Welcome to the 297th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Samuel L. Jackson lent his voice to Amazon Alexa and it’s hilarious. You can download and apply the voice but it costs $100. That’s a bit steep for our tastes, but you do get some Jackson-specific commands. For instance, you can ask what it was like making a Star Wars movie or ask him for the news. It swears a lot so we don’t recommend it around small, impressionable children.
- Facebook wants to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook itself into a single Facebook banner. The FTC might say something about all of that. According to reports, the FTC is concerned that such a merger would make the company harder to split off down the road. Splitting the social networking giant’s assets is something the FTC wants to explore. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
- Google activated RCS on all US carriers this last Monday. A tweet went out over the weekend to remind people to update their Messages app as well as their Carrier Services in the Play Store in order to get access to it. Google turned the services on a month ago. However, it was inaccessible for general use until this last Monday. Get those updates in and enjoy!
- Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge is apparently pretty good. We did some testing this week and found that it used less RAM that regular Chrome. The desktop variant comes with niceties like Dark Mode while also keeping the cross-platform syncing feature with its mobile browser option. Hit the link to read more about it.
- Pornhub revealed the most popular Android versions on its website for 2019. The usual suspects are there and it’s not too different from the official Android distribution numbers. However, our readers were thrilled to find out that Jelly Bean still lives as does Kit Kit. The link also shows iOS numbers and most of them are iOS 13. There is some commentary there about fragmentation, but we’re just surprised that people on Jelly Bean still browse Pornhub.
Ylands is one of the most unique games of 2019. It’s a sandbox style game where players make their own experiences. The game includes an editor to make your own thing or you can download and play other player creations. It boasts a family friendly experience, multiplayer, and a bunch of different game types. There are some bugs that make the game a little difficult to get into. However, they are most likely temporary issues. The game is free to play.
Milkshake is a website builder app. It boasts a simple UI with enough features to make a decent little web page. You obviously won’t be building anything super complex here. However, it seems to work well for things like About Me pages, portfolios, and other such things like that. It claims to build a site in under 10 minutes but it took us a little longer than that. We actually quite liked the experience with this. As long as your expectations aren’t too ridiculous, this should be useful as a simple web page builder.
Tiny Decks & Dungeons
Price: Free to play
Tiny Decks & Dungeons is a rogue-like RPG-style game with some decent mechanics. It uses a turn-by-turn style where you and the monsters around you move at the same time. Players explore various dungeons and collect various things. You can also fight and capture monsters for your use later. Finally, there is a village you return to and you can customize it as you want. The game is still in Early Access beta and more features are added with every update. We’re not sure how it’ll end up, but it has some potential.
Breaker is a social podcast app. It boasts a collection of over 500,000 podcasts so it should have at least most of the ones you listen to. Additionally, it has a social media aspect. You can add friends and then see what your friends listen to. As a social network, it’s only just okay. However, the podcast part of it is solid. The app includes playback speeds ranging from half speed to three times speed and you also get the ability to download new episodes automatically as well as skip silences to save time. Honestly, it’s not half bad as just a podcast player and the social element can be cool if you have friends who listen to podcasts.
WitchSpring4 is an adventure game with RPG elements. Players start as Little Queen, ruler of a whole continent. You then train her up, send her on adventures, and craft various items to make her more powerful. The graphics and game play are smooth and enjoyable and we didn’t have any serious issues with controls. It’s not the first game in the series, but so far it seems to be the best one. About the only caveat is that this game takes place in the same universe after the previous three games. Thus, if you want the full picture, you’ll need to check out every game in the series. This one runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.
If we missed any big Android app or game updates or releases, tell us about it in the comments!