20 Best New Android Apps And Games This Week
Welcome to this week’s roundup of the latest, greatest Android apps and games, covering smartphones and tablets.
All these apps have been released for the first time – ie not updates – since the last roundup. All prices are correct at the time of writing, with “IAP” indicating use of in-app purchases.
You can read the previous Best Android Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if iOS is your platform of choice, check the Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups. On with this week’s selection!Vessel offers online videos before YouTube. APPS
Vessel Beta (Free + IAP)From vloggers to musicians to Let’s Play gamers, Vessel is promising “early access” to some of the most popular channels on YouTube through its app. The idea: you pay a £2.29 monthly subscription to get videos at least three days before they’re published on YouTube, with creators including Ingrid Nilsen, Connor Franta, Nerdist and Rhett & Link already on board.
Medium (Free)Medium made its name online as a new platform for writers. Its Android smartphone app is aimed partly at their readers: a simple way to browse the bloggers you follow as well as discover articles from the wider Medium community. But you can also use its editor to publish your own pieces.
CloudPlayer by doubleTwist (Free + IAP)With streaming music on the rise, you don’t see cloud lockers in the media as much. Even so, the idea of storing your own collection on someone’s server to access from all your devices still has plenty of users. DoubleTwist’s new app does exactly that, but it taps multiple cloud-storage services: Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive.
BitTorrent Shoot (Free + IAP)BitTorrent (the company) has been keen recently to remind people that BitTorrent (the technology) is about moving large files around efficiently, not just about piratical filesharing. Shoot is the latest evidence: an app designed to help you share large numbers of photos or high-file-size videos with friends from your device. It works well.
BBC Newsbeat (Free)Plenty of media organisations are trying to figure out what young millennials want from news. In the BBC’s case, it’s trying an app for the Newsbeat news team that work for its Radio 1 and 1Xtra radio stations. It’s an accessible app for browsing music and entertainment news along with topics including politics, technology and sexual health.
Portal - Wifi File Transfers (Free)One of Android’s most useful apps right now is Pushbullet, which helps your Android device work better with your other devices around the home. This is a new app from the company, focused on transferring files stored on your smartphone to your desktop computer, simply by dragging and dropping.
QualityTime - My Digital Diet (Free)Worried that you’re spending too much time glued to your smartphone? Join the club. QualityTime is one of the apps hoping to nudge you back into the world around you – in this case by showing you data on how much time you’re spending in various apps, while also enabling you to set “take a break” alerts to shame you into looking up once in a while.
Facebook Ads Manager (Free)This is an app specifically for businesses and marketers buying Facebook ads: a way to track how your campaigns are doing from your smartphone, as well as setting up notifications when ads are about to end, or if you’re about to hit your budget limit.
Crossroad (Free)Nothing to do with the famous soap opera (although you may have guessed that from the missing ’s’). This is a clever app for creating shared albums while with friends at an event, from parties to holidays. It then handles the process of synchronising everyone’s photos, rather than relying on you to share them manually.
Minute Video Discovery (Free)If you watch a lot of online video, this app could help you find better stuff to watch. It promises 10 “highlights” of new videos every day, based on your viewing preferences, boiling them down to the “best parts” in order to persuade you to tap through to the real things. Time will tell if its recommendations algorithm is truly useful, though.Geometry Wars 3 for Android. GAMES
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (£3.82)The first Geometry Wars game was a console hit, but this action franchise is just as suited to touchscreens. This latest version is a frenetic shooter that sees you working your way through 50 levels in its adventure mode, and testing your reactions in its separate battle modes. It’s colourful, challenging and a treat for the eyes.
Vainglory (Free + IAP)Released for iOS last year, Vainglory is that most hardcore of genres: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA for short) where you take part in three-on-three battles trying to outsmart your opponents with monsters, magic and clever strategy. Now it’s on Android too: a treat, although be prepared to put the time in.
Lego Minifigures Online (£3.83 + IAP)This is Lego’s latest game, with an online focus. You play with mini-figures – including the ones you buy in the real world – exploring, battling and playing with friends on iOS, PC, Mac and Linux. It’s early days but current indications are promising: with a pirate world available now, and more to follow as in-app purchases.
Socioball (Free)This looks like a simple puzzle game, but it’s rather wonderful once you get sucked in. Essentially it’s about guiding a ball from A to B by placing missing tiles, but it opens up when you start creating your own levels and sharing them via Twitter, while checking out those of other players.
Groove Coaster 2 (Free + IAP)There’s a long history of neon-fried racers with great soundtracks, and Taito’s Groove Coaster 2 fits neatly into it. That said, it’s more of a rhythm-action game where you tap to the music to zoom through the rollercoaster levels. The ability to tap on physical objects around your device to play adds to the fun.
Stick Tennis Tour (Free + IAP)Having just emerged from the deep rabbit-hole that is Stick Cricket 2, I’m trying not to fall in to another one with developer Stick Sports’ new tennis game. It’s hard though: this is an excellent take on the tennis genre, with neat swipe controls for your shots and a range of challenges to beat.
Freak Circus Racing (Free + IAP)More traditional racing here: an extremely silly (in a positive sense) horizontally-scrolling racer, with circus characters providing the driving. It’s colourful, challenging and demands that you pick it up to play again, even when you get frustrated.
FireWhip (£0.78)FireWhip doesn’t look like much from the screenshots, but it provides plenty of fun once you dive in. It involves spinning yourself around then cracking your fiery whip to kill enemies: a skill well worth mastering.
Sonic Runners (Free + IAP)Sonic the Hedgehog has starred in some duff games down the years, but putting him into a horizontally-scrolling endless-runner is a logical move – given his history. Collect rings, beat bosses and unlock Tails and Knuckles for extra retro thrills.
Eggheads (£1.49 + IAP)Finally, trivia. This is an official app based on BBC quiz show Eggheads, with the same format of four specialist rounds followed by a general knowledge test. While it may not appeal beyond keen fans of the show, if you’re in that group it’s definitely worth shelling out on. Sorry.
That’s my choice, but what Android apps and games have you been enjoying this week? The comments section is open for your recommendations.