The 269th Android Apps Weekly is live! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Feedly, the venerable RSS reader, and Pocket Casts, arguably the best podcast app, both received huge redesigns this week. The Feedly redesign wasn’t too huge, but it did change how things work a bit. The controls are across the bottom of the app now as you see in Material Design 2.0 apps. It does look much cleaner than it used to. Pocket Casts also received a Material Design overhaul. Likewise, it looks a little cleaner with about the same controls as before. Both apps are huge in their respective genres and we’re glad they’re still getting design love.
- The successor to Vine is on its way. Byte works a lot like Vine does. People can upload bits of stuff. That includes graphics, musical content, and, of course, video. You can also share them anywhere if you want to or keep them to yourself. There is still a lot we don’t know and we expect changes before the official launch. However, there is a private beta available for iPhone with an Android beta coming later this year. We’ll know more when it comes out.
- Google Play is messing with Tasker yet again. The Play Store updated its security policies to further restrict what apps can control. This time it’s SMS/MMS and call permissions. Tasker is an app that lets people control basically anything, including those things. You can see where this is going. Tasker is losing functionality with these new policies. Google Play did publish a list of exceptions and Tasker isn’t on it. That’s nonsense. Tasker has contacted Google about the issue.
- Facebook had a big week this week. The first is the announcement of a new unsend feature for Facebook Messenger. It lets users delete sent messages within ten minutes of sending them. You can’t delete messages after that. Only iOS and Android devices will see the feature. That means the web version still works as normal. The feature rolled out to some European and South American countries this week. Additionally, Facebook reportedly told their managers to ditch iOS for Android. Zuckerberg said it was because more Android users actually use Facebook than iOS. That could bode well for the Android mobile app.
- We got some more news about Niantic’s next AR game. Yes, we’re referring to the Harry Potter game. This week, Niantic launched a new trailer. The trailer doesn’t actually show any game play. However, it’s a nice reminder that the game is still actually in development. It features a girl in an alley way. She zaps a Golden Snitch with a wand and disappears. It’s a nice little trailer, even if it doesn’t tell us anything immediately or obviously useful. Hit the link to see it for yourself!
Air Combat Pilot is a rare aerial combat shooter. It takes place in the World War 2 era. You go on missions, destroy targets, and fight bad guys in the air. The game includes 40 missions, 50 achievements, and a total of 160 individual objectives. There is also an unlimited free fight mode in case you want to practice or kill some time. The graphics are decent and the controls aren't terrible. Google Play reviewers complained about a few small bugs here and there, but we didn't experience them during our testing. It's not a bad game for its genre.
Meme Stickers adds meme stickers to Whatsapp. It's not a difficult premise. The app comes with a collection of fun little meme stickers. You can add them to Whatsapp through the app. You then go into Whatsapp and share the stickers with your friends. There are nine packs with around 30 stickers each. That's about 270 total stickers. It's completely free with advertising. That's all there is to say about it, really. It's nice and simple for Whatsapp users.
Simulacra: Pipe Dreams is a free to play spin-off from the Simulacra world. It's a text game like its predecessor. It features a new story, simple game play mechanics, some extra content, and even some secret stuff to discover. You don't have to play the first game to enjoy this one. However, the developer says it will make the experience even better. The game is completely free to play with advertising. As always, we'd like a way to buy out of the ads, but it's honestly not a big deal at all. It's an excellent free game.
1:1:1:1 is a unique kind of app. It connects your phone to Cloudflare's 1:1:1:1 DNS server. It focuses on privacy and speed. The app itself is a set-it-and-forget-it style of app. You turn it on once and then you don't mess with it again. It seems to work and we have no reason to believe it doesn't. However, we would like a couple of customization options, like an option to turn off the persistent notification. Some Google Play reviews also complain about incompatibilities with some of their apps. In any case, it's free so we can't think of a reason not to try it.
Teslagrad is a port of a popular PC game from a few years ago. It's a puzzle-platformer with some neat game play mechanics and a strong sci-fi theme. You use a variety of tools to make your way through a bunch of puzzles. The game also includes boss fights, a fun art style, and support for hardware controllers. You can also play it on Android TV and Nvidia Shield devices. It runs for $6.99 with no additional ads or in-app purchases. It's a decent price in our opinion and it's definitely a good game for puzzle and platformer fans.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news this week, tell us about it in the comments! You should also check out our weekly podcast here!