Welcome to the 426th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- WhatsApp has some news this week. First, WhatsApp improves its voice messaging. Playback is a little different and you have new options like fast forward mode. Hit the link to learn more. Also, WhatsApp is experimenting with bigger file sizes when it comes to sharing. The service wants to increase it to 2GB. That’s good news for users.
- Sony announced a new PlayStation Plus this week and it’s better competing against Xbox’s Game Pass. It basically adds a whole new level to the existing PlayStation Plus allowing you to do things like download and play games without paying for them and that includes cloud play. It won’t be available in all markets at launch, but it’s coming anyway.
- Microsoft fixed one of the most annoying problems with Windows 11. Starting this week, the stable version now lets users change their browser with one click. Previously, it required multiple clicks. Not much more of this news. It was so annoying before and now it’s fixed.
- Xiaomi joins Samsung in choking dog houses. Geekbench co-founder John Poole found that Xiaomi was smothering Geekbench when it was disguised as a game, but not when it was shown as a benchmark. This is the same kind of behavior Samsung exhibited that got Samsung in the heat a few weeks ago. Here’s hoping Xiaomi fixes the problem like Samsung did.
- Many services erased their tracks from Russia after the Russian and Ukrainian wars. Current sanctions prevented Russian developers from getting paid, so they worked on their own version of the Play Store. The new app store seems to be launching on May 9 this year so work is going fast.
Tamashi: Rise of the Yokai
Price: Free to play
Tamashi: Rise of Yokai is an MMOARPG with an anime theme. This one is quite a lot to do. There’s the usual storyline with various quests to do. There are also several PvP modes so you can challenge yourself against other players. The graphics are great, the controls are great although the buttons are a bit small, and they work pretty well. There are some complaints, though. In-app purchases do help you excel in PvP games so there is a pay-to-win element. Also, the game progresses so quickly that the progression just doesn’t feel very good. It definitely needs some tweaking, but has some potential.
Areas by Autodesk
Area by Autodesk is a sort of social network for 3D artists. You download the app, create a profile and start sharing your work with other creators. You can of course create an account and browse too. It’s a decent place to store your 3D portfolio as it’s designed specifically for that purpose. It also offers some learning materials for people to further improve their skills. It’s nothing more than a niche app, but it does well for what it does.
Guns Up Mobile
Price: Free to play
Guns Up Mobile is a PvP tower defense game. Players build their defenses and survive the onslaught of enemies. Players simultaneously build their defense while building their army. You may be familiar with the gameplay from there. Everything can be upgraded so the gameplay is attack, defense and upgrade. You can also join alliances with other players to compete for leaderboard rankings. It’s a bit slow as you progress through the upgrades, but otherwise it’s a decent time killer.
Price: Free / $3.99
Symfonium is a lightweight music player with some really neat features. It not only plays local music, it also works with a variety of self-hosted services like Subsonic, Plex, Emby and more. So, it’s actually a pretty good all-in-one solution for people who want to use a particular service but the mobile app for that service isn’t great. As a music player, Symfonium is pretty good. This is one music player that will get you there without complaint and is easy to use. It also has Material You so it’s also great in the theming department.
Price: Free to play
M&M’s Adventure is the latest simple arcade game with the famous brand attached. At its core, it’s a match-three puzzle game. You tap on matching candies to clear the board and once you clear so many, the level is over. There is a three star system based on how few moves you can complete and earn replay value. There are also periodic challenges to complete, items to collect, and more. It’s kid friendly, just make sure to have the password on your Google Play account as this game does have microtransactions.
If we missed any news or a major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments.
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