Welcome to the 169th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Niantic and Starbucks have announced a collaboration. Over the course of the coming weeks, 7800 Starbucks locations will be turned into either a Gym or a PokeStop. This comes just a couple of weeks after a similar Sprint deal that saw 10000 stores join the ranks of PokeStops or Gyms. Additionally, Starbucks will be selling a Pokemon Go Frappuccino. This is just in time for the massive December update that promises more Pokemon along with more features.
- Pandora has finally announced a relative release date for their Pandora Premium service. For those who don’t know, the service is going be much like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and others. It’ll have on-demand access to a larger music library, playlists, and more. It’ll still have some features of the original app. Pandora is launching the service sometime in early 2017. We don’t know how much it’ll cost, but we’re guessing it’ll be the standard $9.99 like most services.
- Google Play is reportedly testing a new and separate apps and games section in the Google Play Store. Currently, both are in the same spot in the Play Store. Earlier this year, Google started removing the games from the app section of the top charts. This seems to be a natural continuation of that effort. We don’t know if it’s rolling out to everyone or if it’s just an A/B test, but it would be really nice if it did.
- A while back, Sony teased that they could be getting into the mobile gaming fray. This week, they officially announced that they are working on ten mobile games. ForwardWorks will be developing and releasing all ten games. That is a company that Sony set up specifically to make mobile games based on PlayStation IP. The release date is set for 2017 for all ten games. In a surprise twist, Square Enix will also be collaborating on a game with Sony next year as well.
- Google has officially opened up Google Home for app development. The platform should allow developers to integrate new voice commands into their apps to make it compatible with Home. A few developers are already working on it, including Yahoo, Dominos, CNBC, and others. Google will also be adding in additional features over time. Some examples are the ability to purchase things or book things like airplane flights.i
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The cult classic courtroom sim from Capcom has hit Android! Apollo Justice Ace Attorney was released this last week to critical acclaim. The game is the fourth in the series which is a bit odd but that isn’t a bit issue. It has been faithfully ported with all of the game play of the original. The controls have, of course, been adapted to mobile for easier play. It costs exactly one arm and one leg at $15.99, but there are no in-app purchases.
PayPal Business was quietly released by PayPal last week. As the name implies, the app was made for business owners. It has a variety of business-oriented features, including the ability to manage invoices, send invoices, transfer money, access customer information, and you can even manage sales and account activity. It has a simple design that is quite easy to use. It’s also complete free. You could do a lot worse than this if you run a business out of PayPal.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Dawn of Titans is a new strategy game. Okay, it’s not exactly new. It was soft launch months ago. The game was officially launched this week. This game shares a lot of mechanics with other large scale war games and strategy games. The difference is that this one looks pretty good. You build and command a giant army that you’ll have fighting against massive titans. It has the usual array of stuff, including daily quests, events, and campaigns that you can engage with. It’s a freemium game, but it’s worth a shot if you don’t hate those.
Trusted Contacts is a new app from Google that tells other people your location. Thankfully, it’s only when you want it to. The app works by allowing you to define a number of trusted contacts. Those contacts can request your location at will. If you don’t respond in a reasonable time frame, the app will let them know where you are. It’s great for emergency situations, natural disasters, and especially for families. It’s also completely free.
Bully was originally released by Rockstar Games back in 2006. Like its Grand Theft Auto titles, it received its fair share of controversy but had a loyal cult following anyway. Now, the game is on Android. For those who never played, it’s an open world adventure game where you play as a kid. Your goal is to complete various missions, go to class, and engage in various other activities. It’s relatively inexpensive at $6.99 and it has no in-app purchases.
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If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.