Welcome to the 152nd episode of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- SwiftKey had a bit of a problem this last week. There was a data leak in their servers and this caused people to have words, emails, and phrases that were recommended that they didn’t recognize. Typically, it was strange email addresses and words in foreign languages. Because of this, SwiftKey has stopped their cloud syncing service until they can get it straightened out.
- A report earlier this week indicated that there were around 200 million Yahoo accounts that were for sale. A hacker named Peace_of_mind put up the accounts in their store on the dark web. They are asking for 3 Bitcoins (just under $2000) for the whole collection. According to Motherboard, some of the accounts are active and some are disabled or inactive. Either way, if you have a Yahoo account, you should change your password now.
- Cheetah Mobile has finished up a deal where it purchased News Republic for $57 million. News Republic, for those who don’t know, is an HTC Blinkfeed partner and they have a really good news app. This has come in the wake of a number of other moves, such as releasing BADLAND 2. Tons of people use Cheetah Mobile apps, but the company’s reputation is less than stellar. That makes us wonder what they have in store for News Republic.
- Google Play is having a massive game sale this week. Final Fantasy VI, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee, Minecraft: Story Mode, Lara Croft Go, and many others are up for grabs. Each game is on sale for a varying amount with savings occasionally reaching over 50%. Most of these are really good games that are definitely worth checking out.
- Google’s new Nexus Launcher leaked this last week and the APK has been floating around all week. It does things a little different like getting rid of the app drawer icon in favor of a much more minimal arrow. You can also quickly access Google Now with a new Google Tab widget. It is coming with its fair share of bugs, but that’s mostly because it’s meant to be installed as a system app. You can check it out, but don’t be surprised if some features don’t work.
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[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
BlackBerry Hub+ Services may seem familiar to anyone who has used a BlackBerry Priv. That’s because it is the same Hub that’s available there. Because of their new focus on software, BlackBerry has decided to release the app to everyone that wants it no matter which Android device you run. It has quick links to other BlackBerry apps, like its texting app and its calendar app for you to get quickly. The Hub actually just manages the data from all of these other apps so if you want to use the Hub, you’ll pretty much have to use the other apps as well. If that sounds like something you want to do, you can get the app for free right now.
Verne: The Himalayas is an adorable little app where you can explore The Himalayan mountains with a yeti named Verne. Basically, this is a 3D Google Maps view of the mountains with some added elements superimposed on top to provide additional info. You’ll explore the mountains and the app will talk to you about certain points and why they’re significant. You can also hang glide, go sledding, and explore the mountains in other ways. It’s a fun little experience and you could learn a thing or two as well.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Mobius Final Fantasy was released this week and it’s something a little different for the long-running franchise. You’ll be playing as a guy who has lost his memory and you’ll enlist the help of friends to find it. It features better graphics and mechanics than we’re used to seeing in Freemium games and the grandeur in-game cut scenes are a lot of fun to watch. Aside from that, this is a combat-based game with a card collecting system as well as a job system. It’s worth a shot, especially if you’re a fan of the series.
Dropbox Paper Beta is the latest app out of the cloud-storage company. It is a note-taking app that seems to live between Google Keep and Google Drive when it comes to functionality. Users will be able to create notes and documents, comment on those documents, and reply to comments. People can invite others to the app to collaborate on documents as well. The app is in beta which means there are some bugs here and there and it’s far from complete. Still, it’s free if you want to try it out.
The Olympic Games in Rio are in full swing and you may want to keep up on what’s going on. NBC is covering the event and their official app for the Olympics is out now. Unfortunately, the app could be better and it is suffering from some long load times and an inconsistent interface. However, it is the best app to find this information in a centralized area. Realistically, any good sports app should have decent coverage as well just in case you want another option. That said, if you want something that is specifically for the Olympics, this is the app to try.
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