Best apps and games for Android in 2018

Google Play Store shares the best games and apps of 2018 in the following two lists:

For me personally, most of the apps I used in 2018 remained the same from the previous years. The two new discovers were:

  • Yatse – a remote control for Kodi media center, which I use at home a lot.
  • SimCity – a game I used to play decades ago on PC, which is now available on the mobile, and it’s awesome!

Android 6.0 Marshmallow, thoroughly reviewed


Marshmallow Nexus

Ars Technica has thoroughly reviewed Android 6.0 Marshmallow.  Read the whole 10+ page review, or satisfy yourself with this very short summary:

The Good

  • The new home screen adds tons of genuinely useful features. App Search, predictive apps, vertical scrolling, and the uninstall shortcut are all great time savers.
  • The new permissions system lets users give informed consent to access their data while keeping them in the loop about breaking things from permission denial. Developers get to have a dialog with the user about why they need a permission, and old apps are fed fake data so they can be denied access without crashing.
  • “Adoptable Storage” finally makes SD cards as good as internal storage. Now if only there were Marshmallow devices with SD cards.
  • The fingerprint API isn’t groundbreaking even among the Android devices, but it’s the kind of ecosystem building that only Google can do.

The Bad

  • There still isn’t auto rotate support for the home screen. Google teased us in the developer preview but the feature was cut.
  • The new permissions page is a great first step, but it doesn’t list all of the access to the system an app actually has. Special settings like “Notification Access,” access to the accessibilities framework, and more are scattered all over the settings.
  • Apps can opt out of power saving features like Doze and App Standby just by changing their priority settings. We don’t trust developers to play by the rules.

The Ugly

  • There is still no solution for getting Marshmallow out to the billion+ devices out there.

Upcoming Android devices


The touch screen on my Nexus 4 is dying.  There’s a strip right across the center, which doesn’t work anymore.  The device is still alive, but it won’t last long.  In fact, I’ve already borrowed an old Sony Xperia from my brother, for the day when the angels will take my phone to the Android heaven.

With that in mind, I started looking for what’s going to be my next device.  I’m planning to get one closer to Christmas maybe, so not exactly in a rush.  The official Google blog’s post “S’more to love across all your screens” from a couple of days ago came just in time.

Android devices

The line-up covers upcoming tablets, phones, and Chromecast devices.  On the smartphone front, there are two devices – 5.7 inch Nexus 6P built by Huawei, and a 5.2 inch Nexus 5X built by LG.  Nexus 6P starts at $499, which I’m not yet prepared to pay for a smartphone (even though I use it heavily on a daily basis).  Nexus 5X starts at $379, which is much more reasonable.  Both phones feature a fingerprint scanner (finally, away with all those passwords and patterns), and a 12.3 MP camera for better pictures.  Nexus 6P comes in an aluminum body, which sounds nice.

Nexus 5X seems like an excellent option for me.  Of course, I’ll have to wait and see when it gets released, real-priced, and reviewed.

Replicant – fully free Android distribution


replicant-4.2-crespo-homescreen

Replicant is a fully free Android distribution running on several devices, a free software mobile operating system putting the emphasis on freedom and privacy/security.

Found via a mention in the Slashdot interview with Richard Stallman.