Welcome to the 322nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- The FBI released a statement this week regarding a rise in bank fraud. The two major concerns are on-device trojans and fraudulent banking apps. The on-device trojans are the bigger worry since it can emulate the login page on banking websites. The fraudulent apps are just clones of existing banking apps and you shouldn’t see those if you stick to the Play Store. In any case, make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on and stay vigilant. You should be fine.
- WhatsApp is working for better storage management for its users. One of the new features is an improved message search by date. You simply search for a date and WhatsApp shows you messages from that date. Future updates may include the ability to filter messages by forwarded files and other media. The message by date search is rolling out now. The rest may come in a future update.
- Fitbit devices may get Google Assistant soon. An APK teardown showed some code with instructions no how to active Google Assistant in the Fitbit app. It’s very similar to the Fitbit Versa 2‘s ability to use Amazon Alexa so this may start on that tracker. We don’t know when or if this becomes a reality, but it’s a possibility.
- Another way to block YouTube ads made its way out this week. Apparently, adding a period to part of the URL magically blocks most of the ads on the site. The symbol apparently breaks some things on the site and simply doesn’t let the advertising through. It’s not as effective as some ad blockers, but it’s a neat little tidbit. Hit the link to see examples of how it works.
- The long awaited Google Play Music to YouTube Music transfer tool is finally rolling out. We first talked about this weeks ago as Google begins to wind down Google Play Music. The tool lets you transfer your playlists and other data from one account to the other. The transfer tool is a one click process so it shouldn’t take long to get everything switched over. It’s rolling out in waves so it may take a bit for it to actually get to you.
The Farm: Sassy Princess
Price: Free to play
The Farm: Sassy Princess is a new farming simulator. Players can plant crops, start a family, and do a bunch of other smaller things. It’s not quite as deep as some farming sims we’ve tried. There are some saving graces, though. For instance, you can combo together crops you grow for higher yields and there are a variety of side quests to keep things fresh. There are some basic ideas here that are a little old and tired plus the free to play elements are a little annoying after a while. Still, it’s a decent little time killer if you’re into this sort of thing.
Split Apps is an Android productivity tool with a simple premise. It lets you take two apps and create a shortcut on the home screen. When you tap on it, it opens both apps in multi-window mode. There isn’t a lot to talk about with this one. You open the app, select two apps, and the app puts an icon on the home screen that opens both of them at once. That’s all it does. Not all apps or devices support multi-window mode so of course this won’t work for everything, but it seemed to work fine in our testing. The app runs for $1.49 with no in-app purchases.
Small Town Murders
Price: Free to play
Small Town Murders is a mix between a match-three game and a mystery game. You play the role of an investigator in an allegedly peaceful hamlet. You find clues, solve puzzles, and figure out all of the crimes. The game contains a metric ton of levels as you would expect from any match-three game. The graphics are colorful and fun, but despite its kid-friendly looks, the content isn’t the most suitable for kids. The game has a tendency to drag on a bit and you have to solve a lot of puzzles to move the story forward. Otherwise, it’s a decent time waster.
Adobe Photoshop Camera
Adobe Photoshop Camera is a new camera app from Adobe. At its core, it’s a simple camera app with some filter effects. However, those photo effects are actually pretty good. You can apply filters real-time before snapping the photo or after the photo is taken. There are some really interesting ones as well. Some additional features include portrait mode controls along with creator-inspired filters. It’s a silly cross-over but the camera app works as advertised. Its biggest issue is device availability. It’s available on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but not my Pixel 3a or my LG V60.
My Talking Tom Friends
Price: Free to play
My Talking Tom Friends is the latest game from Outfit7, developers of the popular My Talking Tom franchise. This one follows the same themes from previous games and brings back characters from each one. There are a bunch of kid-friendly mini-games and activities to play, but there are some adults who say they enjoy it as well. Additionally, there is a heavy customization element. The advertising is a little much for a kids game, but it’s otherwise relatively harmless.
- 10 best farming games for Android
- 10 best productivity apps for Android
- 15 best camera apps for Android
- 10 best match-three games like Candy Crush
- 10 best kids games for Android
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!