#51 January 24, 2016
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Android Apps Weekly

Spotify gets video, Final Fantasy IX game play, VR for all! - Android Apps Weekly
Sponsored by: invi SMS Messenger
This week's Android Apps Weekly show is brought to you by Invi SMS Messenger. This totally free messaging app comes with a variety of features including light, dark, nature, and pop themes along with various customizations including bubble colors, fonts, sounds, inbox styles, and more. The interface is a mixture of a custom design with Material Design elements baked in for good measure and insofar as we could tell, the app acts and works perfectly fine.

In addition, the app includes a selection of mini-apps that work within the main app that include a YouTube player, the 2048 game, and Buzzfeed to help give you a more immersive experience. Recent updates also gave the app group messaging. It's definitely one of the most interesting and entertaining SMS apps we've ever used and it's totally free so give it a shot and show your support for the Android Apps Weekly show!
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Android Apps you shouldn't miss this week
Spin-Circle is a minimal puzzle game that uses your gyroscope to let you spin your phone to dodge objects.
Download from Google Play
Downwell is a retro style game where you must fall and avoid obstacles while shooting stuff with your gunboots!
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Google Indic Keyboard
The Google Indic Keyboard is a new keyboard that supports Hindi, and a couple dozen other Indic languages.
Download from Google Play
Weareal is a new set of Android Wear watch faces that aim to look as realistic as possible.
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Digimon Heroes!
Digimon Heroes is the next hit game from the Digimon franchise. This is a free-to-play card collecting game where you collect your favorite Digimon and then use them to battle others. 
Download from Google Play
Headlines this week
  • It seems as though Pushbullet's competitors are learning from their mistakes. A new app called Join is still in beta, but the developer consulted his users about what kind of price he should charge. He also lists higher prices for those that want to pay more. It's a unique situation and we'd like to see more instances like this.
  • Reddit is officially testing the closed beta version of their official application. Up until now, Reddit users had to rely on third party apps to get their stuff on Reddit. Soon, people will have the option to use the official. We don't know what it'll look like just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as it comes out!
  • Square Enix announced that they were going to re-release Final Fantasy IX on mobile sometime in 2016. To show that they're really working on it, they've released a 90 minute game play video that shows the game working quite well with on-screen controls. Are you excited? Cuz I'm excited.
  • A recent report was released that showed that Adobe Flash use accounted for a meager 6% of online video consumption in 2015. This has led analysts and anyone with a brain really, to the fairly logical conclusion that Adobe Flash will be gone here in a few years. It had a good run and will live on in our memories.
  • For a couple of years now, the Google Play Store has relied on the Google+ +1 button for users to denote that they enjoyed an application. Unfortunately, the Play Store is moving toward a much more lame thumbs-up icon instead. If they remove the +1, it would make the Google Play the latest service to lose G+ integration.
  • Google announced last week that over five million Google Cardboard units have been shipped and that they have downloaded 25 million VR apps which averages out to about five apps per person. It's a budding market, but this growth is very promising, especially considering that there are only about 1000 VR apps currently available. 
  • Facebook announced that their variants of the Like button could be launching as soon as next week but more likely in the next few weeks. The company has expressed the want to move away from the sedentary Like button for some time and this would be the freshest thing Facebook has done in a long time to draw younger audiences back in.
  • Waze has released an SDK that partner apps can use to pull Waze traffic data for their own uses. One such example is Lyft, which uses Waze data to find more optimal routes from point A to point B. Expect to see more apps with Waze integration in the future for various purposes.
  • After months of waiting, Spotify has finally launched video content on Android. The music streaming service has video content from big providers, including Comedy Central, ESPN, NBC, Adult Swim, and various others. The selection isn't that big quite yet, but it is encouraging to see so many big names lining up.
  • Google has announced a fairly unusual sale for the Google Play Store. Over 50 titles are having 50% off of their in-app purchases for a limited time. There aren't a lot of big games on the list but there are some decent ones. It's also a regional sale so some may not be able to access them at all. 
  • Google Play Games will be the latest service to remove the Google+ integration in favor of a universal user ID that only needs to be signed into once instead of once per game. Current Google Play Games players won't really notice a difference but new players won't need a G+ account to get started. 
  • We round up the best new Android Apps from January 2016! Check them out by clicking here.
  • We also rounded up the best new Android Games from January 2016! You can check those out here!
  • Edgar Cervantes outlines how to use the popular customization app called Tasker!
  • Jonathan Feist's weekly Android Customization post deals with custom power off menus using Xposed on rooted devices!
App Updates this week
  • Google Calendar was updated this last week and now includes new holidays, new event suggestions, and new languages.
  • Google has fervently been trying to bring Google Drive up to par with the website version. This week they took another step as Google Docs now has full comment support!
  • Firefox browser has received an update to v44 which includes the ability to set an actual home page as opposed to adding sites to the usual Top Sites list. 
  • The dreaded version 7 update for Google Hangouts is now in full roll out mode. The update adds some fun settings like Quick Reply for notifications, but also removes SMS integration entirely. This is a sideways move and we're disappointed.
  • The latest update to Snapchat has added some bug fixes and performance improvements. It's also added the rewind filter that allows users to play video messages backwards.
  • Inbox by Gmail has received an update that helps users find things better by improving the search results when using the in-app search.
  • Opera Mini is getting a pretty significant update that adds better language support, a dedicated download manager, and a bunch of bug fixes and performance improvements.
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