Welcome to the 302nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines this week:
- App Annie released its annual report for the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. There were some juicy tidbits, including a increase of revenue to $120 billion per year. Additionally, people spent 35% more time on their phones in 2019 than they did in 2017. Finally, Facebook owned four of the top five downloaded apps in either app store in 2019 with TikTok being the only one in the top five not from Facebook. Hit the link to learn more.
- Huawei struck a deal with mapping company TomTom to make its own navigation app. Obviously, Huawei can’t use Google Maps anymore and this new alternative fits into that gap. The deal was struck a while ago and both companies are working on it right now. We don’t have many additional details at this point, so hit the link to learn more.
- Mario Kart Tour’s multiplayer is closer to release. The first beta test closed a while back, but Nintendo announced a second one this week. This one doesn’t require a Gold Pass subscription this time around and anybody can get in on the action if they want to. Online multiplayer was a glaring omission in the game’s original release so it’s a pretty big deal.
- Google announced a date for the official death of Chrome Apps. The company moved away from them a while back but they’ve hung around until now. The timeline includes no new submissions as of March 2020 with official support ending in June 2020. The back end remains available to enterprise customers until June 2022 when the whole initiative shuts down. Hit the link to see the full time line.
- We checked out the closed beta of Shadowgun War Games this week. The game left a positive impression with smooth game play, good graphics, and some fun game mechanics. The controls were fairly simple and we didn’t have issues aside from the occasional networking error. We only received partial access to the game. Thus, our observations are a bit limited. However, this one has the potential to compete with the big dogs. Hit the link to read it!
Barre is a yoga and ballet style workout app. The app boasts fresh content every day with different types of exercises. It ticks a lot of the right boxes. Some of the features include offline support, plenty of exercises to run through, and it requires no equipment other than a chair. Additionally, the app is 100% free although that may change over time. Additionally, the mix of ballet, yoga, meditation, and generic exercises is definitely something we don’t see everyday. It’s also friendly for beginners.
Price: Free / $4.99
Tetris by N3TWORK is a re-release of the classic Tetris experience. It has a lot of good features, including classic game play, no micro-transactions (aside from the $4.99 pro version), decent controls, and even some small niceties like theming and unlockable avatars. The game also boasts offline play, decent graphics, and more. The game works more or less okay in our testing. We’d like to see more options for difficulty so we’re not starting out on level one each time. Additionally, some folks reported some issues with the offline play. The developers should clear most of that up in future updates.
Several Digital Wellbeing apps from Google
Google launched three new experimental apps for Digital Wellbeing. The first is Envelope, a unique app that wraps your phone in a digital envelope. You can basically only call people and you don’t get notifications. The second app, Screen Stopwatch, a live wallpaper app that shows your screen on time all the time as a method to sort of self-shame yourself into not using the phone. Finally, Activity Bubbles does about the same thing as Screen Stopwatch except it visualizes your usage in the form of bubbles. You can download all three apps in our article about the topic or with the button below.
World Robot Boxing 2
Price: Free to play
World Robot Boxing 2 is a new fighting game. The first one was quite popular in its day and we expect the second one to get a fair number of downloads too. Players basically fight various types of robots. There are over 60 robots to collect across six classes and 14 countries. Additionally, the game includes 12 arenas, multiple game modes, and leaderboards. You can also upgrade robots. In terms of mechanics, it’s a fairly basic fighter so you shouldn’t have much trouble learning the ropes. The game has some bugs and the graphics might actually be a step down depending on your preferences. It’s had a bit of a rough start, but it has the potential to be a good game once it’s polished up a bit.
Price: Free / $2.49
gesturePlus is a gesture shortcut app. It adds the ability to tap the navigation bar in Android 10 to perform a variety of tasks, including opening apps, muting your phone, taking a screenshot, turning on the flashlight, and other such things. The app supports both single tap and long press. Additionally, it works with Google Assistant along with about three dozen other actions. It works for most, and doesn’t for some. It’s also not the easiest app to learn. However, it’s free to download and try out with a relatively cheap pro version too.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments!