Welcome to the 423rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- Google updated several of its apps over the past few weeks. Several features including better iMessage support in Android Messages, grammar correction feature in Gboard, portrait blur mode in Google Photos, and Live Transcribe now works offline. Click the link to see the full list.
- Color OS gets pretty neat features paired with apps. It uses the app to detect hidden cameras in a room. The app appears to be using Wi-Fi to detect if the camera is sending video. It’s not available globally yet, so for now it’s limited to the Find X5 in China.
- Google is working on a new Android feature to archive unused apps. This basically lets you archive apps without deleting them. This feature is currently under development so we don’t know all the details. However, it can be a neat way to save space.
- We conducted a poll asking our readers if they really subscribe to YouTube Premium. As it turns out, many of our readers do. About 60% of respondents say they actually use YouTube Premium compared to about 40% who say they don’t. Hit the link to read more about what our readers think about YouTube Premium.
- Last week we talked about Samsung throttling over 10,000 apps via Game Optimization Service (GOS). This week, things escalated. Samsung admits to throttling, but says it’s only limited to games. Geekbench banned the Samsung flagship from using its app for benchmark manipulation a few days later. Lastly, Samsung started rolling out the GOS update for the S22 series on March 10 for more granular management than automated management. The update is only available in South Korea for now.
NJPW Strong Spirit
Price: Free to play
NJPW Strong Spirits is a New Japanese Pro-Wrestling game. It has a unique premise. You wrestle the characters like any other wrestling game. However, this game throws live-action video into the mix. Basically, it’s a turn-based fighter where you choose your moves. It then shows a real video of the actual wrestler doing the moves with some gameplay elements laid out on top.
This is definitely one of those games where the presentation is more fun than the gameplay, but you’ve really never played a game quite like this before. It’s free to play, but that’s no big deal.
Price: Free / $10.99
EasyCanvas turns your tablet into a digitizer for animation use in other applications. An example use case is connecting your tablet to a PC with this app and then using your tablet to draw in Photoshop. Dedicated drawing tablets can be very expensive. However, devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab have built-in support for things like pressure levels, palm rejection, and other similar features. This app helps you use it to create art. This is a newer app, but seems to work fine.
Price: Free to play
Mini Basketball is an arcade basketball game. You play the role of a manager as you build your dream team and face various opponents. Most of the game is centered around collecting, upgrading, and customizing your team. However, you can actually play basketball. The touch controls are pretty basic, but effective. You can move, shoot, pass and defend. There’s also a sprint button for short bursts of speed.
This one is free to play and, unfortunately, you can buy your way into a pretty good team. However, since you have to actually play the game, there is at least some skill needed to win the game.
Alpha KWGT is a theme pack for KWGT users. This app includes 45 widgets and more than 50 wallpapers. There are a variety of home screen settings to choose from and they can look pretty slick. It uses a minimalist style with clean colors and simple widgets to create the effect. The application runs for $0.49. You also need to install KWGT, otherwise nothing will work.
Price: Free to play
Phobies is a card dueling game. You collect cards with characters representing common fears. You use those cards to duel your opponent and win the battle. There are over 120 Phobies at launch. There’s also a solo mode, online PvP, and you can face your friends in private battles.
Animations and graphics look pretty good. However, the game does ask you to pay a very high number of cards. You can grind it out if you play long enough, but it still sucks that you can buy better decks if you want. Hopefully, Smoking Gun Interactive balances this out a bit before it gets out of hand.
If we missed a major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments.
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