Welcome to the 296th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Epic Games submitted Fortnite to the Google Play Store this week. Google turned the game down. Epic wanted to use its own payment system instead of Google Play’s proprietary system to get around Google’s 30% tax on app and game payments. Epic says Google’s policies are unfair and they ask for too much money. Google countered by pointing out that Fortnite exists on the Apple App Store with its 30% take. Epic responded in kind by pointing out that Apple doesn’t have over 50% market share like Google does. Hit the link to see the full back and forth between both companies.
- Google officially announced its Google Play award winners for 2019. Glitch Video Effects won best app, Call of Duty: Mobile won best game, Avengers: Endgame won best movie, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark won best book. The voting took place over the last couple of weeks. Call of Duty: Mobile and Avengers: Endgame are the obvious choices for those genres. However, we’re not entirely sure how Glitch Video Effects won best app of the year. In any case, hit the link to check out all of the nominees.
- Pornhub released its platform stats for 2019. There were some telling stats. More Apple users watched Pornhub than Android users, but Google Chrome was the most popular browser. Additionally, Xbox and PlayStation took top spots for game consoles. Some more fun stats include a 2% increase for PS Vita, massive decreases for UC and Opera browsers, and 0.4% of people using, of all things, a Nintendo 3DS to watch Pornhub. Hit the link for more stats.
- Microsoft’s Your Phone app was beta testing phone calls for a while now. The feature officially left the Windows Insiders program this week and it’s available to the general public. The Your Phone app is already an above average app for texts, viewing photos, and dealing with notifications. Adding phone calls makes even better. The app still has the occasional stability issue, but it’s among the best at what it does.
- A new Google Assistant feature mimics Google Translate. You can now ask Google Assistant to translate conversations in one of up to 44 languages. You simply ask Google Assistant to translate and it’ll open up an interpreter mode to do what you need it to do. The interpreter mode is also available through written commands as well for those who may not have the ability to speak. Hit the link to see how to enable this mode and how to use it.
Price: Free / $2.99
Bouncing Buddies is a mix between a rhythm game and an endless runner. Players bounce from platform to platform to the beat of the game’s music. The game includes five worlds, 40 levels, and a few catchy music tracks. Progression adds in more challenges as you would expect. It’s not the longest or deepest game. However, it’s kid friendly, it has a flat cost instead of in-app purchases, and it’s a reasonably fun little time killer.
NordPass Password Manager
Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $35.99 per year
NordPass Password Manager is by NordVPN. NordVPN is a fairly popular VPN service and the company expanded its efforts to password management similar to TunnelBear and its password manager, RememBear. It features all of the stuff you would expect, like auto-fill support, cross-platform support, encryption, and more. We appreciate the high level of encryption along with the two-factor authentication. It makes the app feel fairly safe. The app is new and there are many complaints of bugs and the price is a bit higher than most of its competitors. However, we expect the company to iron these issues out as time goes. Keep it on your radar.
Black Desert Mobile
Price: Free to play
Black Desert Mobile is a new MMORPG with a fantasy theme. It features an open world for you to run around, five classes to choose from, and a mountain of quests and missions to complete. There are also a bunch of additional things like taming monsters, fishing, and other activities to keep yourself busy. The graphics are outstanding and the controls are quite good. However, for the time being, there isn’t much that sets it apart from other MMORPGs in terms of content. You still go on fetch quests and slaughter a certain number of monsters per mission. It’s decent, fluid, and polished, though, so it’s not a bad option.
Microsoft Math Solver
Microsoft Math Solver is an interesting new math app. It works a lot like Photomath. You write down an equation like you would on paper. The app converts it to information it can use and then solves the equation. You can also scan a problem from a piece of paper if you have it written there instead. It works with basic arithmetic, some algebra, and some very basic calculus. The app probably won’t help upper level college math students, but any high school student should be able to make sure of this. It needs time to develop, but it’s honestly not that far behind Photomath.
Very Little Nightmares
Very Little Nightmares is cute little horror style puzzle-adventure game. Players navigate various mazes, avoid various traps, and deal with various puzzles. There are also some bad guys that try to capture you. It’s too cutesy to be scary so we wouldn’t file this under horror games. However, the mechanics are good and the graphics are decent. The only complaints we’ve seen are for the occasional bug and some people don’t like the controls. On the plus side, the game has a single price tag, no micro-transactions, and a neat premise.
If we missed any great Android apps or games, tell us about them in the comments!