Android Police

Apps/Games

3

Harvest Moon: Mad Dash turns the farming sim into a casual puzzler, now available on the Play Store

Out of nowhere, Natsume just released Harvest Moon: Mad Dash on the Google Play Store. Unlike the titles in the core Harvest Moon series, this release is not a farming simulator, at least not in the traditional sense. Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is actually a casual puzzle game that was released on consoles and PC at the tail end of 2019. While I had no doubt the title would eventually make its way to mobile, the fact that it was unceremoniously published on the Play Store this morning still came as a surprise.

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14

YouTube gains channel filter in subscriptions, better playback control accessibility (Update: Filters official)

We've got a couple of quick new features to run through on the YouTube Android app that will hopefully make sorting your subscriptions out easier as well as help you better control your playback experience. Let's get to it.

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10

Metroidvania Dandara gets Trials of Fear update, brings significant enhancements

Raw Fury has announced that its Metroidvania title Dandara has received a large content update today, and it's live on the Play Store. This update comes to the game free of charge, so if you already own the title, all you have to do is update it through the Play Store to see what's new. We already know that today's update brings with it new content to explore that's part of The Hidden Realms (which consists of three new areas), as well as a new boss fight, new powers, mechanics, and a new secret ending. New in-game descriptions, dialogues, and cutscenes have also been added to flesh out the game's story.

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59

The Play Store now has a coronavirus section filled with apps that help you stay informed (Updated)

Google is working hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, so it has added curated safety tips and information cards to coronavirus search results. It didn't include the Play Store in these efforts right away, though, and it looks like that helped some bad actors: Until recently, a search for "coronavirus" or "covid-19" led to apps and games with mostly questionable content. While there are legitimate apps sprinkled between these bad results, Google seems to have decided to fully slam the brakes for now and has stopped showing results altogether for any query containing "covid-19," "coronavirus," or "corona." The solution isn't waterproof, though: searches for "covid19" (sans dash) and other misspelled variations still give you results.

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8

AirDroid picks up AirDrop-like file sharing

AirDroid used to be a typical part of the Android enthusiast's swiss army knife app toolkit, and it still has a strong userbase, even if some have moved on as a result of heavy in-app advertisements and security troubles. But it just picked up a new feature that might convince some folks to try it again. AirDroid now lets you share files to nearby devices AirDrop-style.

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98

I wish all music and audio apps on Android wouldn't stop playback when swiped away

Several years ago, developers of music players on Android had to implement a persistent notification in order to keep their app running and music playing even when users switched to another app. With better memory management and more available RAM on modern phones, this isn't a concern anymore, and most devs have forgotten about that commodity. That has had one annoying consequence on several audio apps: If you mistakenly swipe them away, your music or podcasts or audiobooks stop playing.

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7

Zynga will soon cash in on the Harry Potter license with a match-3 mobile game

Zynga has officially announced that it's working on a Harry Potter match-3 game for mobile. This game is called Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, and of course, Zynga has yet to share a single screenshot or video of the title. Paradoxically Zynga has noted that the game is already available as a soft-launch release in the Philippines, which means the studio is already publicly testing the title, which begs the question as to why there are zero screenshots or videos shared with today's announcement. Could it be that Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is such a shallow cash grab that it's in the developer's best interest to hide what the game looks like before an official worldwide release?

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35

The Facebook app has a new, very blue menu

Along with many other developers, Facebook got rid of colors in its app and moved to an all-white theme. It looks like the company isn't satisfied with that decision anymore, as the menu in the app's rightmost tab has received a facelift (if you want to call it that) that switches out the white background of old for a blue gradient. While at it, Facebook has also rearranged the menu items and now displays them as bubbles in a two-column interface.

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1

WhatsApp Business gets a dark mode too (APK Download)

After a month of testing in beta, WhatsApp's dark mode went live this week for everyone. That left professional users a little behind, as WhatsApp Business was still on the white-only interface. The app's latest update puts it back on par by bringing this promised dark theme.

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11

Spotify is testing an in-app 'Hey Spotify' voice assistant

With Google Assistant pre-installed on any Android phone (and Siri on iPhones), you should think you already have all tools at your disposal when you want to yell at your phone to control your audio playback. However, Spotify seems to think that it needs its own solution. App reverse-engineer Jane Manchun Wong managed to activate a hidden settings panel in the music app that will let you enable a "Hey Spotify" feature you can use while the app is open and on your screen.

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