Welcome to the 168th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Hatch is a new start up that spun off from Rovio. Yes, the developers of Angry Birds. Hatch is working on a project that will allow you to stream Android games to your device and play them for free. There won’t be in-app purchases or updates to deal with. It’ll be just you and the game. There are also some ambitious ideas like pulling the Internet for help inside of the game, even in single player games. An invite beta is should be out in early 2017.
- Facebook shut down its Live Video API access for Prisma this week. Previously, Prisma was using the API to allow people to create filters while streaming live on Facebook. Now, that is no longer possible. Facebook sent Prisma an email stating that access was revoked because Facebook already supported the feature. In reality, it seems like Facebook was just shutting down some competition before their own filters option rolls out to everyone. Good job, Facebook.
- It has been reported that one million Google accounts have been breached by a new brand of malware called Gooligan. It affects people who download third party apps not from Google Play. From there, it downloads root kits and tries to get control of your device. It’s unfortunately, but those who keep their downloading strictly to the Google Play Store don’t need to worry because the exploit is not present there.
- A study released this week showed that consumers spent more than $1 billion during Black Friday 2016 by using their smartphones and tablets. This is the first time that number has ever eclipsed $1 billion and shows that more people than ever before are shopping online. We’ve no doubt that apps contributed to the overall total. After all, most brick and mortar stores have their own apps these days. The total online sales from the weekend topped $5 billion.
- Google Play is now actively trying to hunt down fake reviews in the Play Store. It’s been an issue for a while now. Essentially what happens is shady developers pay people to download the app over and over again on different accounts and leave favorable reviews. The rating goes way up and people think the app is great. We don’t know how effective this fake review washing will be, but we hope it’s pretty damn effective.
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[Price: Free / $1.49]
Distraint is a horror-adventure game that runs on the same engine as the Five Nights at Freddy’s games. For you PC gamers out there, yes, this is the same game that was released on Steam last year. In this title, you’ll play though a 2D experience and solve puzzles. The controls are rather simple and it shouldn’t take you long to learn how to play. The developers claim that the game should take around two hours to complete. You can download it for free or fork out the very reasonable $1.49 for the full game.
Google has released their yearly Santa tracking app. With this one, you’ll be able to quickly access a countdown to the big night track Santa as he makes his rounds around the world. The app also features a variety of mini-games that you can play to pass the time. Some reviewers have noticed the occasional bug so do look out for that. Otherwise, the app is completely free to download and use if you’re interested.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Hill Climb Racing 2 is the successor to the very popular Hill Climb Racing. In this title, you’ll pick a vehicle and go racing. The game features the ability to perform tricks, access boosts, and there are a variety of tracks that you can play on. It’s a 2D game and the mechanics are simple so it doesn’t take long to learn the game. It also has a cartoon graphic style to give the game an atmosphere of being silly. It supports online multiplayer as well. You can pick it up for free if you don’t mind the in-app purchases.
Clip Layer is a new app from the Microsoft Garage Project. This is an overlay app that lets you quickly copy and paste items from your screen. It launches uses the home button so you’ll need to have this set as your assistant app. Once that’s done, simply long press and you can copy and paste any text on your screen. Once copied, you can quickly send it to an email address or add it to Wunderlist if you prefer. It’s a completely free app but do beware of those early release bugs.
Samorost 3 is the latest game in the Samorost franchise. It’s a quirky little adventure game where you play as a space gnome with a flute. Your job is to travel the cosmos and visit nine planets to complete various challenges. It has a strong showing in the graphics, sound, and music departments which adds to the overall ambiance of the title. The game runs for $4.99 but there are no in-app purchases to get in the way of you having fun.
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If we missed any Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.