Welcome to the 431st edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- WhatsApp rolled out several new features on May 5, 2022. The big new feature is the Community feature where users can create communities to talk about various things, similar to apps like Discord. Some of the other new features include emoji reactions, groups of up to 512 people, and a 2GB size limit for file sharing. Hit the link to learn more.
- Google, Apple, and Microsoft are working together to implement passwordless sign-in. Several other companies use this technology in various ways. This new way of using one’s phone as a kind of hardware key. It will store a FIDO passkey that will allow them to log into the service by confirming login on their phone. It’s like if you combined passwords and 2FA. Hit the link to learn more.
- Android 13 adds some limitations to overriding APKs. It just won’t go away. However, Android 13 requires that the app originate from the app store. This can be sticky because the goal is not to give side access to apps from untrusted sources. However, it is not for Google to decide what can and cannot be trusted.
- YouTube Go is shutting down. This app is meant to be a lighter and less intensive app for low-end devices in areas where mobile data is slow. Google says the regular app has improvements for those use cases and should provide a better overall experience.
- Google Play had a pretty big update last month. Includes various bug fixes along with some new stuff. Updates include system management and account management bug fixes, new Live Share functionality, new discoverable features, and improvements to Google Play Billing Services. We don’t usually talk about Google Play updates, but this time it’s a bit extensive. Hit the link to learn more.
The world of Gigantosaurus Dino
Price: Free to play
Gigantosaurus Dino World is a children’s game with a bunch of dinosaurs. At its core, it’s a puzzle game with a bunch of mini-games to keep kids entertained. There are several dinosaurs to play with and customize too. Overall, it’s not bad for kids, but a bit laggy for adults. There are in-app purchases to unlock stuff and we’re not big fans of that. Make sure your Google Play account is password protected and everything else will be fine.
Price: Free / $4.99
Console Launcher is a neat idea that may be more useful later than now. This is a special home screen launcher for devices with connected game controllers. It operates in landscape mode by default, full controller support, and even the UI is optimized for controller usage. The app looks a bit like a simplified version of the Nintendo Switch UI. It had a few bugs and launched with a crash bug which dragged down its Google Play rating, but has since been fixed.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Influent is an educational mobile game that helps teach a new language. The app comes with French, Italian and Korean out of the box, but more languages are available as in-app purchases. This is a unique kind of game. Players are dropped into an environment where they can interact with basically everything. The game features each object in the language you choose and helps you learn the language by interacting with the objects in real time. It’s not bad for what it’s looking to do, and the additional languages aren’t that expensive.
Price: Free / $59.99 per 3 months / $119.99 per year / $249.99 once
Lover is an app to improve your sex life without pills or surgery. It aims to help with things like low desire, difficulty climaxing, climaxing too quickly, erectile dysfunction, and a number of other problems. Yes, it’s a self help app. It uses courses and activities to train people into a more active and fulfilling sex life. Of course, it’s not the most comfortable topic to talk about, but this app seems to have some good suggestions.
The only downside is the price. It charges $59.99 per 3 months, $119.99 per year, or $249.99 for a lifetime membership. Sex therapy can be a lot more expensive than that, so it might be a bargain depending on who you ask.
Nova: Iron Galaxy
Price: Free to play
Nova: Iron Galaxy is a space strategy game. There is a massive supernova and it is causing a lot of chaos. You try to turn the chaos to your advantage by building ships, building bases, making friends and exploring the galaxy. You will also try to find out more about the supernova that blew everything up. This is a pretty big and deep game. The mechanics are quite simple to learn. Unfortunately, there appeared to be some connectivity issues upon release, but the developers are likely to work on those.
If we missed any major Android app or game release or news, let us know about it in the comments.
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