Welcome to the 281st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines this week:
- Google and Apple found themselves in hot water this week. An app in Saudi Arabia reportedly tracks the location of women on behalf of their male guardian. You can see why this makes human rights activists angry. The most egregious issue is the app’s ability to track women via their passport and text the male guardian when she tries to leave the country. Obviously, this isn’t a good idea. Keep an eye on the linked article for updates as we receive them.
- Niantic has some neat new features for Pokémon Go. A future update adds the ability to take AR photos with your favorite Pokémon as you try to catch them. You can also take pictures of any Pokémon in your Pokédex for the sake of the art. That includes the ability to re-position them until the photo is perfect. Niantic hopes this new feature encourages players to use the camera and AR features more often.
- A popular PC game has a mobile release coming soon. Human: Fall Flat is a puzzle-platformer game with some goofy game mechanics and game physics. Players grab objects and use them to clear the various puzzles. It doesn’t look like much, but the game sold five million copies on PC and console so far. Hit the link for more details.
- Google is launching a new AR feature in Google Maps soon. The feature lets you view the world as you walk down the street. It uses Google’s backend data to calculate your exact location. From there, a bunch of graphics and arrows show up on the screen to point you in the right direction. We especially enjoyed all of the colorful graphics. Hit the link to learn more!
- Google also fawned over its Google Play security this last week. It claimed that app rejections were up 50%, that Google Play Protect scanned 50 billion apps every day, and that users were far less likely to end up with harmful apps than any previous year. That is all great news. However, that protection occasionally comes at the cost of hobbling legitimate apps such as Tasker and Cerberus. These situations usually get resolved fairly quickly, though.
Garfield Rush is a run-of-the-mill runner game with Garfield as a theme. It plays like almost any other endless runner you see. You run through various environments, collect various items, and use those items to unlock various things. The game boasts 18 total costumes and a mini-game where you feed Garfield. The game is kid-friendly and inoffensive in almost all respects. However, it is also a freemium game so do beware of that. There are also a few bugs, but nothing serious. The game played fine for us.
Calendar Widget by Home Agenda is a newer calendar widget app from Fancisco Franco, a favorite developer here at Android Authority. This is among the cleanest, most customizable calendar widgets we’ve seen in recent memory. It syncs to Google Calendar and you can customize it in a number of ways. Some other features include variable date views, the ability to hide declined events, and even a weather extension. The free version has a few features, but you get everything with the premium version. It’s not a bad way to spend $1.99.
Linn: Path of Orchards is a new puzzle-platformer from Crescent Moon Games, developers of Morphite, Ravensword, and a bunch of other games. The game has interesting mechanics. You get your standard 2D platformer controls. However, the level itself bobs and weaves like it’s trying to get rid of you. The goal is to reach the end of the level without falling off. The game is in open beta right now so this is not a full release. You should definitely expect bugs and other such things. Still, it’s an entertaining little arcade game.
Pokémon TCG Card Dex is a Pokémon app for real life card collectors. You can scan your cards in and get a front row seat to your own collection. The app also supports cards not in your native language. From there, you can track what cards you don’t own, get some deck ideas, and whatever other advantages come with a bird’s eye view of your whole collection. The app has some bugs and some gaps in functionality. Several people complained about the scanner on foil cards, for instance. Still, it should get more functionality and fixes over time.
Rebel Inc is the latest game from the developers of the venerable Plague Inc. It’s a strategy-simulation game with a focus on rebels instead of plagues. Players attempt to stabilize five regions of unrest. You must empower local governments, stop insurgents, and, you know, not fail. The game frequently changes based on your decisions and it’s definitely not easy to get things under control. This should be every bit as addictive and fun as Plague Inc. The reviews for it are also glowing as of the time of this writing. Give it a try! It’s free with ads and a few bits missing from the feature list. The $2.99 premium version unlocks the full game and removes the ads.
If we missed any great Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest podcast!