10 best earthquake apps and earthquake tracker apps for Android!

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Earthquakes range from mildly annoying to destructively terrifying. However, there are some apps out there that give you an advantage. We noticed two different types of hurricane apps. The first tracks them worldwide. You can see if any took place near you and get alerts for your area. The other type are actual vibration meters. They use the accelerometer in your phone to measure vibrations where you are. We have a healthy supply of both on this list! Here are the best earthquake apps and earthquake tracker apps for Android!


American Red Cross Earthquake

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The American Red Cross has a bunch of apps for a variety of natural disasters and that includes earthquakes. This one includes support for Spanish out of the box. In addition, the app notifies you when earthquakes happen in your area, provides a history of earthquakes in your area, and it gives you a bunch of informational resources for better preparation. The app has a bunch of tips for dealing with things during and right after an earthquake along with long term recovery advice. This one is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads. However, the app does have a few bugs.
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American Red Cross Earthquake

Earthquake Network

Price: Free / $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Earthquake Network is kind of an all-in-one type of earthquake app. It alerts you to nearby earthquakes, uses your phone to detect earthquakes, and acts as a network of sorts. There were roughly 8,800 devices on the network during our testing and we assume the alerts are generated from those people. The app uses the accelerometer in your phone as a seismograph of sorts, but only when your phone is charging. The free version includes that, an earthquake history guide dating back to 2000, and some other features. Those who get the premium version also get some additional notification options and a chat room for emergencies.
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EarthQuake Alerts and Monitoring

Price: Free / $3.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
EarthQuake Pro is a a fairly basic earthquake app. You can view earthquakes from around the world in the recent past. In addition, the app provides details about the event, provides alerts for earthquakes in your area, and it has a seismograph function built-in. The UI is Material Design. That means it looks nice and it’s easy to navigate. The premium version removes advertising and adds a few additional features. It seems like a newer app and it needs a little work to correct a few bugs. However, it’s otherwise competent.
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EarthQuake Alerts and Monitoring

Earthquakes Tracker

Price: Free / $3.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Earthquakes Tracker is one of the older earthquake tracking apps. It does what most tracker apps in this space do. Some of the features include alerts, an interactive map of earthquake activity, customized alerts for your area, and various charts for data. You can see things like how many earthquakes happened and how strong they were. The app could use a visual makeover, but it works well regardless. The premium version removes the advertising, but we noticed no other significant differences. You can go with either one.
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Earthquakes Tracker

Little Panda Earthquake Safety

Price: Free (with ads)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Little Panda Earthquake Safety is a neat little game for kids. It’s also a bit of a wild card app on this list. The app is a series of scenarios around earthquakes. Kids play through the scenarios to keep the little panda character safe. The mechanics use actual earthquake safety tips as its base. Thus, kids learn what to do in the event of an earthquake in a fun, safe environment. There is some content that feels a little weird, like treating the open and bleeding injuries of a cute cartoon animal, but it’s an educational experience either way. It’s also totally free to play.
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My Earthquake Alerts

Price: Free / $1.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
My Earthquake Alerts is a solid, simple app for earthquake detection. It shows earthquakes all around the world. In addition, you can create custom alerts with no restrictions just for your area. Some additional features include a history that dates back to 1970, a Material Design UI for easy navigation, and more details about any given earthquake. A lot of people started using this app after the 7.0 earthquake in Alaska back in December and they seem to be quite happy about it. There is a premium version for $1.99. The only difference we could see is the lack of advertisements. Otherwise both apps should work about the same.
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My Earthquake Alerts

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Price: Free / $5.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Volcanoes and Earthquakes is a decent app for those who want to keep track of both phenomena. It shows both earthquakes and volcano eruptions on a worldwide scale. In addition, you can see volcanoes that are expected to erupt or are showing other types of activity. There are push notifications for earthquakes near you and the app pings multiple data sources for both types of events. It even has stuff like tectonic plate boundaries so you can see where such activity is expected. The premium version is a tad pricey at $5.99. However, you get more information, no ads, and slightly more granular controls.
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Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Vibration Meter by ABC Apps

Price: Free (with ads)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Vibration Meter is a very simple app. It uses your device’s accelerometer to detect vibration. It is made specifically for earthquakes. You also get the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale) for quick reference. The app is otherwise simple, clean, and effective. What you see in the screenshot is basically what you get. A simple UI with a meter at the bottom and the MMI at the top to show you how much the vibration is. The app is free with no in-app purchases although there may be ads. It’s good for what it does and it’s a decent app to pop onto a second device in case you don’t want to use your daily drive for this.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Vibration Meter by ABC Apps

Vibration Meter by Gamma Play

Price: Free (with ads)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Vibration Meter by Gamma Play is another excellent vibration meter app. Like the one by ABC Apps above, this app measures vibration. It includes the MMI scale right above it for easy reference and highlights the appropriate level based on the readings that it takes. It uses a simple UI. We don’t think anyone will have problems using it. This one hasn’t seen an update in a couple of years at the time of this writing. Thus, if you experience bugs, you may want to just try a different app. This one is free with no in-app purchases. You may see the occasional ad or two.
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Vibration Meter by Gamma Play

Wikipedia

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Wikipedia is a decent option for learning about earthquakes. It has all of the major terminology, including information about tectonic plates, earthquakes, terms surrounding earthquakes, and details about historical earthquakes, like the Kobe earthquake in 1995, the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, and even popular media about earthquakes. There are better and more thorough reference materials available from sources like Amazon Kindle or Google Play Books. However, Wikipedia offers a decent introduction into the topic. Plus, the app is free and it’s easy to search and find stuff.
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Wikipedia

If we missed any great earthquake apps or earthquake tracker apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

10 best to do list apps for Android

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Staying organized is one of the toughest things to do. It’s okay if you can’t keep track of it all because most of us can’t either. That’s kind of why to do list apps exist. They can add some organization to a hectic lifestyle and keep you from forgetting important stuff. They also usually work great for stuff like grocery lists and recurring tasks like taking the garbage out every week. Those with good memory probably don’t need something like this. However, in a world where multi-tasking is an increasingly important life skill, a good to-do list app can help you keep everything in order. This is one of those apps we recommend to everyone. There are a bunch to choose from, so here are the best to do list apps for Android!


Any.do

Price: Free / $2.99 per month / Up to $2.24 per month (billed annually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Any.do is a popular to do list app that gets the basics right. You have the usual array of tasks, sub tasks, and notes that you can add to help remind yourself of what you’re supposed to do. There is also cloud syncing so you can access your tasks on a variety of devices, including desktop, web, and tablet. It has a sleek interface and built-in support for Cal Calendar if you want to kill two birds with one stone. It’s powerful, it’s simple, and most of its features are free. Any.do is also one of the few to do list apps with support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Any.do

Asana

Price: Free / $9.99 per month (per person)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Asana is a business-oriented to-do list app. Those looking for individual solutions should probably steer clear of this one. This one works best for groups of people. It features task categories, various sorting and tagging options, and tons of ways to add info to a task. Additionally, each task has its own comment thread for communication purposes. The app also has a decent free option for those who want to try it first. This is one of the better business solutions and works best in a work environment rather than for personal use.
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GTasks

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
GTasks is a popular and highly rated to do list app and one of the few that adhere to a simple free-paid system. The free version has a ton of features, including the basics along with widgets, quick adding for tasks using voice, and syncing with Google Tasks. If you go pro, you’ll also get batch task adds, a pattern lock for security, and theming. You can even add tasks using Google Now if that’s a thing you like to do. The app even has integration with TickTick (if you use TickTick). It looks good and it works well, especially if you’re in the market for something simple and effective.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Memorigi

Price: Free / $3.99 / $1.99 per month / $15.99 per year
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Memorigi is one of the newer to-do list apps. It features a beautiful Material Design UI along with a bunch of other stuff. The basic features include tasks and lists, cloud syncing, recurring tasks, notifications (reminders), and more. The more unique stuff includes floating actions (like Facebook Messenger’s chat heads), integrated weather, and theming. It gets the job done and looks good doing it. The organizational structure takes a bit of time to get used to, especially if you’re used to things like Todoist, TickTick, or GTasks. The free version includes some features. There is a single $3.99 for the plus version that adds most of the basic features, and a monthly subscription for the rest of it. Most should get by fine with the free or plus versions.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Microsoft To-Do

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Microsoft is eventually going to kill off Wunderlist. That’s bad news because Wunderlist is easily the best to-do list app ever. However, the team working on Microsoft’s new To-Do app are the same people that did Wunderlist. Thus, we expect for Microsoft’s To-Do app to be as good as Wunderlist someday. The app can already do a bunch of stuff. That includes recurring tasks, notes, smart suggestions, and cross-platform support with Windows 10. Recent updates added task sharing with other people and some other, smaller features. It’s not as good as Wunderlist yet, but it’s certainly getting there. Plus, it’s one of the few decent options that is also totally free.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Microsoft To-Do


Tasks

Price: Free / $1.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Tasks is one of the newer to do list apps. It features a gorgeous UI, plenty of customization options, and a decent set of features. Functionally, it works like most other to do list apps. You simply put in the tasks, add due dates and reminders, and complete the tasks when necessary. Some of the other features include multiple lists, a dark theme, and a simple layout. It doesn’t have more popular features like list sharing or cloud syncing. However, not everyone needs those features. It’s still very much in active development, so check the Play Store to see what’s changed between now and when we update this list again.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Tasks

TickTick

Price: Free / $2.79 per month / $27.99 per year
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
TickTick is another simple, but powerful to do list application. This one has the basic features along with cloud syncing so you can keep track of your tasks between devices. It also includes a tag system so you can easily sort your tasks, widgets, priority levels to differentiate more important tasks, and location reminders. The free version also comes with up to two reminders per task. If you go pro, you’ll also get improved task management, improved collaboration support, and more reminders per task. It’s another solid, simple option that can work very well. In fact, we routinely recommend this app to people who left Wunderlist and don’t want Microsoft’s To-Do list option yet. The premium version adds more features, but the free version should be more than good enough for most.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
TickTick

Todoist

Price: Free / $28.99 per year
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Todoist is a powerful to do list app that can do pretty much whatever you need it to do. On top of its mobile apps, you can get native apps on Google Chrome (as an extension), desktop, and other places for full cross-platform support. It covers the basics and also includes offline mode, tags and inboxes for easy task sorting, Android Wear support, integration with a ton of other apps (including Google Assistant), and a unique karma system that helps you visualize how productive you’ve been. We aren’t a fan of reminders being a premium-only feature when most other to do list apps don’t do that. Otherwise, this is easily among the best in its category and one of the most flashy.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

To Do List

Price: Free / $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
To Do List is perhaps the least inventive name of any app on the list. However, it’s actually pretty good. It covers the basic to do features, including the ability to get reminders to make sure you get your stuff done. The interface is reminiscent of Wunderlist but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s very clean and easy to use. It has plenty of tertiary features like adding tasks through voice commands, widgets, and more. This is a simple to do list app for simple needs. Those looking for something more complicated may need to try another option. You can download it for free to try it out. The full version costs $2.99.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
To Do List

Trello

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Trello is a big name in the to do list game and it’s one of the few options that’s entirely free. At least for right now. It comes with all of the basic features as well as a unique, card-based interface where you create your tasks on “boards”. It also comes with Google Drive and Dropbox support, Android Wear support, collaboration features, and scaling so you can do something as simple as a grocery list or as big as a multi-person group project. The app is powerful, it looks cool, and the price tag is great for a lot of folks. It was purchased in early 2017 by Altassian. We don’t know how that’ll affect it in the long term, but right now it works the same.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any of the best to do list apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments!

10 best Disney apps for Android!

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Disney is quite the large media property these days. They own ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and, soon, Fox. That means there are a bunch of ways to interact with Disney stuff. However, we think that people looking for Disney apps want the more classic Disney characters and experiences. We can definitely help with that. Disney is, again, massive. They have movies, TV shows, and music across plenty of genres. We can help you find what you’re looking for. Here are the best Disney apps for Android!


DisneyNow

Price: Free (with TV provider login)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
DisneyNow is Disney’s current streaming service. You log into the service with your existing TV cable provider info and gain access to a bunch of Disney TV content. That includes kids shows, cartoons and live action stuff, classic and new Disney characters, and even Radio Disney. This is, admittedly, kind of holding the slot here until Disney+ comes out sometime in 2019. That will definitely be the streaming app to get from Disney. Until then, as long as you have cable, DisneyNow should be good enough to stream current shows to your smartphone. The app itself is otherwise free.
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DisneyNow

Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Price: Free (with ads, usually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Fandom by Wikia is a community of enthusiasts that create these little wiki pages for various media properties. You can find Fandom apps for Disney (linked at the button), Star Wars, Marvel, and tons of other stuff as well. They generally provide information about characters, movies, TV shows, and even some games. It’s a neat way to learn some trivia about basically any Disney movie, show, or character. Of course, it’s a bit of a niche product. Not everybody wants to read about Aladdin, they want to watch Aladdin. We’ll cover that shortly, but trivia buffs should definitely start with the Fandom Disney apps.
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Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Giphy

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Giphy might seem like a weird pick for Disney apps, but hear us out. Disney has a GIF app with a bunch of reaction GIFs. It’s a fun little app, but it lacks some really basic features and it makes the app hard to use. Thus, we recommend Giphy instead. It has a great search, tons of Disney GIFs, and the app is very easy to use. It’s much better than Disney’s GIF app. Other than that, there isn’t much else to talk about. You simply search for the reaction GIF you need and the app finds it. It has non-Disney stuff too in case you want that. It’s otherwise completely free to use.
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Giphy

iHeartRadio Family

Price: Free / $9.99 per month
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
There are a few different versions of iHeartRadio. However, for Disney stuff, we recommend iHeartRadio Family. It has 80 stations of family-friendly music from a bunch of popular kids’ shows and movies. Of course, that includes plenty of Disney content. You can go with a station dedicated to Disney princess songs or just hit up the standard Radio Disney for a big mix of music from Disney. Of course, the full version has all of these stations as well so current fans of iHeartRadio just need to hit up the search button to find these stations. The premium version adds unlimited skips and a bunch of other features as well.
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iHeartRadio Family

Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)

Price: Free / $7.99-$39.99 per month
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
It’s easier (and cheaper) to watch TV than ever before. TV services like Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now all have a bunch of excellent child-friendly content. Consequently, they also all have access to the Disney Channel along with a bunch of back-logged Disney content. For instance, on Hulu, if you subscribe to the live TV service, you get the Disney Channel, but also access to movies like Pocahontas. The amount of Disney content per streaming service varies, but you can at least get the actual channel on all of them. Honestly, this is probably better than cable for Disney stuff because you do get those on-demand titles as long as you’re subscribed to the live TV service. You can go with whatever one you want. We simply linked Hulu because Disney owns 30% of it.
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Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)


Movies Anywhere

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Movies Anywhere is probably the best app for movies on Google Play. It isn’t its own standalone streaming service. It’s actually a collection of other movie streaming services. You sign in with your iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, or Google Play. All of the movies you purchased on all of those services are now available in one spot. The service boasts over 7,500 movies and that, of course, includes tons of Disney movies along with basically every Marvel and Star Wars movie as well. Disney is likely going to have all of those movies on Disney+ when it comes out. Until then, though, this is probably the best place to actually buy a Disney movie and watch it. The app is occasionally buggy, but it’s otherwise quite good. It also comes with Chromecast support.
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Movies Anywhere

My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Disneyland and Disney World are two of the most popular vacation spots in the world. They also both have official apps. The My Disney Experience app focuses primarily on Disney World. You can use it to plan your vacation, as an interactive map of the park, and you can even buy your tickets and merch there. The Disneyland app is much the same way. The app shows you information like estimated wait times, browser restaurant menus, and interact with the park’s map. There are apps for all of Disney’s parks individually, including the ones in Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Those headed to Disney World or Disneyland should definitely have these apps on hand.
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My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Reddit

Price: Free / $5.99 per month
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Reddit is good for a lot of fan bases and Disney fans are no exception. The site has dozens of subreddits for Marvel properties, Star Wars movies, and, of course, classic Disney properties as well. You can talk to other people who like the stuff that you like and post stuff that you care about. The Reddit app keeps everything under moderate control, although people who haven’t used Reddit before may have a tough time acclimating at first. In any case, this is a great way to read up on news about Star Wars, Marvel, or other Disney properties and discuss those things with other fans. The premium subscription removes advertising and gives you some additional features as well.
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Reddit

Official apps for Disney media

Price: Free (usually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
We’ve said it over and over again that Disney is a huge company. As it turns out, there are a variety of official Disney apps for most of those properties. Some examples include the official Star Wars app, the official Marvel app, the ESPN app, ABC’s official app, and the list goes on and on. These official apps are among the best ways to interact with Disney’s massive list of media companies. For instance, you can watch ABC’s programming on the ABC app or read about the latest Star Wars news in the Star Wars app. You can even read old Marvel comics in the Marvel app. It really depends on what kind of content each property makes, but it’s all still Disney.
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YouTube

Price: Free / $12.99 per month
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
YouTube is an excellent, albeit obvious, choice for a great Disney app. You can find basically any Disney song ever made there along with a ton of clips and memes from various movies and TV shows. That’s also the place to see trailers for upcoming movies or shows, reviews of various toys or games, and basically anything else you can think of. Disney has an official VEVO channel with over 11 million subscribers. But, again, you probably already knew all of this so this part of the list is really just some confirmation bias. Yes, YouTube is among the best apps for Disney fans. You can optionally pay $12.99 per month to remove ads, download videos for offline use, and you get a few other features.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
YouTube

If we missed any great Disney apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

This week in Android: Only the best of 2018

Huawei Mate 20

It’s the end of 2018 — well, almost anyway — and we’re taking a look back over the year that was. Our resident app expert, Joe Hindy, is breaking down the very best apps of 2018 and the very best games of 2018. Who knew some many awesome new apps hit the Play Store this year? Plus, while we saw some great phones this year, we also saw a few that may have gone a bit unrecognized.

Speaking of underrated phones, our full review of the Huawei Mate 20 is in and it’s still pretty impressive, even when compared to the Mate 20 Pro. This gorgeous phone boasts a triple camera setup and even has a headphone jack. That’s not easy to come by these days, and we appreciate it. Still, with impressive specifications under the hood, this is a mighty capable phone on its own.

We also take a look at the future of messaging, the future of 5G, and the future of OnePlus. We’re very futuristic.

Here are your top stories for the week

Podcast goes here.

XX:XX – The Android Authority year-end survey: Help us become better!

It’s the end of the year, and we want to know how you liked us. What was great? What was not? What can we do better? We’re listening!


XX:XX – 15 best Android apps released in 2018!

2018 was a great year for new apps. Joe Hindy breaks down all the best apps that came out this year, including new browsers and VPNs — you name it!


XX:XX – 15 best Android games released in 2018!

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In addition to the best apps of the year, we also have the best new games released in 2018. Looking for some great time wasters? Look no further!


XX:XX – The most underrated smartphones of 2018

We saw some great phones come out this year, but there were also some phones that flew under the radar.


XX:XX – Huawei Mate 20 review: Packing premium performance for a high price

Our Huawei Mate 20 review is in and speaking of underrated phones, this phone was greatly underrated because of its larger sibling.


Meanwhile, here are some stories we couldn’t cover on the podcast

What is RCS messaging and why is it important?

samsung galaxy s9 one ui review messages

A new messaging protocol is on the horizon, but naturally it won’t be completely smooth sailing to get there.


Huawei poised to spend billions to fix its bad security reputation

Huawei really wants to fix its reputation as a security threat, so it’s going to throw money at the problem.


5G smartphones from LG, Samsung could launch in February, retail in March

In 2019, we get all the 5Gs and LG and Samsung look to be among the very first to use the connection.


Oura Ring 2 review: The early adopter catches the worm

Oura Ring 2 Heart Rate Monitor

This health tracking ring is one of the best sleep trackers we’ve ever used, and that’s just the beginning.


Google ‘Dragonfly’ Chinese search engine allegedly shelved for now

Google was making a search engine for China before its employees kinda freaked out about it. They’re not making one any more.


Honor 10 Lite hands-on: The budget selfie king?

Honor’s latest offering sports an impressive 24MP selfie camera, but unfortunately, that’s where the impressive part stops.


There’s something very fishy about this alleged OnePlus phone leak

In a new leak from OnePlus, we see some new hardware including a larger camera sensor on the back. But where did this photo come from?


Who wants to win a Google Pixel 3?

This week, we’re giving away a brand new Google Pixel 3Enter this week’s Sunday giveaway for your chance to win!

Don’t miss these videos

That’s it, folks! We’ll have another giveaway and more top Android stories for you next week. To stay up to date on all things Android Authority in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters at the link below.

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5 most controversial Android apps and games from 2018!

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Android apps and games took huge leaps in 2018. We saw AAA game titles like Fortnite and PUBG hit Android. We also saw excellent new apps and services like Bouncer and YouTube Music. However, some apps and games simply didn’t have such good luck. There were a number of scandals and mistakes made in 2018. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal immediately comes to mind, but that was more Facebook the service rather than Facebook the app. Some apps were removed from Google Play for silly reasons (that actually happens a lot). In any case, some incidents simply stand above the rest. We are happy to report that Uber managed to not make this list for the first time in this list’s history. Congratulations to Uber! Here are the five most controversial Android apps and games from 2018!


The Cheetah Mobile Play Store page.

Ad fraud served two ways

Google Play had not one, but two big ad fraud problems in 2018. The first used bots to simulate real people. Here’s how it worked. A group of developers would purchase popular apps on Google Play from developers for Bitcoin. They would keep the app maintained and track user behavior. The developers would then create bots that emulated the human behavior they observed, except these bots also viewed ads along with doing the other stuff. The bots managed to avoid Google Play bot detection for a very long time.  Hit the link above to find the full list of all 129 apps that did it. The reason this probably didn’t hit harder was because it didn’t actually affect any end users. It was essentially a bunch of developers defrauding advertisers. Still, that’s not great and many of those apps were available in the Play Store at the time the report took place.

The second ad fraud case was by several Cheetah Mobile apps. This one is a little less creative. Several Cheetah Mobile apps, including Kika Keyboard and CM File Manager, would read the apps installed on a user’s phone. CM would then take credit for all the apps the user installed and collected the advertising money. Cheetah Mobile swears up and down that it did not do anything and the advertising SDKs were to blame. However, Cheetah Mobile has pulled some deceptive ad tactics before so we don’t necessarily trust them. Google is still investigating as of the writing of this article so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.


Fortnite - most controversial android apps 2018

Fortnite bucks the trends for better or worse

The biggest Android game narrative of 2018 was PUBG Mobile versus Fortnite. PUBG Mobile’s launch was fairly typical. It came out in Google Play, people enjoy it, and everything went as normal. Then Fortnite came around. To start, the game is not available on the Google Play Store. Instead, it opted for a launch on Epic Games’ own website  along with Samsung’s app store. People lost their minds about it. The CEO called it a move to promote a free and open platform. It also stands as the biggest mobile game to do this. The installer had its share of problems, including a massive security issue early on. There was also that pesky problem of all the fake Fortnite APKs. The PUBG developers even sued Fortnite for stealing content, although that suit was eventually dropped.  Things have smoothed out for now, but goodness Fortnite’s mobile game had a rough first six months.


Google shuts down all the things

The Google app library had a surprisingly rough year. Let’s start with Hangouts and make our way around the circle. Google Hangouts is reportedly changing from a single chat service to a group chat service similar to Slack or Discord. That reporting prompted a surprisingly aggressive Twitter conversation with a Hangouts developer. This puts an end to one of the few consistently decent chat services that Google had and the closest it ever came to a true Android version of iMessage. Google then shocked everybody by announcing the end of Google Allo. Many of Allo’s features are headed to Android Messages for now, but Allo is now officially circling the drain. Finally, Google is shuttering Google+ in 2019 after not one, but two major data breaches. It all leaves Google in a bit of a hole after it announced no major new apps in 2018. They did re-brand a bunch of stuff for no apparent reason, though. It’s been a surprisingly rough year for Google.


The best walking dead games featured image

Telltale Games had an epic crash and burn

Telltale Games had some of the best point-and-click adventure games on mobile. They usually work with existing titles like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Minecraft, Borderlands, and others. Well, 2018 is probably its last year in existence. The company announced a massive layoff in mid-September that spared only 25 employees. The layoff also doubled as the announcement that the company was shuttering its doors. Telltale Games’ CEO Pete Hawley cited poor sales as the primary reason and that makes sense. The company simply didn’t generate as much buzz this year as they did in previous years. To make matters worse, the employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Telltale Games for unlawful termination, citing WARN laws. That lawsuit is in progress as of the writing of this article.


An image of an Amazon Echo Show on a night stand. Amazon

Google and Amazon are seriously still fighting

Amazon and Google have been competitors for a while. However, late 2017 saw things take a nasty turn for consumers when Google yanked YouTube from all Amazon Fire devices, starting with the Echo Show. This turned into a year long trench war that is only making things suck more for consumers who use both Amazon and Google products. Initially, Amazon promised to start selling Chromecasts again, which it only started doing again in early December 2018. That certainly didn’t help things. Both companies announced that talks were underway to restore YouTube to Amazon devices along with possibly some other stuff. While we definitely don’t mean to pry, we would love it if Amazon Prime Video received Chromecast support as well.

In any case, the companies broke off talks early into 2018 after Google intentionally made YouTube worse for Silk Browser, Amazon’s default browser. In March 2018, Amazon stopped selling Google’s Nest products. Of course, YouTube TV never made it to a Fire device either, so you can add that to the list too. This has gone on long enough and is now bordering on the absurd. We’re really hoping that Amazon selling the Chromecast helps bring an end to this ridiculous and long-winded problem sooner rather than later. Until the dust settles, we highly recommend just buying Roku or Nvidia Shield. Those devices don’t seem to be affected by this preposterous pissing match.


If we missed any controversial Android apps and games, tell us about them in the comments! Check out all of our Android app and game lists by clicking here!

15 best Android games released in 2018!

Here we go, folks. Mobile gaming always seems to take great strides year after year. Last year, we saw a huge push in niche genres like text games and indie puzzle games. This year, we saw a bunch of excellent games in the shooter, tower defense, rhythm, indie puzzle, and simulation genres. In fact, this might be the best year of mobile gaming that we’ve ever seen. There was just a bunch of new content from PUBG to Fortnite, Kingdom Rush Vengeance to Bloons TD 6, and even some excellent new RPGs. This is a long list, so let’s get right down to it. Here are the best Android games of 2018! We don’t have them ranked in any specific fashion. However, the last game on the list is our choice for the very best of the year.


Alto’s Odyssey

Price: Freemium
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Alto’s Odyssey is a 2D, side-scrolling infinite runner and Noodlecake Studios’ biggest launch of 2018. The game features gorgeous, simple graphics, easy mechanics, and smooth game play. Players ski down hills and make massive jumps for points. They also collect coins for unlockable content in the game’s shop. You also get a Photo Mode because the visuals in this game make for perfect wallpapers as well as a zen mode where you just play to relax. It’s certainly not treading any new ground. However, it’s as solid of an infinite runner as you’ll find these days and it’s also kid friendly. Everybody wins!
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Asphalt 9: Legends

Price: Freemium
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Asphalt 9: Legends is arguably the most popular new racing game in 2018. It features above average visuals, solid racing mechanics, and a metric ton of events, missions, and challenges to complete. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode, online social elements like clubs, a campaign mode, and over 50 unlockable cars. This is a game you can play for a very long time before you get everything. It’s a freemium game and you deal with that a lot. However, Gameloft’s long-running racing series is popular for a reason. Those who are more into hardcore racing sims may need something a little extra, but this is great for casual racing game fans.
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Bloons TD 6 and Kingdom Rush Vengeance

Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases (each)
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Tower defense is alive an well on mobile with the releases of both Bloons TD 6 and Kingdom Rush Vengeance. Both games are continuations of the popular franchises and both bring new features, new game elements, and fresh ideas to the table. Bloons TD 6 is a slightly deeper game with 19 towers and a bunch of upgrades. Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the slightly more casual friendly game but it still gets pretty difficult. Both games support offline gaming and have optional in-app purchases for power-ups. We couldn’t choose between the two because they are both excellent tower defense games. Maybe you’ll have better luck. We have Bloons TD 6 linked at the download button above.
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Cytus II

Price: $1.99 / Up to $9.99
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Cytus II is the latest rhythm game from Rayark International, Rayark makes exceptional mobile rhythm games and this one is no exception. The game uses tap, swipe, and tap-and-hold mechanics and players use the entire screen with this game. It’s colorful, intense, and surprisingly smooth for how many on-screen elements there are. Players get a story mode with 30 songs in the $1.99 base game with more songs available as in-app purchases. There are over 300 total step charts between the songs and the various difficulties. We also recommend the first game in the series if you need something a little easier to start with.
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Friday the 13th

Price: Free / Up to $9.99
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You don’t see a lot of horror games on best of the year lists, but Blue Wizard Digital found a way with Friday the 13th. The game features both horror and puzzle elements, decent mobile controls, and tons of optional gore and violence. You get over 100 levels, a PG mode in case blood makes you squeamish, and plenty of unlockable customizations for the venerable Jason Voorhees. The game also comes with offline gaming support. It might only be truly fun during the Halloween season, but the mechanics are just that good in general. The somewhat retro style graphics also helps take a bit of the edge off of all of the gore.
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HQ Trivia

Price: Free
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HQ Trivia has the distinction of being the first Android game launched in 2018. We know that because it ran its very first live game seconds after midnight on New Years Eve. HQ Trivia is one of the most unique quiz games on mobile. It features live quizzes conducted like an actual game show. That includes a real, actual host. Games run every day at 9PM EST with additional games on week days at 3PM EST. Players even win actual money if they last long enough. The game is occasionally laggy, but shoving a few hundred thousand people into a single game show can do that. Those wanting something a little more typical can also try Trivia Crack 2, another new quiz game in 2018.
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Monster Hunter Stories

Price: Free / $19.99
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Monster Hunter Stories is an excellent new RPG. It has the same core experience of every Monster Hunter game. Players travel the world, collect monsters, train them, and fight with them. You get action, adventure, and RPG elements. It uses a turn-by-turn battle structure and you also get colorful graphics. Perhaps our favorite part is the demo version of the game. The demo version is actually its own self-contained game that acts as a prologue for the actual game. We think that is a genius idea. The demo version’s data ports to the main game upon purchase. It’s really expensive at $19.99 so we don’t blame you if you want to skip this one.
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Part Time UFO

Price: $3.99
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Part Time UFO is a puzzle game by HAL Industries, developers of the first Super Smash Bros and most of the Kirby series. The developer’s first mobile game is a rousing success. It features boss fights, puzzles, and a fun little adventure with plenty for players to do. The puzzles are delightful, if somewhat easy and the story is charming and inoffensive. You also get a fun soundtrack, some social sharing features, and more. The game rocks a 4.9 rating on Google Play. It may not be the most popular game ever, but virtually nobody who plays it dislikes it. That’s a rarity for mobile gaming.
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Pocket City

Price: Free / $3.99
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Pocket CIty is a city building simulator much like SimCity. You start with a plot of land. Players then build a functioning city. You must achieve balance between business and residence, expand in a smart way, and deal with things like natural disasters. Players unlock more buildings and land as they progress and they must manage things like population happiness and traffic. The game also comes with support for portrait and landscape modes as well as offline support. The free version contains ads. For $3.99, you get no ads and more features. It might be the best non-freemium city building sim on Google Play right now.
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Reigns: Game of Thrones

Price: $3.99
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Reigns: Game of Thrones is an interesting card game. Players get cards with various scenarios on them. You choose one of two options by swiping the card left or right. Some choices are simple like selling wood and others involve more serious matters. The result is your continued reign or ultimate downfall. This version of the game also includes Game of Thrones characters, story elements, and themes. It’s not a deep game with a deep story and that may disappoint some Game of Thrones fans. It is one of the better time killer games on mobile, though, and it goes for a single $3.99 purchase with no freemium elements. We appreciate that.
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Returner 77

Price: $4.99
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Returner 77 is an indie puzzle game with a sci-fi story line. The story involves an alien invasion with humanity on the brink of extinction. You work your way through an alien ship while solving puzzles and making progress. The game features beautiful graphics, enjoyable puzzles, and an interesting story. It’s one of the few indie puzzle games over the last few years with a narrative that drives the game forward. It rounds out the experience with live action video clips, voice overs, and a reasonable price tag. It’s easily one of the more under-rated games on 2018.
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The Room: Old Sins

Price: $4.99
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The Room: Old Sins is the latest game in one of mobile gaming’s most critically acclaimed puzzle franchises. This is an easy choice for best mobile games of 2018. It comes with outstanding graphics, a narrative to follow, and simple mechanics. Players make their way through a dollhouse full of puzzles to solve. The game also supports cloud saving and Google Play Games achievements. It maintains a lot of the elements of previous games, so many people already know what they’re in for with this one. Is it the best of the year? No, but it’s definitely up there and that’s why it’s here.
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Shadowgun Legends

Price: Freemium
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Shadowgun Legends is one of the top three shooters from 2018 without question. It’s a fairly standard mobile shooter. Players get a campaign to play through with sci-fi and action elements along with online PvP, an RPG-style progression system, and tons of loot to collect. Of course, you get good graphics and as good of a game play experience as a shooter can be on mobile. By and large, there isn’t much in this game that isn’t a positive experience, although we would appreciate some tweaking of the inventory space. We’re quite happy to see a new Shadowgun game and Madfinger Games delivered. This is a great shooter.
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Square Enix (Life is Strange, Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition)

Price: Free / Varies
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Square Enix always has a host of mobile game releases every year and many of them are candidates for this list. This year was no exception. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, Life is Strange, and the Valkyrie Profile Lenneth port are all outstanding new games for 2018. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition avoided the port label by being designed from the ground up for a mobile experience. Life is Strange is one of Square Enix’s more thought provoking point-and-click adventure games in recent memory, and Valkyrie Profile Lennth is a decent RPG for fans of old PlayStation games. The games vary in price, but they are all quite excellent. Well done, Square Enix.
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Game(s) of the year: PUBG Mobile and Fortnite

Price: Freemium (each)
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PUBG Mobile and Fortnite orbited around the mobile gaming scene for pretty much all of 2018. Both games brought the battle royale shooter to the forefront in a way that no other game ever has on mobile. PUBG Mobile represents a more serious feel while Fortnite gives players a more animated experience. Both games have solid mechanics, but both still need some work. PUBG Mobile is easier to obtain in the Play Store with a Lite version for lower end devcies. Epic Games launched Fortnite on its own website instead of Google Play. However, Fortnite has account linking between it and the console and PC version. Both games have pros and cons, but you didn’t see anyone talk about a mobile game more than these two in 2018. Thankfully, they are both excellent games. If we had to choose one, though, it would be Fortnite. The account linking is such a cool feature.
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Honorable mentions

The list for 2018 was so huge that we wanted to list a few honorable mentions so we didn’t leave any of the great games out. We did narrow down this list from a master list of over 120 games. Here are our honorable mentions for 2018:


If we missed any great Android games from 2018, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

10 best texting games and text-based games for Android!

This is the featured image for the best texting games and text-based games for android
Texting games (text-based games) are some of the oldest computer games. Many remember old text RPGs like Zork. Mobile gave the genre a chance at a rennaisance and there are actually a bunch of good ones. It comes naturally on a smartphone. You text your friends and family on your phone. Why not text a fictional stranger to help them live? In any case, these games are usually pretty simple. You get a bunch of choices, choose the one you want, and the game continues down that story branch. You keep going until you fail or beat the game. This genre also spawned a whole new sub-genre, the lost phone. Instead of answering text prompts, you root through a fictional phone to find out what happened to its owner. We have a little bit of everything on this list. Here are the best texting games for Android!


A Dark Room

Price: $1.99
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A Dark Room is a fairly simple and straight forward texting game. You start in a cold, dark room. Players build a fire and then kind of go from there. It’s a bit slower than we would normally like and there aren’t a ton of options starting out. However, a little patience nets you a fairly entertaining game. You slowly build a shelter, traps, and other stuff to survive. It won’t win any awards for aesthetics, even for a text game. On the other hand, it only costs $1.99, has no in-app purchases or ads, and it plays perfectly fine offline. It’s a good place to start for texting games.
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A Dark Room

Facebook Messenger

Price: Free
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Facebook Messenger is a weird entrant on this list, we know. However, it does let you play games over text with friends or by yourself. The games are rarely texting games. However, they are games you can play while texting and we’re fans of thinking outside the box on some stuff. Some of the options include Tetris, Galaga, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and some other arcade games. Facebook Messenger is free as are all of the games. It’s not a great platform, but tons of people use Facebook and it’s usable as an SMS app as well. Why not use it and play some games while you message people?
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Facebook Messenger

InstLife

Price: Free
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InstLife is another unique texting game. You see the game icon, right? You basically live a whole life from the very beginning. The game gives you a life that starts at birth. You grow up and decide what to do with it. That includes relationships, school, career, and other pursuits. It’s not too bad as far as life simulations go and the lack of graphics helps the developer add even more options than you would normally find. Plus, this one is entirely free with advertising and no in-app purchases. There are some translation errors and the UI is a bit clunky, but it’s otherwise a great free game.
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InstLife

King of Dragon Pass

Price: $9.99
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King of Dragon Pass is a texting strategy game with a fantasy theme and RPG elements. It uses more graphical elements than most texting games. However, it ends up being useful for keeping track of all the stuff you accrue over the course of your adventure. You gather goods, trade for stuff, go on adventures, and slay mighty beasts. It’s a lot deeper and longer than many text games we tried. All of that awesomeness does come at a price, though. The game costs $9.99 and honestly, that’s a hard pill to swallow even for a full graphical game. We’ll leave it up to you, but the game is really good.
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Lifeline series

Price: Free / Varies
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The Lifeline series is an older series of text-based adventure games. There are about half a dozen games in the entire franchise and all of the stories are a little different. However, they all revolve around the same premise. You receive messages from people and decide what to do about it. Those decisions have impact in the story. You can lose the game if you make bad choices. The earlier games are a little bare in the features department but still tell great stories. The later games add more game play elements, fast forward modes, and the ability to backtrack. They are old, though, so test them inside of the refund period to be sure they work on your device.
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Lifeline series


Magium

Price: Free / $2.99
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Magium is a simple choose-your-own-adventure game with some RPG elements. You play as Barry, a normal guy who wants to become a mage someday. Players enter a tournament, improve Barry’s stats, and try to make all of that happen. Your decisions have impact on the story and it can even cause you to die and lose. This game is in active development. There are two whole books to play through with a third in the works already. It’s a nice little pickup if you want something that’s going to take a while.
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Magium

Playdius games

Price: Free / Varies
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Playdius has some of the most unique texting games anywhere. Some of their titles include A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Players find a lost phone and must figure out where its owner is. You then have Bury Me, My Love, a tragic romance about a refugee texting her husband as she tries to make it to Europe. Finally, you have Chroniric XIX and Somewhere, two somewhat standard adventure text games with engaging stories and some other fun game play elements. Literally nothing this studio does is bad and we recommend any of their games. They usually go for $1.99-$2.99 each with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
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Reigns games

Price: $2.99 – $3.99 each
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Reigns is a series of text games with card game and strategy elements. There are three games in the series. The first has a king, the second a queen, and the third one lets you play as characters from Game of Thrones. It’s a simple series of games, really. You are presented with a scenario on a card and you choose yes or no by swiping the card left or right Tinder style. The game tells you the results of your decision and then you make another one. Players keep going until they lose. They are inexpensive games with no in-app purchases or ads. They aren’t the deepest texting games on mobile, but we they are still quite fun.
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Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams

Price: $4.99 and Free, respectively
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Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams are two newer text games. The first is similar to A Normal Lost Phone. You find a lost phone and must find its owner. However, Simulacra adds some horror and thriller elements as well. It also has five endings, various puzzles, and even a voice-over cast. Simulacra: Pipe Dreams is a spin-off from the main game. You play as Teddy and you find messages you didn’t send. Cue the adventure from there. Both games are excellent. You don’t have to play the original to enjoy Pipe Dreams, but it does help add to the story a bit. Pipe Dream is free and the original game goes for $4.99.
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Sorcery! games

Price: $4.99 each
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Sorcery! is a series of text games. There are four games in the series at the time of this writing and they are all pretty decent. They have heavier graphical elements than most text games, but that’s perfectly okay. You basically move around the game world and engage with it with narrative text and decisions. The story forms around your decisions and there are just a ton of different things to do. This is closer to a narrative game than a pure text game, but it has elements of both. The Sorcery series is excellent. It’s also a little expensive at $4.99 per game for a total of $20 for the whole series to date.
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If we missed any great texting games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!