This is the featured image for Android Apps Weekly on 10-27-2018
Welcome to the 266th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last :

  • Google News is sucking up a lot of data and no one is sure why. The complaints started as early as June and its stride this last week. One user had a $240 overages bill with dozens of GB of over-use because of Google . The only way around the issue is to uninstall Google or turn off background usage in the device settings. It’s usually not a big deal when an app goes rogue. However, Google has been investigating the issue for months to no avail. Additionally, it’s a news app so it only really loads text and images. It’s kind of weird that it can chew through Netflix levels of in the background on its own.
  • App developers have a new trick to bug you. Companies now know when you uninstall an app. They can then take out ads in other apps to convince you to re-install the app you originally uninstalled. Basically, the process uses silent notifications to send data to home servers. When that stops, developers know you specifically uninstalled their app. Some believe this is against both Google and Apple’s terms of service for each app store. However, neither company has done anything yet to shut them down.
  • October 22nd was Google Play’s birthday and it celebrated its ten year anniversary this year. The Android Market originally launched with just 13 apps. It has since become one of the biggest app stores in the world. It’s also obviously not the Android Market anymore. There isn’t much else with this news aside from us wishing Google Play a happy birthday. Hit the link to read up on a bunch of fun facts about the venerable app store!
  • There is a fraud scheme happening in Google Play. Here’s how it works. A group of developers purchased an app with a reputation. It then uses actual user interaction with the app to generate bots. Those bots click ads and generate tons of revenue. It’s kind of a big deal for advertisers because, well, it’s literally stolen money. Google and advertisers are now working on correcting the issue.
  • The EU sued Google a while back over forcing OEMs to use every Google app in order to get Google Play Services. Google has to allow OEMs to use it without all of the added bloat. In response, Google decided to charge up to $40 per device to run Google services. The price varies for phones versus tablets as well as for screen resolution. Thus, OEMs would be punished for including higher end specs in their devices with higher prices. That isn’t great, and it could result in even higher hardware costs in Europe.

Black Command

Price: Freemium

Black Command is a freemium game with simulation elements. You run an army and perform a bunch of various missions. It also features gacha elements, a variety of missions to run, and some other neat little game play elements. For instance, characters experience permanent death if they die on the battlefield. Early reviews proclaimed the game as pay-to-win. However, our testing and current user reviews agree that it just requires some extra patience. It’s definitely not the best freemium game available, but it’s not bad for how new it is.

Assistant Shortcuts

Price: Free / Up to $6.99

Assistant Shortcuts is a button re-mapper. It lets you remap almost any hardware button your device and change its functionality. Some of the options include opening your notifications, re-creating any of the software keys, toggle the flashlight and more. That’s basically all it does, but that’s all it really needs to do. The app comes with ads or you can pay for it. It’s also relatively new so don’t be shocked if you see a few bugs on your specific device. It worked pretty well in our testing, though.

Assistant Shortcuts

Hooky Crook

Price: Free / Up to $2.99

Hooky Crook is an indie platformer with a cat. You swing from the rafters and jump over plenty of obstacles. It uses simple tap controls and game play, even for a mobile platformer. However, the arcade style isn’t bad by any means. Players have 84 levels to complete, leaderboards, and complete offline support. The developers also promise more levels as more updates come out. That’s about it, really. Sometimes it’s nice to see a good, clean, simple arcade platformer without a bunch of extra stuff attached.

Feedly Lab is Feedly’s next app. It uses a simpler design, but ultimately performs a similar task. You use it to read the latest news and Feedly uses this as a test bed for future features, UI tweaks, and other such stuff. It’s an active beta, so we only recommend this to people who don’t mind sending the developer feedback and bug reports. It worked pretty well in our testing, but it’s too soon in the beta process to know exactly how this will turn out. That makes it interesting to us! Hit the button to check it out.

Feedly Lab

SEGA Pocket Club Manager

Price: Freemium

SEGA Pocket Club Manager is a soccer (European football) simulation game. It works like most soccer sims. You build a team, play games, train, and otherwise manage the team. It features over 2,000 real players from a variety of European and Japanese leagues. It even lets you create players with photos of real people. There is a lot to like about the game. The mechanics are a little more randomized than we would like and there definitely needs some improvements. However, it’s enjoyable for what it is.

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android Authority podcast!

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