff. However, this is just code in the Play Store. There is no official announcement or anything like that.
- How about some good news about Fortnite for once? Epic Games achieved 15 million player installs in the first 21 days since its launch. That’s fairly impressive for a game that requires such an extensive install process. They also posted a blog about the various troubles for developing the game. The biggest is Android fragmentation and hardware differences. Various phones are on various versions of Android. Plus, many phones have different hardware. Optimizing for all of these things is apparently very tough. Check out the link to learn more!
- Google’s new podcast platform, Shortwave, saw some leaks this week. It’s mostly early concept materials. However, they do shine a little light on the platform’s purpose early on. Initially, Shortwave trimmed down long podcasts for easier digestions. Some podcasts go for hours, after all. However, Google issued a statement declaring those materials outdated. Thus, we can be reasonably sure that Google isn’t going in that direction anymore with this app. By the by, check out the Android Authority podcast! We promise, it’s still good!
- Huawei got into some trouble with 3DMark this week. Huawei was apparently cheating the benchmark tests. Apps like 3DMark was getting more system resources and less thermal throttling than a normal app would. That’s a big no-no because it doesn’t accurately demonstrate the phone’s real capabilities. Huawei said that its artificial intelligence system notices benchmark apps and lets the phone run free so it can demonstrate its prowess. For now, 3DMark unlisted affected Huawei phones from the leaderboards barring further conversation.
- Google Chrome celebrated its ten year anniversary this last week. They marked the occasion with two things. The first is a big update to Google Chrome. Version 69 includes a more unified UI with other platforms along with a more powerful omnibox and a few other features. You can hit the above link for the full details. Additionally, the team is looking for new things to fix. Chrome’s director of engineering (Parisa Tabriz) suggested that the team tackle how nasty URLs can be. There are literally no details on this aside from a short talk about it on Wired. However, that could be a very interesting endeavor.
If we missed any great new Android apps or games news, launches, or updates, tell us about them in the comments!