Welcome to the 280th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Most carriers around the world throttle video streaming apps. A new report showed throttling happening regardless of Internet congestion or traffic problems. Some notable numbers include AT&T throttling Netflix 70% of the time while T-Mobile throttles Amazon Prime Video 51% of the time. Some of this is a result of carrier plans. For instance, T-Mobile includes a plan where streaming video is included, but only up to 480p. Thus, the study may have some holes. Still, it’s not encouraging.
- GeForce Now still exists and it’s setting itself up as a real Google Stadia contender. The game streaming service has been in beta for a few years, but it’s still adding features. It added Steam and Uplay support this last week. The company also plans on opening up RTX servers in Germany and California in the near future. Stadia is stealing headlines, but GeForce might be just as good of an option come November.
- Samsung launched its DeX app on Windows and Mac this week in preparation for its Galaxy Note 10 launch. The apps work for Windows 7, Windows 10, and MacOS (10.13 or higher). This comes a couple of weeks after the beta for the Linux version went live. DeX should be able to help Note owners integrate better with their computers. Hit the link to learn more!
- Scammers are exploiting Google Assistant with fake support numbers. It’s easy enough to understand. Companies take out ads to get their numbers put at the top of support number searches. People use Assistant to search for a support number and these phony numbers show up instead. It’s not necessarily a malicious attack, but rather an exploitation of Google’s ad service. Be mindful if you search for a support number.
- The Google Play Store has a new design and it’s rolling out now. The new design isn’t a massive departure from the old one and still includes a ton of white space and many boxes. However, the navigation buttons are at the bottom for phones and on the left side for tablets and Chromebooks. Additionally, Google claims the new design helps app discovery. There are some issues, such as inconsistency in the icons. Plus, the insane amount of white makes it feel sterile and cold. In any case, hit the link to learn more.
Total Party Kill
Price: Free / $4.99
Total Party Kill is a puzzle game with RPG elements and a dark sense of humor. The premise is using your party to help you complete puzzles. Unfortunately, that invariably means killing off your party members. The three heroes have different abilities and you use them to cross obstacles, hit buttons, and complete levels. Every level requires you to do away with your team in favor of just one hero making it to the end. The full game runs for $4.99 and it’s something a little bit darker in the Play Store.
LUCIDPIX 3D Photo Generator
Price: Free (with ads)
LUCIDPIX 3D Photo Generator is lets you create 3D photos from your camera. However, the 3D part may be a misnomer. The photos actually have a parallax 3D effect. It’s a neat effect and it looks neat, but it doesn’t feel like true 3D to us. It basically takes a 2D image and adds 3D depth effects to give a 3D look and feel. Anyway, the app is in Early Access and has the occasional bug, but it’s a neat trick if you want something a little different for your photos.
Witcheye is a 2D action-platformer similar to the arcade platformers of the 1990’s. A witch has her ingredients stolen by some riffraff and must traverse the world to get them back. The game features 50 levels, boss fights, fun and colorful graphics, simple controls, and a surprisingly decent and varied soundtrack. There is also unlockable bonus material for those who get far enough. It’s also speed run friendly with character ghosts to see where you can improve. There is honestly very little wrong with this title and $2.99 is definitely a reasonable price.
AirDroid Remote Support
AirDroid Remote Support is a new extension of AirDroid. It works with AirMirror to provide a remote desktop support environment for when you need to fix things. It’s also useful for other stuff, but remote desktop help is what it’s made for. The app features voice calls, screen sharing, a chat, some privacy protections, and more. It’s a fairly natural extension of AirDroid and AirMirror. AirDroid, of course, has a subscription cost, but AirDroid Remote Support is a free extension without any additional payments necessary.
Price: Free to play
Gears POP is the highly anticipated mobile game between Gears of War and Funko POP. It’s an online multiplayer game with gacha elements. Players collect various figures from the Gears of War game, upgrade them, equip them, and send them off to do battle against other players. You also get various abilities to help win your battles. It’s otherwise reminiscent of Clash Royale and similar games. It’s actually quite fun and not a bad entrant into the genre. However, the loot box mechanics are frustrating and the game puts its microtransactions in the forefront fairly early on for a free to play game. Still, it’s worth a try for fans of the genre.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments!