Welcome to the 308th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google Play disabled all searches for the coronavirus this week. It wanted to stop the spread of misinformation and prevent developers from cashing in on the crisis, something that is agains the Google Play terms of service. There were a few apps with some legitimately good info, but most of them were trash so we understand the movie.
- Facebook rewrote the Messenger app for iOS last week and they’re doing the same for Android’s version as well. The rewrite won’t be too extensive, but it should help lower the app’s absurd install size and speed it up a bit without draining as much battery. We’re hoping for it as much as you are.
- Moment was one of our picks for the best camera apps for Android. Unfortunately, the app never took off and the developers had a rough time of developing on Android. Thus, the developer is removing the app from the Play Store in the near future. If you need replacements, hit the link above for our best camera apps list.
- Google canceled its yearly Google I/O event in fear of the Coronavirus. It’s the latest in a string of cancellations in the tech space and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Google I/O usually has a lot of announcements for the Android OS, app and game development, and other such things. We expect live streams, though, so the event is probably just private now.
- Mario Kart Tour multiplayer launches on March 8th. A tweet from the official Twitter account revealed the date and even the time, 8PM PT. The multiplayer was in beta for a long time and in short bursts. However, everyone should have it by the end of the weekend. There are three modes, a nearby race with friends, standard races, and a gold races. Only the gold races require the $4.99 per month Gold Pass.
Snoopy Puzzle Journey
Price: Free to play
Snoopy Puzzle Journey is a match-three game with a family-friendly theme. It plays a lot like most match-three games. You tap pieces that line up, they disappear, and more appear as the blocks fall into place. There are plenty of levels, simple mechanics, and some extras. Plus, there are cameos from Snoopy and the gang. On the one hand, we enjoy that Capcom didn’t do anything bizarre or unfriendly with the release. However, it does get a bit repetitive after a while. It’s a free to play game with in-app purchases so make sure to set a Google Play password before you let the little ones try it.
Epic Privacy Browser
Epic Privacy Browser is a newer privacy browser with a few good features. It’s a Chromium browser so the UI and many of the Settings and other controls should feel relatively familiar. This one also has an ad-block, a file vault, a built-in encrypted proxy with a strict no logging policy, and more. That makes it better than most for privacy browsing but it’s not a one-trick pony either. You also get a video downloader, a password manager, and the ability to read web pages out loud. There are tons of features and not a ton of bugs.
Price: Free to play
Scrabble GO is the latest mobile iteration of the popular word game. The basic game plays just like any other Scrabble game with some extras for added challenge. However, this one has some other game modes as well, including an anagram solver, a full word drop version of Scrabble, and the classic one versus one. On the one hand, it’s definitely a lot more than classic Scrabble. On the other, there is a lot of extra stuff than the classic Scrabble. Your enjoyment will depend on whether you enjoy these extras or not.
Mi Browser is a new browser from Xiaomi. It doesn’t have nearly as many privacy features as Epic Privacy Browser, but the features are useful. There is a video downloader that works on most social media sites. Additionally, you get a dark mode, translation features, a built-in file browser, and some other neat features. Initial reviews are fairly positive but this is definitely not a browser for everyone and it definitely needs a few tweaks. Still, it worked well enough in our testing and it’s available for non-Xiaomi devices as well.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross
Price: Free to play
The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross is a new mobile RPG with gacha elements. The game retells the story from the anime and includes all of the main characters. This one uses turn-based combat with a card system. There is also an online PvP mode, augmented reality features, and some other nice stuff. There are a few bugs here and there, but the reviews are generally positive and it worked fine in our tests. Those looking for another Japanese-inspired gacha RPG and also like the anime should definitely try this one.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about them in the comments!