Welcome to the 463rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- Google enabled Matter on Google, Nest, and Android products last week. This is a pretty big problem. Material is a smart home connectivity standard that aims to make smart home technology easier to use. We’ve been talking about Matter all year, and it’s great to see it launch.
- Apple may allow app sideloading on iPhones in the future. Reports suggest that Apple is working on the feature as we speak. That’s a big deal because it will allow third-party app stores and new sides of iOS for users to explore. We already have it on Android, but it may not be a unique feature for very long.
- Google announced its favorite Chrome extension of the year. It doesn’t have any ad blocking extensions in it, which we believe is in many people’s favorite Chrome extensions. That said, Google listed Tango, SwiftRead, Liner, Compose AI, Visbug, and Check US Visa Slot. There are several others too. Hit the link to learn more.
- Samsung Good Lock is rolling out to more countries. New markets include Europe, Latin America and several Asian countries. It’s a good start, but there are still some rather large parts of the world without it, including all of Africa. You can get a full list of countries in the linked article.
- Google plans to remove Manifest V2 from Google Chrome. It will unblock ads if they do it in time. However, Google is holding off on deprecating Manifest V2 for a little while longer. The company says it’s to help alleviate some of the challenges of migrating to Manifest V3. Hit the link to learn more details.
Sumi Sumi party
Price: Free to play
Sumi Sumi Part is a match-three style tap-puzzle game. Each round loads a bunch of cute little animals into a box. You tap where there are two or more identical creatures to clear them from the board. You make progress by completing levels. Like most games in this genre today, there’s a lot more to do. This one is a part restaurant sim where you unlock recipes by completing levels and using food to feed other characters. It probably won’t make big waves, but it’s a fun little time waster that’s also family friendly.
Price: Free / $10.99
Notifya is a home security app that sends you notifications when it detects a door being opened in your home. It uses your device’s sensors to detect changes in pressure that occur when the door is opened and closed. In our limited testing, it seemed to work surprisingly well. The developer claims it works on most modern smartphones, and is integrated with Google Assistant. The developer also welcomes feedback in this Reddit thread if you want to check it out. They’ve mentioned adding things like IFTTT or Telegram bot support as well.
It’s a bit pricey for the full version, and technically it’s currently in beta, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen the release of a good home security app.
Ninja Must Die
Price: Free to play
Ninja Must Die is a side-scrolling runner with some action game elements. You defeat enemies, avoid obstacles, and defeat bosses. Players have access to a variety of melee and ranged abilities to help you along the way. The game is played at a fast pace, which we think is part of its appeal. It’s not very complicated, so you can play through the game and enjoy it without much hassle. It’s a free-to-play game, so there are microtransactions. They’re not bad, so it shouldn’t mess up your game too much.
Price: Free trial / $8.99 per month / $48.99 per year
Breathwrk is a meditation app and one of Google’s picks for the best Google Play apps from 2022. This app helps users focus on their breath to help relieve a number of issues, such as anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and stress. As with all meditation apps, your mileage will vary because different solutions work for different people. In terms of usability, the app looks and feels pretty good. You can access a variety of exercises to help you based on what ails you. The only thing we are not happy about is subscriptions. You get a 7-day free trial, but otherwise you basically have to pay for it to use it effectively. However, if it works, it may be worth the money.
Vampire Survivors, according to its developers, is a roguelite survival RPG. Players play from a top-down perspective. They roam the game world as hundreds of bad guys come at them almost every time. How to play is quite simple. You use attacks to kill enemies and moves to avoid items. There are also some neat little options like the ability to choose between portrait or landscape mode. It’s a decent little arcade game. The best part is the price. The game is completely free with no in-app purchases, and we think it’s nice to see a decent enough game come out for free.
If we missed a major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments.
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