5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week

AAW Octopath Traveler CotC screenshot

Welcome to the 443rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:

  • Gmail has a new look. The new version launched this week on the web and includes Chat, Meet, and Spaces integration. It puts all your work communications on one web page. You can customize the view in Settings to add or remove items that you do or don’t use. Hit the link to learn more details.
  • Google Maps also saw an update this week. It added several new features, including new 3D aerial viewpoints and over 100 major global landmarks. Landmarks include things like the Emire State Building and Big Ben in London. Some of the other new things include improved route information for cyclists and location sharing notifications.
  • Chromebooks are getting some new features just in time for school season. Most of it is OS level stuff like dark theme and other customization options. However, one of the interesting new features is the Google Photos movie editor. It basically lets you create video clips with your Google Photos photos and videos. It doesn’t look too complicated from the screenshots, but it should work fine for basic stuff.
  • Diablo Immortal apparently earned $100 million in its first two months of operation. That’s not a particularly surprising number, considering how big the Diablo franchise is. That said, the game’s microtransactions have drawn a lot of ire from the player base, and it reinforces how onerous microtransactions really are. Hit the link to learn more.
  • Google Play celebrates its first decade with a new promotion and new logo. The new logo matches other Google products in terms of colors, but otherwise, it’s not the biggest problem. This promotion is basically an expansion of the Google Play Points program where you earn more points for buying things and can buy things from the Google Store, such as hardware products, with your points. Read the link to learn more.

Alice fiction

Price: Free to play

Alice Fiction is a hybrid RPG with some match-three mechanics. The game places you in a world with a decent story and campaign. During the battle, you match three shapes to deal damage to the bad guys. This is similar to games like Crash Fever. However, there is also a gacha element where you can get more characters. However, each character can be continuously upgraded to the highest rarity, so almost any pull can be good. The music is pleasant, and everything here seems to work as advertised. There are a few stability issues that could crash here and there, but nothing serious.

Random Walk

Price: Free

Screenshot of RandomWalking

RandomWalking is something a little different. It’s a walking app that gently points you to things you might find interesting to look at. It doesn’t work like a GPS app or like an exercise tracker. Instead, you open it when you’re somewhere prominent, and the app just gives you ideas of where to go to see interesting stuff. You collect points as you reach attractions, and there are various levels if you want to relax or challenge yourself. It’s free at the time of writing, but there are some ads.

MLB Perfect Inning: Ultimate

Price: Free to play

MLB Perfect Inning: Ultimate is the latest MLB Perfect Inning release from Com2uS. The goal is to exceed the previous iteration as much as possible. It only worked in a few places, but it was still pretty early on. The game features a new graphics engine, online PvP, more interactive pitching and combat controls and much more. It will eventually become a decent game of baseball. However, there seems to be a large number of bugs, poor optimization on low-end phones, and the UI is quite clunky. Thankfully, those are things developers can fix over time.

Aquafy Water Tracker Reminder

Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $7.49 per year / $35.99 once

Aquafy Water Tracker Reminder screenshot

Aquafy Water Tracker Reminder is a simple app, and it does what its name suggests. It lets you track your water usage and reminds you to drink water. It also lets you log whatever you drink if you want. Some of the features include a reminder scheduler, widgets, statistics on your fluid intake, and more. It also supports Google Fit and Fitbit at launch with Samsung Health and Awake coming soon.

It has a subscription, but it’s really not very reasonable at $0.99 per month or $7.49 per year. You can also pay $35.99 once and never have to worry about it again.

Octopath Traveler: Continental Champion

Price: Free to play

Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is the latest release from Square Enix. It uses most of the same graphics, game world, combat mechanics, and soundtrack as the game on which it is based. That’s good news because it’s gorgeous, the combat mechanics are great, and the soundtrack is phenomenal. In fact, it feels very much like the original game when you play it. This is an RPG where you explore the world, fight villains and learn more about the story of the protagonists.

Square Enix boasted 64 characters at launch, so there’s a gacha element too. Unlike most mobile versions of console or PC games, this one actually takes place in the world of Octopath Traveler several years before the events of the original game. It seems like a home run in the gacha RPG genre for Square Enix, but we’d like to see controller support, a faster pacing, and tutorials that are way longer than they need to be.

If we missed any major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments or hit me on Twitter to let me know.
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