Welcome to the 296th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- YouTube had an interesting week. It was part of the big Google Cloud outage that affect a good portion of the world. Additionally, it once again came under fire for its algorithm due to the pedophilic content it allegedly shows people. Later in the week, YouTube promised to remove thousands of videos that contain extreme political views and misinformation. Hit the links for more details on each story.
- Google removed 238 apps with malware this week. Lookout found the apps by a Chinese developer with the malware. The malware isn’t particularly dangerous. However, it does show tons of video and audio ads even when the app isn’t open. The apps were actually quite popular and had 440 million downloads on Google Play alone. Google didn’t catch the problem and that’s a bit odd. The malware was on Google Play for around seven or so months before Lookout found it.
- Aptoide is mad at Google. The third party app store wants fair play from Google. The Play Store flags Aptoide as a harmful application and has since 2018. Aptoide believes this prevents people from using the app store. However, Aptoide does have a bunch of pirated apps and games with rumors of malware-infested free apps and games. We were able to install Aptoide without problems on our test devices, though.
- BlueStacks has some interesting things in the works. It’s a new SDK for developers and it should help things out a lot. It allows Android developers to publish their apps and games on Steam and other PC storefronts. However, the games will open and work in BlueStacks as the player. This could be huge as it no longer requires people to download games through the emulator itself.
- Google announced a bunch of new Stadia information this week. The hardware should go on sale in November 2019 with a Founder’s Edition for those who don’t mind a slightly steeper price tag. Additionally, AAA games like Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XV, and Borderlands 3 are officially on the game list. We expect even more details at E3 2019.
Durango: Wild Lands is a relatively new game on mobile and it launched globally not long ago. It already has quite the large player base and people seem to like it. It's a mobile MMO with adventure and sandbox elements. You explore an open world in the prehistoric era with dinosaurs. Players can also craft things, play together, play against one another, and go on various quests. The graphics are good and the game play mechanics are serviceable and non-intrusive. We actually quite like this game.
Appy Weather is a new, minimal style weather app. It started life on Windows Phone and received a port to Android this last week. It's a simple weather app without a ton of extras. You get daily and hourly forecasts along with current weather information. The premium version adds daily weather notifications and severe weather warnings. You also get a dark theme, widgets (premium version only), and a super simple layout. It's a great minimal weather option although we'd like to see a radar eventually. The premium version goes for $3.99 per year.
F1 Manager is a strategy game with racing elements. Players create their own F1 team and manage that team. There are a variety of events to play through as well as online PvP. Players also hire new personnel, build better cars, and even make decisions like when to change to wet weather gear instead of dry weather gear. It's not quite as deep as Motorsport Manager, but it still strikes a good balance of depth and casual-friendly gaming. It is a freemium game, though, so expect those drawbacks as well.
Spotify Stations is a new Pandora competitor from Spotify. It works like old school Pandora works. You log in, pick a radio station, and listen to music for free (with ads). There are generic stations like 70's Hits or more specific stuff like a playlist based on The Beatles. It's brand new and lacks some customization, but we expect the app to improve over time. It's nice to see a simple, free music app again.
Farm Punks is a new game from Noodlecake Studios, publishers of Alto's Odyssey and realMyst. This game is a runner about a farm on a mountain that makes money by shooting sentient fruit out of a cannon. Players roll downhill with said fruit while collecting items and avoiding obstacles. The game includes 80 playable fruits, a bunch of stuff to collect, various challenges, and Google Play Games cloud saving. It's a family-friendly game as well. The game is in beta right now, though, so expect some bugs and such if you play it now.
If we missed any big Android apps or Android games news or updates, tell us about them in the comments!