Welcome to the 420th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- Google added an iOS-like feature to its Pixel Launcher app. It now shows you the app when it’s installed on your home screen like iOS. We think this will be part of the “play as you download” feature that Google is finally rolling out.
- Google Assistant had an issue this week where commands weren’t working properly for smart home users. Google fixed the problem after a few hours but didn’t really say what the problem was.
- Gmail is getting some long-needed improvements. Google wants Gmail notifications to only appear on one device at a time. This feature is in very limited testing at the time of writing, but good luck.
- Google officially launched Privacy Sandbox for Android this week. The goal is to make ad tracking more secure and private while remaining friendly to developers. It’s not the smoothest execution, but it will get better with time.
- There’s been quite a bit of news around Windows 11 this week. For starters, Microsoft is testing a live caption feature similar to Android and you can read more about it here. Additionally, the latest version of Windows 11 unlocks Android app support through the Amazon Appstore. Finally, it is actually possible to run Windows 11 on Android 13 through its new virtualization support. Hit the link to read about all of it.
Path: Beatrice’s Adventures
Price: Free / $2.99
Paths: Beatrice’s Adventure is a narrative game where you choose the path Beatrice takes in life. Beatrice is a teenage girl with the ability to possess people. Players kind of take him through his life and make decisions about what he should do. Decisions have an impact on the ending of the story. There are ten different endings to get to and each playthrough should take two or three hours according to the developers.
It’s currently in early access beta, so it’s not completely finished, but you can play the prologue and the first chapter for free and see if you like it.
Kwai Video Editor
Kwai Video Editor is a simple and free video editor. It dispenses with the powerful user stuff timeline or chrome locking in favor of simpler tasks like trimming video, compressing video, converting video to MP3, converting video to other formats, and other such things. You can even merge two videos at the same time.
It’s definitely not something that would replace a mainstay in the genre, but all of the functionality worked when we tested it, even if there were a ton of annoying ads when we did.
Basketball Playgrounds is an arcade basketball game. It looks and feels similar to Street Basketball Association in that you play only half the court. The controls are quite simple. You get a joystick to move your character and tapping buttons to do things like pass or shoot. However, it uses NBA Jam style where there are only two players on each team.
There is a gacha element where you collect players, build a dream team and enter competitions. This one is also in early access so there will almost certainly be bugs. That said, it’s nice to see a competent arcade basketball game because there are so few good ones on mobile.
Price: Free / $19.99 per year
Celebrations Passport is the new app from 1-800-Flowers. This is a gift pack app with support from several different boutiques and stores. You explore the inventory of each store and create gift baskets for people. The service then delivers the gift basket to the intended recipient. It also barely requires a 12-month subscription to pay for things like delivery and earn points.
You can still use the apps to buy things even without a subscription, but they improve the experience dramatically if you do. The choice is yours, but most brands have their own website if you want to get past this.
Price: Free to play
Zombie Virus: K-Zombie is a FPS game where you shoot zombies. Yes, there is still one more of these. What makes this kind of fun is the slower pace, lots of activities, offline mode, and the K-Zombie vibes this game gives off. Of course, the downside is that the mechanics aren’t quite as polished as FPS games from bigger developers and the mechanics definitely need a bit of polish. It’s new, so has potential, but we understand if this game isn’t for you.
If we missed any news or a major Android app or game release, let us know about it in the comments or email us at email@example.com.