Welcome to the 300th edition of Android Apps Weekly. We appreciate everyone who has come to read this piece every week! Unfortunately, we don’t have anything special planned so let’s get right into those headlines:
- Huawei phones did a funny thing late last week. The phones marked Google Allo as a security threat. Google discontinued Allo a while back and that’s probably why the alerts appear. However, marking the app as infected is overdoing it a bit. Still, we do recommend people uninstall Allo if they haven’t already. Google killed the service so it doesn’t actually do anything anymore. Hit the link for more details.
- We talked about ToTok, a messaging app accused of spying on its users, a couple of weeks ago. The app was reinstated to the Play Store this last week. There were no announcements or anything like that from either ToTok or Google. Additionally, the app still awaits reinstatement on the Apple Store. The saga appears to be over, but it was fun while it lasted.
- We’ve all had enough of those silly notification requests on Google Chrome. Apparently, Google is listening. Chrome lets you auto-hide those requests starting with the Chrome 80 update. It relegates everything to a bell icon in the address bar. Thus, you can enable notifications with a single tap, but you won’t get pop-ups anymore. We’re okay with that.
- Plex is making more moves. The popular app is adding more and more streaming options. The end goal is an all-in-one multimedia experience. It already lets you stream your home content from a server in your house. However, at CES 2020, Plex announced more future moves. For instance, it plans to offer subscription channels eventually. Hit the link to learn more about all of its upcoming moves.
- Google made a few Google Assistant announcements at CES 2020. The first is to build more privacy and speech functions into Google Assistant. The company reiterated that it doesn’t record what you say and that Assistant is always waiting but not always listening. Additionally, Google announced that Assistant has over 500 million active users. That’s quite an achievement and is no doubt due to all of the smart home tech along with native integration with all modern Android phones.
Great Escapes is a new escape room game. Players enter into the rooms, figure out the puzzles, and work their way through the game. This game is insanely new. In fact, it’s still in the first beta release. Thus, you will absolutely find issues along with some features (like hints) missing from the game. However, despite all of that, we quite like the game’s graphics and premise. It’s a dark game with some decent puzzles and controls. We assume it’ll get better with each release. Please note, it may not be available in all regions.
Nude is a weird app. It sounds like a porn app and looks like an antivirus app. However, it is neither porn or an antivirus app. It actually hides your photos and videos so other people can’t see them. The scan function pours through your files to identify any video or photo file. Nude then hides those files from sight. The app also includes biometric access support, a built-in gallery to view your hidden stuff, and the ability to automatically or manually add files to the hidden list. It’s not bad as far as gallery vault apps go.
Price: Free / $1.99
Vodobanka is a unique little game. It’s technically a puzzle game with some action elements. Players play as a SWAT team and barge into structures to apprehend the bad guys. You get a variety of tools to help you do the job and it’s surprisingly not as violent as its premise would have you assume. The controls are super simple and the game play works well enough. Earlier versions of the game had a few game play bugs but most of them are ironed out now. There is both a free and premium version of the game. Neither one has microtransactions or advertisements. This one isn’t half bad.
Square Appointments is a business app. It lets you create appointments for your clients. Square is best known for its point-of-sale system and most of its apps revolve around that. This one isn’t all that different. You can schedule appointments, accept payments, and carry on your business as usual. The UI seems quite good and everything is easy enough to use. Additionally, the app helps out by automatically sending appointment reminders and can handle the checkout process as well.
Price: Free to play
Era Combat is a new FPS game. In terms of game play, it isn’t much different from industry leaders like Call of Duty: Mobile or PUBG Mobile. However, this one has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it has jetpacks and we quite like jetpacks. Additionally, it features a sci-fi setting, tons of achievements, and plenty of online PvP. In fact, it’s predominately a PvP game so those who like narrative shooters may not find this enjoyable. In any case, it’s in early access beta so beware of the bugs but it’s otherwise a decent experience.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!