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- Google and Roku stalled out on negotiations this week. Roku claims Google wants preferential treatment and user activity data. Google denies those claims and says all they want is for Roku to use the AV1 codec so it can stream high quality YouTube videos. Unfortunately, the result was Roku removing YouTube TV from its channel guide. Read both links to learn more.
- Google’s Exposure Notification API has a bit of a security leak. It turns out system apps have a lot more access than they really should. Google was alerted to the issue in February. It hasn’t done anything about the issue yet. The problem is imminently fixable so hopefully Google gets on that soon. For those who don’t remember, the Exposure Notification API is the one used for COVID-19 tracking apps.
- Once upon a time, an Apple executive tried to bring iMessage to Android. However, the decision was overturned so make Apple more appealing to existing Apple customers. The company considered it because Google almost bought WhatsApp and that would’ve made Google the king of the messaging space. Things turned out differently but it’s a fun story.
- HBO Max is one off the more expensive streaming services. The company wants to rectify that with a cheaper tier that also has advertisements. A leaked document shows the potential price as $9.99 per month with ads. That’s $5 less than the $14.99 regular price. You can read more at the link.
- Telegram is entering the video call game. It promises a lot of features, including encryption, background noise reduction, and screen sharing. It caters to both casual video call apps as well as video conferencing apps. The feature should rollout sometime in May. Hit the link to learn more details.
The Spike is a 2D style arcade volley ball game. It was developed by some high school kids and it’s actually pretty fun. You play a game of volleyball with various players. Players have stats that affect their skills. You can do stuff like serve and spike the ball, but it’s relatively simple in terms of game play. The game is rather difficult so prepare yourself for that. It’s also entirely free with support from advertising. We would like to see a premium version and we hope it comes soon.
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
DrawPortal is a collaborative drawing app. It basically lets you draw with friends. The app features a bunch of stuff, such as various tools, a zoom and pan feature, and more. There are also layers so you can add and subtract stuff as needed. The UI is a bit basic, but functional. You basically just pop the app open and draw stuff. It’s a cheap drawing app that worked reasonably well in our testing. It’s also good for kids.
Summoners War: Lost Centuria
Price: Free to play
Summoners War: Lost Centuria is the latest game in the Summoners War franchise. This one is a card collecting and dueling game. Players collect cards and use them to battle other players. It’s predominately online player-versus-player. It features games with up to 16 participants in an eight versus eight fight. There are also various ways to upgrade your deck. The game also has some PvE content so you’re not always facing other players if you don’t want to. It’s free to play and most of the complaints are with early bugs that should get worked out sooner or later.
Typewise Custom Keyboard
Price: Free / $1.99 per month / $9.99 per year / $24.99 once
Typewise isn’t technically a new app. However, version 3.0 of the app introduced very dramatic changes to the keyboard layout and app functionality. The new layout is a honeycomb shape. Additionally, the keyboard isn’t in its usual QWERTY layout. There is a bit of a learning curve and people will scale that curve in different amounts of time. In terms of typing, it’s relatively comfortable once you get used to it but again, it does a take a bit to get used to. There are some bugs and we would’ve liked more aggressive auto-correction. However, it’s nice to see something different in the keyboard space again.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a mobile port for the 2018 PC game of the same name. It’s a turn-based strategy game with over 50 levels. Players can upgrade their stuff to make the trek easier. The game is quite good and it’s always nice to see a premium game with no in-app purchases. However, the game has a few things we didn’t like. The UI is a bit cramped for a mobile phone game and we actually recommend this for tablets if you have one. Of course, the entire game takes place in the familiar Warhammer 40,000 universe. It’s a bit expensive, but hardcore fans may enjoy this one.
If we missed any Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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