Welcome to the 293rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Google is under fire for potentially manipulating search results. The accusation says Google puts bigger businesses at the top of search results for better visibility. Google categorically denies all of these allegations. The Wall Street Journal did some research and showed that Google does put larger businesses over smaller ones in search results. However, this may just be a coincidence. We’ll keep you updated as more details emerge.
- Last week, we talked about Minecraft Earth’s Early Access launching in more places. This week, it launched all around the world. The game is an AR version of Minecraft but has most of the same game play mechanics. We’ve talked about it ad nauseum already, so hit the link if you want to see where it’s available now.
- Google Duplex launched on the web this week. It now integrates with Google Assistant to let you buy movie tickets. You can simply ask for movie times for a specific movie at a specific theater. From there, you can ask Assistant to purchase movie tickets for you and then you just show up to the movie. It’s a neat new feature and it shows Google improving Duplex.
- Microsoft is removing Cortana from Android. The company announced the move this last week. Basically, the Android version caused restrictions that the team can’t really work around. However, it is joining the Microsoft 365 productivity apps suite next year. It should leave Android by January 31st, 2020.
- Disney Plus received its first hack this last week. Well, it’s not really a hack. The alleged hackers found the information via email addresses and re-used passwords. This is a great example of why one should use a different password for everything. The stolen accounts were up for sale for as little as $3 each and free in some cases. You can hit the link to learn more about the issue.
Price: Free to play
Choker is one weird game. It’s basically a mixture of chess and poker. Players start with a king and a pawn on the board. From there, they bet on five cards that depict your remaining chess pieces. After that, you play chess with those pieces and see who wins. The game is in early access beta and the link below will ask if you want to become a tester before you download it on Google Play. It’s definitely something different.
Price: Free with in-app purchases / $12.99 per year
EdLock is an educational style app. It basically puts a lock over top of your apps and you answer trivia questions to unlock access. Users can select which apps are blocked and the types of trivia questions you might get asked. It’s intended for younger audiences and there are a variety of categories to choose from. You get three credits to choose three categories. From there, you either purchase more credits or you can subscribe for $12.99 per year to unlock all of the content permanently.
Soccer Manager 2020
Price: Free to play
Soccer Manager 2020 is the latest iteration of the popular Soccer Manager franchise. The game features 800 clubs from 33 countries all around the world. Players pick one, manage it, and try to lead it to greatness. Players also get chances to sign players, switch jobs if the pay is better, and watch 3D simulated soccer games. The game is also available in 12 languages. It’s a fresh release so there are still bugs for the developer to work out. Most of the Google Play review complaints stem from those bugs. However, when it’s working smoothly, it’s a fun game.
Price: Free / Up to $4.49
1Gallery is a rare new Gallery app. It functions well as both a gallery and a gallery vault. The gallery vault section is encrypted for additional privacy and security. The UI is similar to Google Photos and most other gallery apps. It’s efficient and it works well. The Gallery Vault part worked fine during our testing as well. Some other features include a simple photo editor, a very simple video trimmer, subtitle support for videos, a dark theme, and more. It’s new and we expect more features to launch in future releases. It’s a solid overall experience, though.
Sword Art Online Alicization Rising Steel
Price: Free to play
Sword Art Online Alicization Rising Steel is another anime-inspired mobile gacha with an unnecessarily long and easy to misspell name. It takes place in the Sword Art Online universe during the Alicization arc, but contains exclusive story elements not in the anime. The free-to-play elements are the usual gacha mechanics. You collect characters, form a party, and defeat evil in the story. The game has a few bugs that need fixed, but people seem to otherwise enjoy the game.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! You can submit new apps and games for consideration directly to me on Twitter as well!