Welcome to the 276th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines and launches from the last week:
- Tinder removed Google Play payments from its app this week. The company simply didn’t want to share its money with Google anymore. Tinder’s owner, Match Group, intends on doing the same with Match.com and OkCupid, its other dating app properties. On the one hand, Google Play payments are easier for consumers. However, they do cost the app developer an exorbitant amount of money. We can see both sides of this one, but the bigger question is whether or not more apps will follow Tinder’s (and Fortnite’s) example.
- FaceApp is a big hit right now. The face altering app makes you look older or younger with a bunch of other filters. However, it’s not without its controversy. The app has a questionable terms of service along with royalty-free rights to all filters applied in the app. This has stirred up a lot of conversation, especially with the app’s Russian heritage. Hit the link to learn more about FaceApp!
- A study of 20,000 porn websites released earlier this week. The results are a little bit concerning. It seems Google and Facebook may track your porn habits, even in incognito mode. Incognito mode only keeps things from showing up in your search history. However, third parties, your ISP, and other entities can still see it. We may soon all use VPNs for porn since that seems to be the only safe option.
- Xiaomi has a new health app for its phones. It’ll compete directly with Samsung’s health app, Google Fit, LG Health, and other OEM health apps. The app seems to do the basics like track steps, track sleep, and even track menstruation cycles along with some other features. The app, Mi Health, should launch on a future version of MIUI.
- Google Stadia is not a Netflix for games. Director of product, Andrey Doronichev, stated that the Stadia Pro is more like competing console subscription services. That includes free monthly games and game discounts. Another neat tidbit from the AMA was the ability to download save games for use on other platforms. Hit the link to learn more!
Flashback Mobile is the new mobile port of the highest selling French game in history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The port of the 1992 classic looks and plays much like the original. However, it contains various mechanic and control changes to work on mobile. The retro platformer is similar in game play to games like Another World, another classic with a mobile port. There are some puzzle elements and narrative elements as well. It runs for a clean $4.99 with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
Price: $1.99 + Up to $12.99
Hex Installer is a new theming app for Samsung users. It should work on any Samsung device with Android Pie and One UI. It works a lot like Synergy and other theming apps. The app uses Samsung’s High Contrast theme and alters it to work as you want. The app lets you theme up to 60 apps and you can customize things like colors, fonts, and more. There is even a live preview so you can see what the theme looks like. We think Synergy is the better overall system, but Hex Installer is great for those who want to fine tune a theme individually. There is a bit of a learning curve, though.
Price: Free to play
Elune appears to be a spiritual successor the previously popular Elune Saga. It plays like most gacha mobile RPGs. You can summon a bunch of characters from varying classes. You level them up, rank them up, and use them to battle opponents. The game also includes the usual array of mobile RPG goodies like cut scenes, a strong narrative aspect, online gaming features, and more. The game has a few launch bugs it definitely needs to fix, but it should be a solid option in the genre once GAMEVIL cleans it up a bit.
Gallery Go by Google Photos
Gallery Go is a new gallery app from Google. It works basically like Google Photos, but it’s entirely offline. It can automatically organize your photos and makes them searchable for faster access. Some additional features include light editing, complete offline use, and SD card support. It doesn’t have the upload aspect of it like Google Photos, but it otherwise works basically the same way. It even looks similar. Those looking for a clean, minimal, simple gallery app that does a little extra should definitely try this one.
Plants vs Zombies 3 Pre-Alpha
Price: Free to play
Plants vs Zombies 3 Pre-Alpha is, well, a pre-alpha release of the upcoming Plants vs Zombies 3. You can get a sneak peek at the new game play elements, game modes, and the game itself. It’s not the complete version so don’t expect perfection out of the box with this one. However, again, this is a fun way to sample the upcoming game. In addition, you can send in feedback to help EA make the game better before launch.