Welcome to the 282nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Facebook Dating is rolling out in the U.S. this week. The company announced a launch date before the end of 2019 and they delivered. People can opt-in to the feature on the official Facebook app if they want to try it out, but you may need to wait for it to arrive on your device first. There is also a Secret Crush feature. If you select a friend as a secret crush and they select you as one of theirs, a Facebook Messenger chat opens and lets you both know.
- YouTube made a bunch of changes after a sizable FCC fine. The $170 million fine was for things like collecting personal data and showing personalized ads to kids under the age of 13. That’s a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The new changes remove comments from kids videos, removes personalized ads from kids videos, and it’ll treat all views on kids videos as being from kids.
- Telltale Games is coming back! The popular game developer managed to fish itself out of oblivion and is even working on new games. Most of the company’s assets were purchased by LCG Entertainment and that helped the company resurface. We’ll let you know what they make when they launch it.
- Google is bringing auto-play video ads (with sound) to the Play Store. This is one of the Internet’s most annoying practices and it’s a bit unfortunate for Play Store fans. The videos should help discoverability, although at the cost of being annoying. Those with Play Store videos also must remove monetization from them in order to be eligible for this new feature.
- We conducted an interview with Sleeping Giant Games, the developers of Farm Punks. The studio talks about how to make it as an indie developer, how they came up with Farm Punks, and all kinds of other fun tidbits. Hit the link to read the interview!
Fans of mobile gaming? Check out our weekly roundup here for more Android gaming news!
überliste is a new grocery list app. It’s a good mixture of minimal and smart with a simple UI that anybody can use. The app has a database of items or you can add your own if you prefer. It also organizes your list into various grocery store categories for easy reference. You can also share lists with members of your household if you want to. The app is entirely free with no ads, in-app purchases, or subscriptions.
Acron: Attack of the Squirrels
Acron: Attack of the Squirrels is a new VR game for multiple platforms. It has an Angry Birds style story line except replace the birds with squirrels and the pigs with trees. Squirrel players raid the tree for its acorns and the trees catch the squirrels and literally throw them to get them to go away. The game supports local multiplayer with both cooperative and competitive game modes. The game is also completely free to play as far as we can tell.
Magic: The Gathering Companion
Magic: The Gathering Companion is a companion app for the actual, physical version of Magic: The Gathering. Players can link their Wizard accounts and organize tournaments with up to 16 players. Additionally, you can save friend groups for quick setup later and it supports a variety of tournament types. You can set up Draft, Sealed, and Constructed formats. The developer also want to add more features, game types, and other stuff as development continues. It’s in Early Access beta right now, so expect some bugs if you try it out.
Price: Free to play
Sugar Blast is a new game from Rovio, developers of the Angry Birds franchise. It’s a simple puzzle game with match-three mechanics and colorful graphics. It’s family friendly and includes thousands of levels. Some of the other game features include various power-ups, limited events, and some social gaming elements as well. It’s obviously not the most original game in the genre, but people actually seem to like this one a lot compared to most others.
SpotWidget is kind of a niche product. Spotify recently removed its widget option. This app wants to bring it back. It adds a simple widget to the home screen that lets you control Spotify. You can skip forward and back. There is also a play and pause button. The app is still quite buggy as it is obviously a very early release. However, the developers seem primed to work on it until it’s perfect. The app runs for $1.99 if you’re interested.
If we missed any great Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments!