Welcome to the 450th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the top headlines from last week:
- Google puts many of its own projects on the line. The company wants to operate more efficiently. The answer seems to be to cut unnecessary projects. The Area 120 department reduced its projects from 14 to seven. Overall, Sunday Pichai wants to increase Google’s efficiency by 20%. This probably means that some apps are also on the chopping block.
- Google Play has introduced a 24-hour review delay for the Play Store. The goal is to prevent review bombing and prevent suspicious reviews. It’s no secret that fake reviews are a problem on Google Play. Developers can still respond to newly submitted reviews, but they won’t appear on the Play Store page for a day. Click the link to read more.
- Google has lost its first appeal to overturn a record EU fine from 2018. The fine was imposed because Google requires OEMs to pre-load Google Search and other Google products on phones in order to use Google Play. After discussions, the courts confirmed the EU’s decision and Google went to the second round.
- Discord officially launched on Xbox this week. It’s been in beta for a while, and we’re excited to see it go live. The process isn’t very complicated, but it’s done almost exclusively with the Discord and Xbox apps on your phone. Hit the link to learn how to connect Discord to Xbox.
- Apple’s Dynamic Island made a real mark this week. It only took the developers about a day to replicate the effect on Android phones. It only works on Xiaomi devices via the MIUI theme, but it’s still very nice to look at. We asked our readers if they thought Dynamic Island was cool and, believe it or not, over 50% of our readers said no.
Sniper Zombie 2: Crime Scene
Price: Free game
Sniper Zombie 2: Crime City is a sniper game with tons of zombies in it. The game boasts over 100 story missions in the campaign mode, daily missions for extra loot, and an online PvP mode if you feel like it. There is also a range of weapons to unlock. As far as gameplay goes, it’s pretty simple stuff. You run around the map and aim the scope, line up your shot and take it. Your success or failure depends on how injured you are and how well your punches are placed. It’s free to play with the usual grind that shooters have in such games, but it’s a nice little time killer.
Otternal Life is a habit tracking app. The app lets you create new habits and then helps you track them to make sure they become habits. You can also track your progress, keep a basic mood log, and more. It works completely offline and is free to use with no advertising. It’s a pretty basic app. Still, the features work well and we think the UI is pretty clean too.
ScourgeBringer is a roguelite platformer with some hack-and-slash mechanics. Your main ability allows you to blink across the map in an instant. You use the ability to avoid enemies and progress through the game. There are other abilities that you unlock on the fly to help you defeat bosses and enemies. The storytelling isn’t nearly bad for a roguelite, and the frenetic gameplay is definitely interesting to engage with. It’s also a premium game, so once you buy it, there are no in-app purchases or ads to spoil your fun.
Qewd is an interesting app. It allows you to sign in to various streaming services. From there you can manage your queue, discover new content to watch and manage your playlists. The app is pretty buggy at the time of this writing as it has to integrate a bunch of different platforms. We think that’s promising, especially since it’s hard to keep up with every streaming app you have. Pay attention to this. If the developers can get this right, this will be one of those hidden gem apps.
Star Trek: The Lower Decks
Price: Free game
Star Trek: Lower Decks is an idle game. The story revolves around being locked in a holodeck where you have to relive old Star Trek stories and return to the real world. It’s a little campy, but nostalgia is a big thing with games like this. As you play, you unlock different crew members to assist you as you click your way out of the holodeck. In terms of mechanics, it’s a fairly standard idle clicker, so unless you’re into the genre and nostalgia, you might not like it.
If we’ve missed any major news or releases about Android apps or games, let us know in the comments.
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