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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly!

Welcome to the 178th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • It’s being reported that Google could be removing millions of apps from the Play Store soon. Google reportedly sent out an email to developers of apps that don’t have a privacy policy. Those without a privacy policy will disappear. Developers will have until mid-March 2017 to fix the issue. It should remove a ton of amateur apps, filler apps, and abandoned apps. It should help freshen things up.
  • The latest Humble Bundle is now live! This time around it’ll feature tons and tons of RPGs. Some of the games include Evoland, Doom & Destiny, Shadowrun Returns, Star Wars: KOTOR, and more. You can pay what you want and get three games, beat the average to get four additional games, or pay the flat $6 to get every game in the bundle. Some of these are awesome RPGs and there are enough games here to last you a year.
  • Mozilla announced this week that half of its staff were being laid off. They have also decided to redirect their focus to Internet of Things technology. Some have also reported that Mozilla will begin looking into AR and VR technology as well. We also hope that their browser gets some love. It’s a rough day for about 50 people, but we hope that it leads to better things going forward.
  • Hatch had some big announcements this week. Their mobile game streaming service will offer over 90 games on its service for free. Some of the games include Alto’s Adventure, Evoland, and others. For those who don’t know, Hatch is a spin-off from Rovio. Their premise is to create a game streaming service for mobile games. It’ll have no in-app purchases or anything like that. They’ll also have a paid version of the service but we don’t know much about it yet.
  • Google Now Launcher will be removed from the Google Play Store by the end of March. Additionally, GMS partners won’t be able to pre-package the launcher on their devices. A recent update allows third party launchers to integrate the Google Now panel directly on their launchers. Thus, Google Now Launcher is apparently no longer necessary. At least according to Google. We thought it was great. We do have a list of alternatives if anyone is interested.

For even more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you can find even more information that we didn’t have time for here. You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below if you want it delivered every Sunday! Also, don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

Android Apps Weekly!
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LEGO Life

Price: Free
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LEGO Life is a community app for LEGO fans. The idea is that boys and girls can join up, check out LEGO stuff, and communicate with one another. The app comes with LEGO videos, information about various sets and games, and all kinds of other stuff. You can also share photos and updates about what you're doing in the world of LEGO. The target audience are kids ages five to teen. It's also completely free to download and use although there are some bugs that need fixed. There are no in-app purchases
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A Boy and His Blob

Price: $4.99
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A Boy and His Blob is a remake of the original NES game of the same name. Aside from the graphical remaster, the game is the same as it always was. The world is threatened by an evil emperor. Your job is to stop that from happening. It's a classic platformer. The controls are smooth, the graphics are colorful, and there are plenty of puzzles and challenges to overcome. Of course, you'll have your blob friend to help you out. It's $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
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Camarada VR Camera

Price: Free
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Camarada VR Camera is something a little bit different. You can use this app to link smartphones together to create your own VR camera rig. It also includes a single user mode that lets you record a video. The app then tries to render it into a VR video for your enjoyment. It then has a dual phone mode that lets you capture stereoscopic 3D videos. It's a bit challenging to use and it's also new. Between the bugs and the new landscape, you may run into a few issues here and there. Thankfully, the app is completely free. It won't cost you anything to check it out.
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Good Dogs

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Good Dogs is a new infinite runner about dogs. It was made by Fourthwall along with the popular Twitter account WeRateDogs. The game has a simple premise. Your run through a dog park and try to avoid obstacles. When you lose, you'll be rated based on your performance. It includes seven dogs to unlock, some customizations, and the developers promised a different park to run through every month. It's a fun little time waster for dog fans. It's free to download and play. The in-app purchases are just little customizations that you can unlock with money.
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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly!

Email by EasilyDo

Price: Free
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Email by EasilyDo is a new and simple email app. It boasts a simple, no frills interface that puts nothing between you and your email. It also has an assistant built-in that tries to help you organize and find important emails. Aside from that, it supports a variety of account types, real-time notifications for things like package tracking and flight info (if you have those emails), and you can unsubscribe from junk mail quickly. The only downside is the app is still in beta so there will be some bugs here and there. It's otherwise completely free.
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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly!

Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!


Valentine’s Day is once again upon us. Those in love are preparing to spend a romantic evening together filled which chocolate, food, and fun together. Or they’re going to watch Deadpool. There’s no real wrong answers there. If you’re getting prepared for one of the most romantic days of the year and you are having trouble getting things together, here are a list of the best Valentine’s Day apps that may help you out!


1-800-Flowers

Price: Free (flowers cost extra)
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1-800-Flowers is one of those companies that seems to have been created specifically for holidays like Valentine’s Day. They deliver gifts to 195 countries around the world so pretty much anyone can get in on the action, although you may want to order soon to make sure everything appears on time. You can also browse a variety of flower arrangements that suit almost any budget. They even offer same day deliver in select locations. It’s a good place to start because flowers almost always work as Valentine’s Day gifts. It's one of the must-try Valentine's Day apps.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Price: Free
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Allrecipes Dinner Spinner is a great app if you're considering staying in for Valentine's Day. It has a virtual ton of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more. The app lets you save your favorite recipes, check out step-by-step cooking videos (for those of us who are kitchen challenged), and you can add ingredients to a built-in shopping list to make things easier. Whether it's dinner the night before or breakfast the morning after, this app has you covered. It's one of the essential Valentine's Day apps for those planning a date at home.
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Amazon

Price: Free
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The ever popular Amazon is a great option for anyone looking to do some Valentine’s Day gift shopping. The giant online retailer usually has a series of sales that are specifically for Valentine’s Day and between those, the Gold Box deals, Today’s Deals, and Lightning Deals, there are plenty of opportunities to find nifty things for your loved one. Even if you have no intention of buying anything, just surfing can give you some ideas on what to get. Their selection is gigantic. It's one of the better Valentine's Day apps.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

Coupons and Weekly Ads - Shopular

Price: Free
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Coupon apps may seem like a lame idea but they can provide a variety of uses and Shopular is a pretty decent one for holiday-specific events like Valentine’s Day. You’ll find a variety of coupons for big name retailers along with other perks. This is great if you plan on taking your significant other on a shopping spree at the mall or to help you find potentially discounted ideas for gifts to buy. They also have restaurant coupons in case you plan on eating out. It’s a free app so at least it won’t cost you anything to try it out.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

Eventbrite

Price: Free
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Some people want to go out for Valentine's Day except they have no idea where they want to go. An app like Eventbrite can help with that. It shows you a variety of events in your area from local festivals to concerts and other local gatherings. You can even buy tickets directly from the app although some users have reported issues with that. Otherwise, it's a great way to see what's going down in your area. All you have to do after that is grab your date and go. Good luck!
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!


Heart Live Wallpaper

Price: Free / $0.99
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Holiday-themed live wallpapers are a popular and fun way to decorate your phone and there are quite a few live wallpapers themed for Valentine’s Day. Our favorite is one called Heart Live Wallpaper. It features dark backgrounds with a customizable heart image that can be made to do all kinds of stuff. The app also features a countdown timer to Valentine’s Day and the background can be almost any color you want. It looks good and suits the holiday perfectly. It's definitely one of the better Valentine's Day apps to decorate your phone!
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iHeartRadio

Price: Free
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It has been said that music is what emotions sound like and on Valentine’s Day there are a lot of emotions flying around. Whether you need something upbeat and fun or something slow and romantic, iHeartRadio almost definitely has a music station to suit your needs. It also supports a variety of devices such as the Chromecast so you can put your music on TV in case your phone just isn’t cutting it. It's definitely one of the better Valentine's Day apps. To add to the harmonious feelings, the icon is even a big, giant heart. It couldn’t be more perfect. There are other music streaming apps that are just as good, but iHeartRadio usually has a Valentine's Day radio station ready to go.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

iKamasutra Sex Positions

Price: Free / $2.99
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To the surprise of no one, there will be a lot of sex happening on Valentine’s Day and we believe that Valentine’s Day sex should also be super special sex. The iKamasutra Sex Positions Guide app can play a role in making that happen. Most people either know or are at least aware of the Kama Sutra so you pretty much know what to expect with this app. The free version has 30 sex positions to try out and forking out $2.99 can get you over 100 sex positions in nine categories. The app even has built in shake controls so you can look up new positions while midway through the act.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

OpenTable

Price: Free
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OpenTable is a fun application that allows you to book tables at various restaurants. This will come in handy if you plan on taking your loved one out for a night on the town and you find yourself looking for a place to eat. The app serves two main functions. It helps you find restaurants that are in your general area and then helps you book reservations so you can be sure you have a table when you get there. Do be warned that reservations fill up quick at Valentine’s Day so you may want to book your reservations now! This is one of the essential Valentine's Day apps!
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

TripAdvisor

Price: Free
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In most cases, OpenTable will work but if you’re planning something a little more ridiculous then you might need an application that covers more than just dinner plans. TripAdvisor has a ton of information on restaurants, hotels, flights, and all kinds of other accommodations, travel, and entertainment information. Maybe you’re popping into the big city for the weekend or taking a weekend trip somewhere else. In either case, having this app around can help you find the good stuff. There are plenty of alternatives, but this one is a pretty basic app for this kinda stuff so it shouldn't be hard to learn.
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10 best Valentine’s Day apps for Android!

If we missed any of the best Valentine’s Day apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Titan Quest and tons of other games on sale on Google Play

If you’re looking for a new game to play on your Android device, you’re in luck. We have found a bunch of great games that are currently on sale over on the Google Play Store. You’ll find a list of the most interesting ones down below. It contains games from different categories including action, arcade, adventure, puzzle, sports, and more.

Keep in mind that these deals are available for a limited time only. If you’re interested in getting one or two, just click on a link above to visit the Google Play Store.

NetEase might bring Google’s Play Store back to China

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The Information reports that according to “two people familiar with the discussions,” NetEase, a Chinese Internet technology company, is seeking a joint venture with Google to bring back the Play Store to China. Whether this will materialize remains to be seen, but if it does, the return of the Play Store could mean all sorts of opportunities for developers.

See also:

Does Google need to return to China? It’s complicated.

April 17, 2015

You may remember that back in 2010, Google officially left the Chinese market after a bit of a dramatic episode: Google refused to use censorship in its search results, redirected users to Hong Kong, and the Chinese government put a restriction on Google’s HK website. And ever since, despite the fact that Android has dominated the world’s largest smartphone market, Google’s very own Play Store was absent from many of the phones sold there.

Well, that might change soon. Might. The latest report suggests that China’s one of the biggest Internet brands has reached out to Google to form a joint venture to re-launch the store in China. Mind you, just like previous rumors of Google’s comeback, this is just another attempt that might fall through at any moment. But it looks like both Google and the Chinese government are feeling immense pressure to make it work.

China’s involvement in the WTO and its emergence in the global economy as a late liberalizer have put the nation’s government in a difficult position: it essentially drove out Google six years ago, but both external and internal factors say this must change. Google, I am assuming, is in a similar situation. China’s heavy censorship and problematic cyber policies go against the company’s values, but China has emerged as the world’s largest smartphone market and will stay that way for quite some time now. And after all, with companies like Huawei and Xiaomi, its relations with Chinese tech companies have shifted dramatically in the past five years or so.

So if this joint venture works out, who benefits from it? A lot of people actually. Users in China, for one, will have greater access to a wider range of apps. Developers outside China will finally be able to enter this huge market. Whether Xi Jinping will be able to further the structural reforms that Deng put in place and whether his government and Google will see eye-to-eye on the new proposal by NetEase remain to be seen.

Whether Xi Jinping will be able to further the structural reforms that Deng put in place and whether his government and Google will see eye-to-eye on the new proposal by NetEase remain to be seen.

What are your thoughts on China’s censorship? Would this joint venture affect you? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 177th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Xposed Framework is eventually coming to Android Nougat. Developer rovo89 announced this week that it was in the works. During the announcement, rovo89 explained how different the challenges have been updating from Marshmallow to Nougat. The big obstacle seems to be how Nougat installs apps because it did change quite a bit. There isn’t an ETA on the release yet, but it’s good to know that it’s coming.
  • Casey Neistat’s Beme app is officially dead and gone. As most of you know, Casey sold the company to CNN in late 2016. The app’s fate was decided by CNN shortly afterward. The app itself was okay, but nothing special. You just covered the proximity sensor on your device and it recorded a short clip. That clip then went to Beme. We don’t know if CNN has any future plans for the app or its team.
  • It was announced this week that Animal Crossing’s mobile debut will be delayed. Nintendo stated that the release would happen in the next fiscal year. Since the fiscal year begins in April, that’s the earliest that the game could see a release. We’re not sure yet if Nintendo is going to make it a pay-once game like Super Mario Run or a freemium game like Pokemon Go. Frankly, at this point, it could go either way.
  • Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching. As it turns out, you have some options if you want to stream the game. Fox Sports is going to stream the game for free without authentication. That is likely your best bet. AT&T and Verizon also have offerings for their users, although Verizon’s is better. Finally, you can use the Fox Sports VR app to stream it via VR. The choice is yours and there are plenty of options.
  • Google Play announced their top trending apps and games for January 2017. On the app side of things, there were apps like CNN, Learn Chinese, Dubsmash, and others. For games, Star Wars: Force Arena, My Talking Hank, and WWE: Champions ruled the day. It also listed some fun apps and games that’ll be coming out this month that we’ll be sure to talk to you about.

For even more Android apps and games news, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! We have a ton of Android apps and games news that we didn’t have space for here. You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below to have it sent to you every Sunday! Don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

Android Apps Weekly!
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Strange Telephone

Price: $3.99
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Strange Telephone is a retro adventure game with a lot going for it. The basic premise is that you are in a strange world. Your goal is to find item sand explore other strange worlds. You get there by making phone calls. Ultimately, you have to escape the world you're trapped in. It also features charming retro graphics and sound effects. It's a pay-once game with no in-app purchases.
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EZ Web Cast Video

Price: Free
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EZ Web Video Cast is a browser with the ability to cast video to your TV. It works when you go to a site and then play a video. The app intercepts the request and asks if you want to watch it on TV. During our testing, it works fairly well although there are plenty of sites that aren't supported yet. It has a lot of potential and the developers seem fairly responsive to bad reviews. It's totally free to download and use if you want it.
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Book of Unwritten Tales 2

Price: $4.99
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Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is an adventure game with a fantasy theme. It features decent, colorful graphics, good mechanics, and a pretty good sense of humor. You'll also get about 20 hours of game play, an all-star voiceover cast, and four different characters. The game has had very positive reviews so far. It's surprisingly good. You can pick it up for $4.99 and there are no in-app purchases.
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Inkitt

Price: Free
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Inkitt is an ebook reader that helps you find free stuff to read. It's a platform where indie writers can upload their stuff. Consequently, you can download it. Everything is also free and in English. The app features a decent, clean interface along with a few basic reading options to make your experience more enjoyable. We don't think it'll trounce Amazon anytime soon, but it's a good spot to find some decent stuff for free. The app itself is also free to download.
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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Fire Emblem Heroes

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Fire Emblem Heroes is the latest game from Nintendo. This one is a freemium adventure that takes place in the Fire Emblem universe. It's reminiscent of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius wherein you play as a hero who can summon other heroes from the various Fire Emblem games. There is a campaign mode along with several other modes that you can play. Early reviews are positive which is a good sign. It's free to download with in-app purchases if you're interested.
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Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

15 best action games for Android!


Action games are among the most popular on any platform. They get the blood pumping, the fingers moving, and it’s a great way to test your reflexes and wits. There are a variety of action games out there, including shooters, fighting games, adventure games, platformers, and more which makes narrowing it down a little difficult. Nevertheless, here are the best action game on Android.


Alto's Adventure

Price: Free / $3.99
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Alto's Adventure was one of the most popular runner games of 2016. It's a rather simple game. You ski down a hill forever while you leap over giant chasms, collect llamas, and avoid other dangerous obstacles. The game also contains simple, Material Design inspired graphics and it plays very smoothly. Its endless runner nature means that you'll be constantly dodging stuff while skiing down the hill. It's a good option for those who want something cheap that plays well and fits in with other action games.
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15 best action games for Android!

Asphalt Xtreme

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Asphalt Xtreme is a racing game from Gameloft. It's an off-road racing game where you race against competitors. There are five total game modes, over 400 races, 500 challenges, and 35 vehicles to race with more to come. The game also has an online multiplayer where you can race against up to eight opponents. It's a freemium game so it'll have the usual pitfalls. However, Gameloft makes up for it by having a ton of stuff to do and the racing can get intense. Especially in multiplayer mode.
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Critical Ops

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Critical Ops is one of the up an coming first person shooters. That also makes it one of the better action games. It's carries a standard modern premise where you can play as terrorists or as a counter-terrorism unit. It also includes one of the better online multiplayers for a shooter on mobile. It keeps things simple and boasts a more skill-based game play than most. It's a good option if you like social shooters. It's also technically still in the developmental stages. That means it'll get better over time. It's currently free with in-app purchases.
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Duet

Price: Free / $2.99
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Duet is a shockingly intense game for how minimal it is. The premise is that you rotate two balls around a central axis. Your goal is to dodge platforms by rotating the two balls. In practice, it's harder than it sounds. You'll also see marks on the platforms where you messed up so you can see it coming next time. You get the main campaign mode for free and you can unlock additional game modes and content with a single in-app purchase. It's a good minimal game and it shows that you don't need amazing graphics for an intense experience.
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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Price: $9.99
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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is an arcade game that packs a lot of action. You'll travel around 3D maps destroying a variety of things in fantastical, colorful explosions. The game features over 100 levels, 15 grids to play on, 12 game modes, and a range of abilities and companions to take with you. There is also a hardcore mode where you can play without abilities or companions. You can play with a hardware controller if you prefer as well. It's a tad expensive at $9.99. However, you'll only have to pay once.
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15 best action games for Android!

See also:

The best Android games, ever!

January 1, 2017

Into the Night

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Into the Night is an infinite runner with zombies. Your goal will be to run along a bleak and silhouetted landscape while you shoot down as many zombies as you can. Your goal is to make it as far into the hoard as you can before you're overtaken. The game includes a variety of weapons, power ups, and other buffs to help you make it as long as possible. There are even missions to help keep you going. It's free to download if you're interested.
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Riptide GP: Renegade

Price: $2.99
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Riptide GP: Renegade is a racing game from a critically acclaimed series of titles. It's a waverunner game where you race jet skis instead of cars. The waves affect the race track and that can make races intense. As you progress through the campaign, you'll have access to upgraded jet skis and harder competition. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode in case you want to race real people. It comes with local multiplayer mode and you can even race split screen if you have two hardware game pads. It's a really good game and one of the few good racing games with no in-app purchases.
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Rockstar Games

Price: Varies
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Rockstar Games has a decent library of action games. The most recognizable are the Grand Theft Auto titles. There are just under half a dozen available, each with their own story line and situations. Additionally, the studio released Bully. It shares a similar open-world, mission-based mechanics but with a different setting. All of the games are pretty good and most come with things like hardware controller support. Some even come with cloud save support. The games don't cost much and they don't have in-app purchases either. They're solid games worthy of consideration.
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Sky Force Reloaded

Price: Free / $1.99
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Sky Force Reloaded is a top-down shooter with tons of action. Each level has you flying through a battlefield, destroying enemies, complete in-level objectives, and avoid being destroyed. The game also has various aircraft to unlock, upgrades, and card buffs to make things easier. It rounds out the experience with beautiful, colorful graphics, voice over work, and a decent soundtrack. It's a time waster, but it's one you'll have to pay attention to if you want to win. It's a fantastic title and worth a shot.
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Sonic 4

Price: $2.99 each
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Sonic 4 is the latest platformer in the acclaimed series. It's the most recent on mobile, anyway. This episodic adventure features the basic Sonic mechanics across a different adventure. The titles also include a new set of villains, new moves, collaborative play, controller support, and more. Each episode of the series is its own game so you'll have to buy Episode I and II separately. Thankfully, they're both the same price and have no in-app purchases. Classic Sonic games make for excellent, family-friendly action games.
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15 best action games for Android!

See also:

The best free Android games money can't buy you!

January 1, 2017

Super Phantom Cat

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Super Phantom Cat is an action platformer. It boasts being an ode to the platformers of old. That means you'll see a variety of little tricks, obstacles, and themes that you may have seen before. It comes with retro graphics, decent controls, and tons of stuff to do. There is a story and it's a little goofy. Aside from the main set of levels, there are also bonus levels for you to try out. It's technically a freemium game, but it's one of the least aggressive freemium titles we've seen. It's one of the better platformer action games.
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Unkilled

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Unkilled is a shooter where you mow down tons and tons of zombies. The game is developed by Madfinger Games, the same company that does the Dead Trigger series. It includes over 150 story line missions, two online multiplayer modes, tons of guns to collect and upgrade, and various challenges, events, and extras to engage with. You'll also be treated to some top notch mobile gaming graphics. The graphics get even better if you have a device with a Tegra X1 processor. It's a freemium game and that's not ideal. However, it's still one of the best action games out there.
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VOEZ

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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VOEZ is one of only a few good rhythm games for Android. It uses the touch screen well. You not only have to tap the screen at the appropriate moments, you'll also have to swipe, slide, and move around quite a bit. The base game has a decent number of songs that you can play. You can download additional packs to improve your collection. Some of them are free and others require money. The graphics are colorful and the game play is smooth. It's difficult to find good rhythm games, but they also make good action games because you'll be completely engaged while playing.
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15 best action games for Android!

Warhammer 40,000 Freeblade

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Warhammer 40,000 Freeblade is one of many games in the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. The campaign mode has you driving a mech and mowing down bad guys in third person. You can customize and upgrade your mech as you progress to make it more powerful, Or you can make it look cooler. Your call. There are also daily missions you can complete. The game is still in development and more features such as online multiplayer and more weapons are coming in future updates. It's worth a shot, especially if you like action games and shooters.
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Xenowerk

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Xenowerk is a third person shooter that plays similarly to the old Contra games in the 1990s. Your goal is to go from level to level killing bad guys, avoid death, and avoid obstacles. The game features 70 levels, each with increasing difficulty. There is also a range of gear that you can collect, Google Play Games leaderboards and achievements, and a rating system that judges you based on performance. The controls are decent and some players have reported being able to play it offline. It's not one of the more well-known action games, but it's pretty decent.
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Related best app lists:

If we missed any great action games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

15 best Android launcher apps of 2017

Android launcher apps have long been an integral part of the Android experience. If you don’t like the way your home screens look or act, you can simply download an app to change all of it. There is no doubt that Android launcher apps have a far more diverse set of features than any other genre of application and you can really do some amazing things with these apps. Let’s take a look at the best ones! As of 2015, EverythingMe Launcher has closed its doors. We wish their team the best in their future endeavors! As of 2017, Google Now Launcher will be removed from Google Play. That makes us very sad.


Action Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Action Launcher has long been a favorite of our readers and it deserves a spot on this list. It comes with a stock Android kind of look but with several unique features baked in. Some of these include Quicktheme which uses your background to determine the theme accents, Covers which is a unique take on folders, Quickpage which is like a hidden home screen you can access almost anywhere, and plenty more. It has a long history of being stable with frequent updates. You can also follow developer Chris Lacy on Google+ by clicking here for news about updates.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017ADW Launcher 2

[Price: Free / $3.49]
ADW Launcher was on this list when we first wrote it years ago. We had to drop it after the developer stopped updating the project and now the app makes its triumphant return. ADW Launcher 2 is a wholly modernized version of the iconic launcher. You’ll find up-to-date features like the launcher shortcuts included in Android 7.1 Nougat. Additionally, you’ll find a variety of theming and customization options. That includes one of the coolest make-your-own-widget features we’ve seen in a while. It’s a solid option with ideas and features that others don’t have. It has retaken its rightful place among the launcher elite. You can download it for free or pick up the pro version as an in-app purchase for $3.49.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Apex Launcher

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Apex Launcher has been around for a very long time and remains one of the most iconic Android launcher apps ever. Like Action Launcher, it aims to give a stock Android look and feel with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. Among those include the ability to alter things like transition animations, scrolling habits, and there is even a scrolling dock where you can lay plenty of icons. Apex Launcher also includes a theme engine with many themes available on the Google Play Store and it also supports icon packs. It’s also quite stable on pretty much any device.
15 best Android launcher apps of 2017

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Arrow Launcher

[Price: Free]
Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher had mixed reviews when it was first released, but it seems to have grown into one a really good Android launcher. The idea with Arrow Launcher is that you get a home screen to put your apps and such. From there, you have a variety of pre-set home screens that will show you things like frequent contacts, reminders (powered by Wunderlist), recent documents, and your frequent apps. It takes a minute to set up, but anyone that’s ingrained into Microsoft’s ecosystem should definitely consider checking this one out.

Get it now on Google Play!

15 best Android launcher apps of 2017


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Atom Launcher

[Price: Free / $1.99]
Atom Launcher is another newer Android launcher app that seems to be moving in the right direction. It comes with a theme maker and you can find a variety of themes for it on the Google Play Store as well. It also comes with gesture controls, a hidden dock with extra settings, built-in widgets, icon pack support, and various other settings and customizations. It’s light and efficient, but has enough features to make it competitive. You can download it and use it for free to see if you like it enough to pay for the full version.

Get it now on Google Play!


See also:

The best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have

November 11, 2015

15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Evie Launcher

[Price: Free with in app purchases / $5.99]
Evie Launcher was released in 2016 and managed to fly under the radar. It’s a solid, lightweight Android launcher that looks at things from a different perspective. It uses the Pixel Launcher-style app drawer that you can slide up from the bottom of the screen. It also comes with support for icons, a “no dock” mode, and you can change things like the grid size on the home screen. It’s completely free which makes its instantly worth checking out. It was also one of our picks for the best Android apps of 2016.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Hola Launcher

[Price: Free]
Hola Launcher is an excellent Android launcher that seems to hit all the right buttons. It features some unique gesture controls, including a double-tap app drawer, and a quick launch swipe from the bottom corner that quickly accesses your frequently used apps and settings. You can also quickly and easily hide (and find) apps from your app drawer. It has tons of icons and themes to choose from, smart folders, and a built-in weather app if you want that. There is also a Boost feature is entirely useless, but you can easily ignore it. It’s also free.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Launcher 8

[Price: Free]
Launcher 8 is a unique launcher because it looks nothing like Android. In fact, this launcher’s sole purpose of existing is to make your phone look like a Windows Phone. Using this, you can convert your widgets into Windows Phone style live tiles and create virtually the same experience you’d find on Windows Phone, but with Android instead. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Lightning Launcher

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Lightning Launcher isn’t the most popular on the list but it does have among the highest ratings. This Android launcher app has a very simple premise. It aims to use as few of your device’s resources as humanly possible. The features are a bit scant but do include some powerful ones including unlimited home screens, the ability to add and arrange icons anywhere you want, and its ability to run on almost nothing makes it a great launcher for older and lower end devices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something light and fast.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Next Launcher 3D Shell

[Price: Free / $16.99]
Next Launcher is among the most unique Android launcher apps on this list. It also happens to be developed by the GO Launcher developers so you know there’s some experience there. Next Launcher features a 3D style home screen layout that utilizes a scroll tab on the right side to quickly switch to any home screen you’ve created. It also features unique icon layouts, themes, a unique set of widgets (separate download), and those who pay for the app will get a lot more. You can also pick it up for cheaper than the list price if you buy it using the in-app purchases of the free version.

Get it now on Google Play!


See also:

The best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have

November 11, 2015

15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Nova Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since “the good old days” and remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customizable features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. The app also gets updated at a breakneck pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly and new features are added consistently. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone.

Get it now on Google Play!

15 best Android launcher apps of 2017


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Smart Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Smart Launcher 3 is another unique take on the Android home screen. This one has one single home screen with a number of shortcuts arranged in a flower-style pattern. The idea is to give access to apps quickly while using as little resources as possible to keep your device running quickly. It features notifications on the home screen, tons of available themes, security features like password-protected applications, and there are even plugins. It may be a bit simple for some, but it’s powerful and works very well.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Solo Launcher

[Price: Free]
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY solution for those who like to have more control. It utilizes Material Design 2.0 which means you’ll have the latest options when it comes to design. There are a metric ton of customization options and you can make this launcher pretty much act and appear how you want. It also comes with theming, gesture controls, a clock/weather widget and more. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something small, fast, and customizable.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Yahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo! bought it out a couple of years back. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them based on location and time of day. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout along with Smart Stream which is kind of like Google Now. It’s a powerful launcher and quickly becoming a go-to solution for a lot of people. It’s also totally free.

Get it now on Google Play!


15 best Android launcher apps of 2017Z Launcher by Nokia

[Price: Free]
Z Launcher by Nokia is last on our list and this is one exceptionally minimal launcher. It features one home screen, an app drawer, and then an area where you can actually write out what you’re looking for. It’s a unique premise that’s great for those who enjoy something more minimal and slick and those who don’t need anything complex. It’s still in beta, but surprisingly stable and a worthy option. Check out our hands on video below to see exactly how it works!

Get it now on Google Play!


Related best lists:


Which is your favorite Android launcher? If we missed any launchers that you think should be in this list let us know about them in the comments below!
See all our best app lists.

15 best Android tower defense games

Tower Defense games were one of the first genres on mobile to really capture the mobile gaming audience. The biggest reason is because the games almost exclusively feature simple tap controls. Thus, the controls are extremely well suited for touch screens. They’re not quite the draw they used to be, but we’ve seen some excellent titles come out over the last couple of years. Here are the best tower defense games for Android.


Bloons TD 5

Price: $2.99 with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Bloons TD 5 is a tower defense game with a cartoon element and our readers tore us a new one when we didn’t put this on the list the first time around. It’s a fun little game that adheres to most of the core mechanics of most tower defense games. You’ll have 21 towers with a variety of upgrade options, over 50 levels, 250 missions, special stuff, and a whole lot more. The graphics aren’t too bad and the three different game modes will keep you playing for a good, long time.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Defenders: TD Origins

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Defenders is another tower defense game with above average graphics. It also has a lot of stuff to do. This game is a hybrid of collectible card game and tower defense. You obtain towers, spells, etc by unlocking their cards. Each one can receive 25 upgrades. It sports a story line complete with boss fights as well as various challenge modes to keep things interesting. There is a lot of content here to keep you playing. You can also get a little extra out of it if you have a device rocking a Tegra processor. It's pretty good and it's been around for a while.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Defense Zone 3

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Defense Zone 3 is the latest of a popular series of tower defense games. It features a lot of the mechanics from the prior two games along with some new stuff to freshen things up. It also features several difficulty modes, eight kinds of turrets, special battles, and support for 20 languages. The graphics are also pretty good. It's a freemium game and that's not necessarily ideal. However, it's still a pretty decent game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Digfender

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Digfender is a fun take on the tower defense genre. Each level gives you a basic map. You'll then have to dig your level out yourself and defend the path you dig. The game features 70 levels, a survival mode where you can challenge for leaderboard supremacy, achievements, and a variety of upgrades. It also boasts no pay walls or wait timers so you can play as much as you want. It's one of the most underrated tower defense games out there.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Dungeon Defense

Price: $0.99 with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Dungeon Defense is another interesting tower defense title. It's similar to Plants vs Zombies. You'll have a field along with a left border. You place heroes on the border and they fight off bad guys who try to cross the field. It has a little more action and input from the player than most tower defense games. You can collect various weapons and upgrades to help make the defense easier. There are also achievements if that matters to you. It's a good little game, especially considering it was built by a single developer. $0.99 is also relatively inexpensive.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

See also:

The best Android adventure games

June 23, 2016

Element TD

Price: $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Element TD is a newer pay-once tower defense game in a genre that is quickly being overtaken by freemium titles. It features simple graphics and a fairly standard premise. There are maps, you lay down towers, and hope they can get the job done. There is an elemental mechanic where the elements you choose determine which towers you can lay down. That helps provide an extra layer of challenge. There are also 44 towers, 50 different bad guys, 30 achievements, and five difficulty settings. It's a solid overall game and it's worth a shot.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Infinitode

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Infinitode is a minimal tower defense game with fairly simple graphics. The minimalism of the game allows you to build like a madman and boasts the ability to create 1000 towers at once. As you can imagine, the maps are gigantic and there's a map editor so you can have some fun. Every level is endless, there are global updates during games that change the situations, and more. The game is one of the more unique games we've seen. It's also great for those who love only the most chaotic tower defense games. It's free to download with in-app purchases. However, the developer states in the description that you should be able to unlock everything without buying anything.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
15 best Android tower defense games

Kingdom Rush games

Price: Varies with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The Kingdom Rush series is one of the most prolific and highly rated tower defense games on the list. It adheres strictly to the classic tower defense mechanics which has garnered it a tiny bit of vitriol from more serious gamers, but most people still really enjoy these titles. There are three total, including Kingdom Rush, Kingdom Rush Frontiers, and Kingdom Rush Origins. They all have similar mechanics with small upgrades throughout the series so you can’t go wrong either way. The first Kingdom Rush game is free with no in-app purchases which makes it a great jumping in point.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Myth Defense LF

Price: Free / $2.99 / $3.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Myth Defense is a family of pay-once tower defense games for those who dislike freemium. The basic mechanics are purely tower defense. It also adds things such as random maps, alchemy, and more. There are 18 maps in the campaign mode, two difficulty levels, 22 towers (along with three traps), 33 total levels, and support for multiple languages. You can also play both difficulties at once with each one having its own save file. There are two games in the series (Myth Defense LF and Myth Defense 2) and both them are relatively inexpensive. They're worth a shot.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Net Invaders

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Net Invaders is a tower defense game released by, if you can believe it, Cisco Systems. The game has you saving Cisco Security island from an imminent threat. Your job is to build towers and defend it from security threats. You'll be battling trojans, viruses, worms, and other types of malware. Each level has a star rating based on how well you did, but otherwise the game is pretty basic. It's also completely free to play with no in-app purchases and no advertisements. It updated in 2014 so it may not work very well with newer devices. Still, it's good
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
15 best Android tower defense games

See also:

The best Strategy RPGs and Tactical RPGs on Android

July 14, 2016

Plants vs Zombies 1 and 2

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The Plants vs Zombies games are arguably the most casual gamer-friendly tower defense games on the list. It doesn’t look like your classic tower defense but the mechanics are there. You must defend against waves of enemies by planting weaponzied plants in your yard to obstruct their path. It's long been one of the most popular tower defense games. Additionally, it’s a fun game and it’s great for casual gamers. The developers have also been consistent with adding in new content for those who have reached the end of the game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

 

Tiny Guardians

Price: $3.99 with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Tiny Guardians is a mix of an adventure game and a tower defense game. Your job is to play as a girl looking for her sorceress aunt who can also summon friends. You and those friends will defend yourselves from oncoming enemy onslaughts. There are 12 classes of characters that you can summon. Each one can get more powerful four times. It also includes 40 enemy types, boss fights, special events, various difficulties, and achievements. The in-app purchases are for cosmetic items like character skins. That means you'll have to beat the game on your own.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Tower Defense: Legends TD

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Tower Defense: Legends is a fairly typical tower defense game. Bad guys march down the rows and you build towers to destroy them. The game includes 40 levels, a variety of towers and other units, heroes, boss fights, and even spells that you can cast. The graphics are clean and the in-app purchases aren't too bad. However, it is a freemium game which means it does have those pitfalls. It's a good basic, casual tower defense title for those looking for something simple.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Tower Madness 2

Price: Free / $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Tower Madness 2 is one of the more popular tower defense games that has held up very well over the years. It features aliens and you’ll be defending yourself from all sorts of creatures. It features a total of 70 levels, nine towers, over a dozen enemies to battle, and seven campaigns to play through. That means it has no shortage of content. There are also online multiplayer capabilities, Google Play Games services, and support for hardware controllers. It’s a lot of fun and free to download if you want to play a bit before you buy it.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Toy Defense: Fantasy Tower TD

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Toy Defense: Fantasy Tower is the latest game in the Toy Defense franchise. Like its predecessors, this game is both one of the more popular and better tower defense games. It follows many of the mechanics and graphical cues that made it popular. It also includes 96 levels, ground and air troops, heroes, a variety of bad guys, boss battles, and a lot more. The game also includes achievements as well as weekly tournaments to help keep players engaged. Give it a shot!
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
15 best Android tower defense games

Related best app lists:

If we missed any great tower defense games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Inside Google Play: These were the top trending apps and games in January 2017

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In the Android world, just about every month is full of great new app and game releases, and January 2017 was no different. We understand that it can be pretty difficult to keep track of them all, which is why we try pointing you in the right direction with our lists of the best new apps and games of the month.

If you’ve been curious to know which apps and games were most popular last month, we’ve got you covered. Here are the apps that were trending on Google Play in January 2017:

  • CNN: The CNN app featured live-streaming for both the President’s Farewell Address (Jan. 10) and the President’s Inauguration (Jan. 20). As a result, it received a spike in downloads on the Play store as Android users came to the Store looking for a way to live-stream these national events.
  • Edjing: Following a major update to edjing 6 in December 2016, the app began to see strong performance in the Store during January. With an all-new sampler added to the mix, users were able to compile a more diverse mix of music from the app’s extensive library.
  • Dubsmash: Many Android users rang in the new year with this hilarious, fun lip sync app that allows you to share your dubbed masterpieces with friends.
  • Aqua Alert: Water Intake Tracker: This popular apps was a hit in January as Android users set their healthy 2017 resolutions and decided to be smarter about hydration.
  • Learn Chinese: This top performer among education apps in January shows Android users are interesting in learning Mandarin in 2017.
Don't miss:

The best new Android apps of January 2017!

2 days ago

Interested in learning more about the hottest games on the market? Here are the most popular new games of January 2017:

See also:

The best new Android games of January 2017!

2 days ago

So that was Google Play’s list of the top trending games from January 2017, but what about the apps and games that are making their way to the Play Store in the next few months? For starters, EasilyDo Email and Kevin Durant’s DurantEmoji are both making their way to the Play Store sometime in February. We can also expect Nintendo’s Fire Emblem: Heroes, The Godfather and Barbie: Sparkle Blast to come to Android in February, while Super Mario Run will land in March.


So, that was a quick look at what was hot in January 2017. Have you downloaded any of the apps or games listed above? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

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Android or iOS? It’s one of the modern era’s greatest unanswered questions and a point of momentous contention for fanboys on both sides of the fence for thousands of years. Or maybe just the past decade.

There are valid arguments that can be made for both sides: Clearly, Apple created a mobile operating system that is incredibly smooth, snappy, and clean. Then again, Android has gotten quite good — Dare I say it? Even attractive — and powers a mind-bogglingly diverse selection of devices. But I’m not here to goad the cries of fanboys the world over. Instead, I’m tackling a much simpler — albeit no less loaded — question. In a feeble attempt to minimize the wrath of followers of Apple fans everywhere, I will address this question as objectively as I can. That question is…

In what ways is the Google Play Store better than the Apple App Store?

Google Play Store is more developer-friendly

From the very beginning, Apple has been extremely (and, for developers, frustratingly) selective about the apps that are allowed on the Apple App Store. The reason for being so selective was basically for quality assurance. Sure enough, iOS apps have surely gained a reputation for working well and being quite polished. As just a single example, Snapchat for iOS is infamously better than the Android version. This reputation for quality has occasionally resulted in certain developers developing iOS apps either exclusively or first; the latter has been the case with the highly-anticipated Super Mario Run, released for iOS in December and yet to be released for Android.

For developers, there much less risk that you’ll spend thousands and thousands of hours on development just to have your app denied for inclusion on the Google Play Store.

While there’s something to be said for making sure your users get only the best-quality apps, there’s certainly a downside. For app developers, there much less risk that you’ll spend thousands and thousands of hours on app development just to have your app denied for inclusion on the Google Play Store. This has also led to a much more vibrant development community for Android apps.

This is not to say there’s a shortage of apps for iOS. Users of both platforms have more than their fair share of apps at their disposal.

Perusing the Google Play Store, you’ll find a wide variety of interesting and creative apps. For starters, there are many powerful launchers available with which you can totally change the look of Android, and that’s something you won’t find on the Apple App Store. Then there are apps like Tasker that open up a world of possibilities for automating tasks and processes on Android devices. Granted, not all the apps submitted to the Google Play Store are winners; however, with things like Google Home and Android Auto, it’s not a bad idea to encourage and support innovation in mobile software rather than to homogenize it.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

Google Play apps are more discoverable

Here’s something that you may not have known about the Google Play and Apple App Stores: when you search for an app, you’re somewhat more likely to find what you’re looking for in the Google Play Store than the Apple App Store. Let me explain why.

The Google Play Store runs your search queries through basically all the textual information available on an app’s page. For example, you could search the Play Store using a series of keywords or a phrase and the Play Store would scan even the descriptions of apps to find ones that most closely resemble your query. By comparison, the Apple App Store compares your query against the keywords that developers manually enter into a keyword section, which exists specifically for this purpose. This isn’t a problem if your query happens to be one of the keywords for your desired app, but if you’re searching something that’s a bit more specific, you may have a harder time finding the iOS app that fits your needs.

Of course, the fact that the Google Play Store has more robust search capabilities probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Google is… you know, Google.

See also:

Google testing new search suggestions for Play Store apps

December 12, 2016

Google Play has the ‘social factor’

Historically, downloading and using apps was something we did individually. We found apps on our own, decided whether to download them on our own and used them on our own. Over time, though, finding and using apps has become more social, at least on the Google Play Store.

The Google Play Store has become increasingly social. Seeing who in your network uses an app is like getting personal recommendations from your friends.

When you pull up an app’s page in the Google Play Store, certain information is front-and-center. You’ll easily spot the app’s cumulative rating as well as if any of your friends use and recommend the app. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find commentary that’s been left by your friends and other users. You can filter that commentary so that you’re seeing only those comments by users who use your same device or who are using the most recent version of that app. In effect, it makes discovering and choosing apps a more social experience. Considering that many apps — particularly games — can connect you with other app users, even using apps has become a more social experience.

By comparison, finding apps on the Apple App Store is a more solitary experience. There are app reviews, but they’re not front-and-center like on the Google Play Store. Perhaps this is due to the assumption that iOS apps are of a higher quality or because it encourages users to choose apps based on those apps’ merits rather than the opinions of others. However, seeing who in your network uses an app is like getting personal recommendations from your friends. This is useful if, for instance, you’re looking for a new game to download to keep you occupied on a flight or long car ride.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

Android apps are less expensive

To a degree, the higher price of iOS apps is a statement on how much harder it is for developers to get their apps on the Apple App Store versus the more laid-back Google Play Store. If you run a search query on the Play Store for “to-do list”, the number of results you’ll get borders on obscene. Of course, there are the popular ones like Todoist, Wunderlist, and Any.do, but there are hundreds — if not thousands — of others since virtually anyone with the know-how can have their apps available on the Google Play Store. And for this very reason, they’re free to download.

Clearly, there’s more competition on the Google Play Store, which is why Android apps tend to either be cheaper or free. Think about it this way: Maybe you’ve made a really great app that many would consider worth its cost, but since there are dozen other apps that offer similar functionality and comparable quality, users are likely to make do with one that’s free.

In this case, such competition among apps in the Google Play Store works to the user’s advantages because it makes apps cheaper. Meanwhile, the Apple App Store is more selective about the apps that are accepted; with less competition, developers are able to charge more for the apps because there aren’t as many alternatives. On the development side, developers are better able to monetize their iOS apps without having to riddle them with ads, which has been the downfall of many a promising app in the Google Play Store. So there’s a give-and-take relationship between app cost and the ease with which developers can have their apps included on the Google Play and Apple App Stores. But if you’re someone who doesn’t want to pay for apps — and paying for premium apps surely gets expensive over time — you’re probably better off with Android.

See also:

How to get a refund for apps purchased from the Google Play Store

December 26, 2016

Google Play has a more robust web interface

In many ways, the Google Play and Apple App Stores are two sides of the same coin, far more alike than they are different. If you’re an iOS user, you’d surely have no problem picking up an Android, opening the Play Store, and downloading the app of your choosing; the same goes for an Android user with an iPhone. However, a key functional difference between these two app markets becomes apparent when you try to use them via the web browser of a PC or laptop.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

Pushing app installs to your various Android tablets or phones from the web is much simpler than having to find the app on each device individually.

At a glance, much of the same information is available in both places; you can see an app’s name, icon, and a general description displayed prominently on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores. You’ll probably even spot the same screenshots, too. But while the Google Play Store gives you the option to install an app to your Android smartphone or tablet from right there on your web browser, you’ll have to navigate to the app on the Apple App Store on each of your iOS devices in order to actually install it.

Being able to install apps on your mobile devices from the web browser on your PC (or Mac) may not seem like a life-changing convenience if you’re an iOS user, but I’d wager that many Android users have grown to really appreciate this Google Play feature. The most obvious use case would be when you click on a link to an app while you’re browsing the web on your desktop; rather than having to track it down on your phone, you can use the web interface of the Google Play Store to have the app installed and waiting for you on your device the next time you pick it up. Pretty neat, right?

Google Play provides superior information

It might seem odd to say that the Google Play Store offers more info than the Apple App Store after having just said that both app markets offer virtually the same information. That’s still true, but the Google Play Store tends to show a bit more and have that info organized a little better.

On the Apple App Store, the only way to experience an app before you download it is via the provided screenshots. The Google Play Store provides screenshots, too, but oftentimes with an accompanying video. Said video can be a commercial made by the app’s developer or a brief recording of the app being used; however, in either case, the video is much better at giving you an idea of what you can expect from the app and even how the app is used.

Information also seems to be a bit more organized and easier to read on the Google Play Store. The best way to see this difference is to navigate to an app on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores in separate browser tabs on your PC and compare. You’ll notice that an app’s profile on the Play Store is very linear; the identifying info is at the very top, followed by the “Install” button and the video and/or screenshots. Beneath that, you’ll find the app’s textual information, followed by user reviews and some final details at the bottom, including who developed the app, compatibility info, and when the app was last updated.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

With the Play Store, everything is in a neat, vertical line, but on the Apple App Store, an app’s information is separated into two columns, a small column on the left and a larger column to the right. Rather than only scrolling up and down to find the info you need, your eyes are darting from side to side, too. And then there’s the fact that an app’s cumulative rating is separated from actual user reviews on the Apple App Store whereas they are a single section in the Play Store.

Of course, everyone has his or her own preferences. You might find the double-column layout of the Apple App Store to be more efficient; however, I’d say the simpler organization and ease of navigation of an app’s profile on the Google Play Store is a noteworthy advantage.

7 things the Google Play Store does better than the Apple App Store

Google Play apps have broader device compatibility

Last but not least, there’s the issue of compatibility, which is decidedly less of an issue for the Google Play Store.

As you may be aware, Android OS powers both Google’s smartphones and tablets. Likewise, both iPhones and iPads run iOS. In theory, you might expect this to mean that both the smartphones and tablets on each platform would be able to run the same apps. While this is largely the case for Google, it’s a bit more complicated for iOS devices

The entire Google Play Store is your oyster whether you have an Android smartphone or a tablet. Unfortunately, iPad users are a bit more limited.

Although many of the staple iOS apps are available for both iPads and iPhones, the ability for an iPad to run an app is contingent on that app having been adapted for use on the iPad’s larger display. However, this isn’t an issue for Android. When you download an app on your Android tablet, one of three things could happen, depending on the app in question and the version of Android your tablet is running. The app will either have been made to be used on both smartphones and tablets (which is the most likely scenario at this point), be automatically scaled-up to fit the larger display, or the app will operate within a smartphone-sized window at the center of the tablet’s display.

The vast majority of Android apps are designed for use on both smartphones and tablets rather than one or the other. In short, the entire Google Play Store is your oyster whether you have an Android smartphone or a tablet. Unfortunately, iPad users are a bit more limited, at least for the time being.

See also:

These are Google Play’s best apps and games of 2016

December 1, 2016

Let me conclude by clarifying that the Apple App Store isn’t without its strengths; I even mentioned several of them over the course of this article. Likewise, even the Google Play Store has its weaknesses. The purpose of this article was not to declare one a winner over the other. Instead, my intent was to merely identify some of the chief differences between the Google Play and Apple App Stores, particularly when it comes to Google’s strengths.

But now I’d like to hear from you. Do you agree or disagree with the characteristics I identified as the Google Play Store’s greatest strengths? Do you feel the Google Play Store is actually better than the Apple App Store? If you think the Apple App Store is better overall, why? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.