Welcome to the 265th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the top headlines from the last week:
- Google+ is officially shutting down. Google released a blog post this week detailing the closure. There was an API bug that had the potential to leak user data to any developer that asked for it. No developers took advantage of it, thank goodness. However, it appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Google+ was on thin ice for years before this anyway. The weird part is that Google did fix the bug, so we’re not sure why the announcement of the bug is also the closing down point. In any case, Google+ is on its way out. We’ll miss you, Google+. Well, some of us will, anyway.
- Vine version 2.0 is apparently still coming soon. Dom Hoffman, Vine’s former founder, tweeted that the new version was coming earlier this week. There are still a ton of questions around a re-launch, though. For instance, YouTube is bigger now than it was back then and Vine never had a good monetization strategy. That’s what led to its downfall the first time. That’s something we’ll have to see before we believe that the new Vine will be any better than the last one. We are still waiting for more concrete details, but Vine was fun while it lasted. We hope the new one is as well.
- Both Google and Microsoft announced new game streaming services this week. Microsoft is going with xCloud, a console game streaming service. Google is working with Project Stream that does basically the same thing. Both services let you stream games from their servers to your computer. This isn’t a new idea. Nvidia has a similar service as does Sony and there were many other attempts. We don’t know a whole bunch about these services yet other than they work, but not well quite yet. Both services are in beta right now and require invites to access. Hit the links to learn more about each one!
- Stardew Valley is coming to mobile. It’s already fairly popular on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. We expect similar success on iOS and Android. The iOS version should be out on October 24th. The Android version doesn’t have a release date just yet, but we assume it’s not too far into the future. This puts Stardew Valley on basically every modern gaming platform on the planet. The mobile version doesn’t include the multiplayer mode of the other platforms. However, it should otherwise play the same way. The iOS version should be $7.99 with no in-app purchases. We don’t know about the price tag on Android yet.
- Google announced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL this week. Everybody knows the Pixel is all about the software. Within a couple of days, the Google Camera and Google Launcher apps from the Pixel 3 became available as APK downloads. Google Camera works on most devices provided that they run Android 9.0 Pie. Unfortunately, the Pixel 3 launcher only seems to function on other Pixel devices. To be fair, Pixels are among the few phones that run Android Pie anyway. In any case, those of you with Pixels or Android Pie devices can hit the links and try out the apps for yourself if you want to.
If we missed any great Android apps or games news or launches, tell us about them in the comments! You can also check out our weekly podcast here!