Welcome to the 437th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the past week:
- WhatsApp made a few announcements this week. You can now control who can or cannot see your profile. This is obviously a security feature, and you can click the link to learn more about it. Moreover, now you can directly transfer data from your Android phone to your iPhone, which helps people who switch between them.
- We asked our audience if they use any other app stores besides Google Play. Most of our readers don’t. This part was predictable. However, 48% of our readers use alternative app stores. It’s a bit higher than expected. Click on the link to view the survey.
- Google dropped Android 13 beta 3.1 last week. This was not a scheduled release and appears to be a bugfix. It enables the Feedback app for people who may not have it. There was a second rollout later in the week to address other bug issues, including an issue with the back button not working properly.
- Samsung has once again been caught cheating on benchmarks. This time it’s for TV benchmarks. The company has its TVs adjust their color and brightness specifically for benchmarks, so the numbers look better. Samsung says it will update TVs to fix them. The company also announced Samsung Wallet, an apparent upgrade to Samsung Pay. It supports payments as always, but also includes support for digital car keys as well as cryptocurrency investments.
- Adobe is tinkering with the idea of making its web version of Photoshop free for everyone. This could be a big deal for Chromecast users who don’t have a full version of Photoshop. Adobe is testing this in Canada right now. We’ll see if they continue.
Arterial Equipment: Fusion
Price: free to play
Artery Gear: Fusion is a mobile RPG with gacha elements. It plays like a fairly typical mobile RPG, but the gacha elements are similar to Epic Seven or Azur Lane. All of the characters are mech girls, and that’s a surprisingly popular premise. The mechanics are quite simple to understand. In particular, the combat is pretty neat. Players have the ability to tune their auto-combat to avoid excessive resource usage and we really liked that. You get the usual stuff like banners, various drawable characters, PvP, and more. You can also interact with your characters a bit more than your standard gacha. It has potential, but you have to be into chibi to really take advantage of it.
Price: Free / $4.99
Calendar notification allows you to display your calendar and agenda as a persistent notification in your notification panel. It lets you view up to an entire month or as little as a single day. You also get customization options, although it’s nothing too major. In short, it basically puts a widget in your notifications. Of course, the usability of this one is limited and you really have to rely on your schedule to make it work. Luckily, it’s not too expensive and you can try it before you buy it.
Price: free to play
Kingdom Maker is a strategy game in which you lead a kingdom. This includes building, combat and all that. There’s actually a story with this one where you take on bad guys and defend your kingdom. Plus, there are unlockable upgrades and buildings allow you to do a bunch of different things. He has a lot of potential, especially since he’s reminiscent of ancient kingdom builders. A common complaint is how long it takes to do just about anything, and upgrades can take forever. It’s imperfect, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Glimesh: Live Stream
Glimesh is a live streaming service that tries to emphasize interaction and discoverability. You can stream a lot of stuff, including games, art, and music. You can even hang out and chat with your followers if you want. The company is also part of the Open Company Initiative for transparency. It even works with OBS if you’re streaming from a PC. There are not many people yet, but there is potential.
Music Stars Ensemble
Price: free to play
Ensemble Stars Music is a new rhythm game with some potential. The game has a story like many mobile rhythm games, but people show up for the mechanics, so let’s talk about that. The UI has a half-moon shape where you press one of the seven nodes to hit the note. There are taps and holds along with double taps and swipes. Some of the songs are quite easy, but the difficulty increases as you play. The free items aren’t user-friendly, and we really don’t like games having separate “premium” gems over the regular in-game gems. The story and mechanics are good, so you might have a good time as long that you can spend the free stuff.
If we missed any important Android app or game news, tell us about it in the comments.
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