Welcome to the 301st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- We took a closer look at Microsoft Launcher 6.0 this week. It’s technically not that new, but the update did bring some changes. For instance, the UI is a little more cohesive than it used to be and the launcher setup is a little more traditional. Additionally, it gives you a second row of apps on the dock instead of the old toggles. In any case, hit the link to see our full impressions.
- Google may allow call recording on the stock dialer app soon. The company re-introduced the capacity to call record in Android 10 so this isn’t too far of a stretch. An APK tear down revealed the appropriate code for the feature. Of course, this doesn’t mean the feature is 100% on its way. However, it would be something wildly out of Google’s wheelhouse and it could be fun to see.
- Google re-branded its Fast Share feature this week. The feature is now Nearby Sharing, a less catchy and fun name. The feature should compete with Apple’s AirDrop feature and let Android users trade files with one another quickly and easily. The name change was spotted in the latest Google Play Services update from the last week.
- Firefox had a bit of a rough week. The developers discovered a zero-day exploit and it was used in some targeted attacks. We highly recommend updating your Firefox right now both on desktop and mobile. The issue is caused by an incorrect alias information in IonMonkey JIT compiler, according to a Chinese research firm. In any case, if you have the latest update, you should be in the clear.
- Google had to give up search engine control in the EU after a massive antitrust court case. This week, we saw the options for EU Android users. They include DuckDuckGo, info.com, Google Search, Yandex, PrivacyWall, and a few others. Not all search engines are available in all countries, but most of them are available in most. Hit the link to see the whole list!
Color by Number Oil Painting
Price: Free / $19.99 per month
Color by Number Oil Painting is a coloring book app with some decent looking images. It’s not quite as free form as most. It assigns colors for each number and then you fill in the numbers as necessary. It’s not the best for creative types but it is rather cathartic. You can watch ads for some shortcuts if you need them, but you’re supposed to take your time with it. The app is free with some obnoxious ads or you can subscribe. The subscription price is absolutely absurd and we don’t recommend it in the slightest. If you can get beyond the ads, this is a good coloring book app.
Warface: Global Oeprations
Price: Free to play
Warface is a mobile version of the popular free to play console and PC shooter. This version is also free to play and not quite as good as the console and PC counterparts. However, it does have its perks. Most of its in-app purchases are for character customizations so the app avoids the pay-to-win aspect. From there, the game has its ups and downs. The graphics are fantastic but the controls are a tad clunky. We’re not fans of the battle pass subscription, but the game has a decent array of weapons and gear. Fans of the mobile FPS genre may like it, but it’s not quite as good as Call of Duty: Mobile.
GitHub is a development platform predominately for open source applications. The company had an Android app already. However, this one is brand new and in beta. It works as you would expect. You can browse the site, contribute in your own ways, and otherwise engage with your projects. It has the basics like a clean UI and a dark mode. It’s in beta so it’s still an unfinished product. However, we quite liked it. The app is entirely free to download and use.
Price: Free to play
TERA Classic is a mobile release of the popular MMORPG. The game includes four classes, mounts, tons of quests, decent graphics, easy enough controls, and more. It plays a lot like most mobile MMORPGs but it does let you do 50 player guild fights and we thought that was kind of cool. This one is also fairly new and the Play Store listing isn’t even in English yet. However, if you can get beyond the language barrier, this one is pretty good. We expect full translations for everything sooner rather than later.
Technically, Microsoft Edge isn’t new. However, Microsoft launched the Chromium version of it across all platforms and so the app is back in beta. This version should sync and work with the desktop version as long as you download the Chromium variant from Microsoft. The mobile browser version looks and feels like Chrome but with a Microsoft spin and that describes the desktop variant as well. I had problems signing into my Microsoft account so I couldn’t test the syncing. However, it is in beta so it’s to be expected.
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!