- We’re nearing the end of 2019. That means it’s time for some yearly roundups. Google opened voting for its Users Choice Awards 2019 this last week. You can vote in a variety of categories, including best game, best movie, best app, and best book. Unfortunately, it misses the mark a bit with some titles. For instance, for best games, it has Brawl Stars, Mario Kart Tour, Stardew Valley, and Dota Underlords. However, it does not have Call of Duty: Mobile. In any case, follow the link to learn how to vote!
- Both Facebook and Google made announcements this week with regards to money. Facebook launched Facebook Pay. You can now send money to people directly through the Facebook or Messenger app. It works basically like Venmo. Meawnwhile, Google announced a partnership with Citigroup for Google style checking accounts. The bank would handle all the money stuff. Google would act as a middle-man of sorts to offer a bunch of extra tools.
- Reports uncovered a secret division in Google. Its name is Project Nightingale and it collected medical data from millions of Americans across 21 states. The data includes lab work, test results, doctor diagnosis, hospitalization records, and other stuff. Google says Project Nightingale is in full compliance with federal laws, but that didn’t stop people from being concerned about it. Here are Google’s thoughts about everything
- Google Chrome is about to call out a bunch of websites. A new update tells users when sites typically load slower than average. It’s a subtle change. Basically, when a site loads and takes a while, Google Chrome has a message that the site normally loads slowly. At least now you’ll know it’s the website and not your connection.
- US carriers are dragging their feet when it comes to RCS. Google gave them a kick in the rear end this week. Google officially activated RCS messaging in the US. We’ve talked ad nauseum about RCS and you probably already know what it does. It works with Google’s Messages app. Hopefully, this helps motivate US carriers to do the same.
LEGO DUPLO WORLD
Price: Free / $3.99-$7.99
LEGO DUPLO WORLD is a new kids game from LEGO. It’s a super simple game and mostly for younger children. It features things like counting games, color sorting, and some fun stuff like building a train from LEGO blocks. The game has mixed reviews so far. Most say their kids enjoy the game. The complaints run the gamut between a bunch of different things, but none of them are overly serious. It’s a decent kids game overall.
Price: Free / $1.99-$7.99
Cometin is a different type of customization app. It features a module setup and you only download the various modules you want. It features modules for things like ambient display, phone rotation, heads-up, and a bunch of other little tweaks. You install the app, pick the tweaks you want, and the app installs those tweaks directly. It uses Google’s new Dynamic Modules from Google I/O 2019 and it’s actually a really neat example of how to use them.
Disney Frozen Adventures
Price: Free to play
Disney Frozen Adventures is a new match-three game with a Disney’s Frozen theme. It plays like most match-three games. You move pieces around to match the shapes and remove them from the board. There are also various power-ups to help with that endeavor. You also get the usual movie tie-in perks like cameos from popular characters and stuff like that. It’s a fairly basic match-three game with a few extras tossed in so it won’t blow anybody’s mind. Additionally, there seems to be a few bugs with the first few levels but we imagine those will get ironed out eventually. It’s not bad overall, it’s just not amazing.
Price: Free / $7-$13 per month
Disney+ is the biggest new video streaming service of 2019 so far. Disney basically ripped all of its content out of other streaming services and gathered them here to charge you an extra $7 per month for them. That said, there is a lot to like about it. There are a ton of Disney movies and a bunch of other content to watch. It also features stuff from 20th Century Fox such as The Simpsons. However, that’s about all it has right now. The base service goes for $7 per month. However, we actually recommend the bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for $13 per month because Disney+ doesn’t stand well on its own as a streaming service just yet.
Price: Free to play
Minecraft Earth hit the US this last week. It’s still in Early Release Beta, but it’s available to download and play. As a quick refresher, Minecraft Earth is like regular Minecraft and Pokemon Go had a baby. You use the AR features to build things in the real world. It is a beta so there are bugs. However, even with that taken into account, the game actually plays pretty well. We’re sure you’ll hear about this one again before the end of the year. It’s a fairly big release.
If we missed any big Android apps and games news, releases, or updates, tell us about them in the comments!