Welcome to the 442nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- Google announced new audio switching technology for its Fast Pair feature. This feature will switch your audio to another device in certain scenarios. For example, you won’t hear notifications on your phone if it’s paired with a tablet. Read the link to learn more.
- Google Play Points just got even more practical this week. You can now use it for discounts on the Google Store. This means you can get it by buying an app or game and then getting discounts on hardware, including up to $200 off Pixel smartphones. The only downside is that you have 30 days to use up your discount before it expires.
- Netflix announced a few things this week. The new Add A Home feature, which is essentially password sharing, is being tested in more markets and costs $2.99 per month. Additionally, Netflix confirmed that its cheaper, ad-supported tier will have content you won’t be able to watch without a full subscription. See each link to learn more.
- The ACLU obtained several documents this week that basically show what we already know. Governments buy smartphone tracking data from third parties and use it to track our movements. The specific documents the ACLU found date back to 2018 and show that Customs and Border Protection purchased records containing nearly 114,000 location points in the US. The government is working on the Fourth Amendment Not For Sale Act which should end this.
- Nova Launcher was purchased by Branch Analytics. This is a pretty big problem. According to those involved, Branch needed the user base to perform multiple test scenarios, and Nova Launcher needed analytics to better improve their launcher. Both parties have stated that Nova is not changing anytime soon. However, there are concerns that Nova will start sharing data with Branch. Users don’t like that. Hit the link to learn more.
Price: Free to play
ChimeraLand is an open world survival game with some RPG elements. It features the usual survival mechanisms. You collect resources, use them to create items, and use those items to improve your situation. The unique part of the game is your ability to add animal parts to different animals. You can put wings on a horse, for example, so that it can fly. It draws comparisons to Ark: Survival Evolved, but the animal evolution thing is that extra bit that makes it unique. No controller support and not playable offline so take that into account.
FishingBooker is a booking app for fishing charters. This is certainly a niche segment, but some people don’t mind paying a few dollars to have a boat take them out on the water for a fun fishing trip. FishingBooker has hundreds of thousands of customer reviews, boat information, photos and more. It also lists each guide’s credentials, so you can hire someone you can trust. It seemed to work as intended without any major issues during our tests.
Price: Free to play
Vahn’s Quest is a mobile idle RPG. It plays like many other idle RPGs. Your character goes hunting when you’re not logged into the game, so you get constant growth even when you’re not there. There’s also equipment crafting, costumes to customize your heroes, and you can create a team that fights endlessly and keeps getting stronger.
This one sets itself apart from the rest by being a little more involved. You could actually do something instead of walking in and watching the heroes fight. It’s not perfect, and there were some early release bugs, but it’s not bad if you like the genre.
Google has officially launched the new Google Wallet. We covered changes in Android Apps Weekly before, but we’ll get back to them later. It’s a more standard NFC payment system, and you can store things like debit and credit cards, gift cards, and even your vaccination records if you want. It works really well and aside from a few initial quirks, it’s basically ready to go. The link below takes you to the Play Store listing for it. Some people may just need to update Google Pay.
The Ace Attorney Trilogy
This one isn’t technically a new release, but more of a re-release. Years ago, Capcom released the first three Ace Attorney games in their mobile variant. In June 2022, they removed the mobile version and instead released the mobile port of the trilogy. Well, if you buy this trilogy pack, you will get the same games that you get when you buy them on Xbox or PlayStation.
The game follows Ace Attorney as he defends people in court. It features goofy characters, an interesting story, and more. It’s a fun visual novel style game. The $22.99 price tag is a little easier to swallow when you know you’re getting three games instead of just one.
If we missed any news or a major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments.
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