Welcome to the 341st edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Russia is jumping in on the Apple antitrust bandwagon this week. Apple apparently abused its power by denying Kaspersky’s Safe Kids app according to an FAS ruling. Apple plans to appeal the ruling since it could force the company to make changes it does not want to make. Hit the link to learn all of the details.
- TikTok is still in hot water this week. A new report found TikTok’s invasion of privacy was actually pretty bad and circumvented Google’s protections. It traced device MAC addresses through a workaround it was not supposed to use. The practice stopped around November of 2019, but anybody who used it before then probably had their MAC addressed compromised. Twitter joined the bidding to buy TikTok along with Microsoft so this probably helped drive the price down a bit.
- Fortnite shot a middle finger to Google and Apple this week. It promoted a direct payment system that gives players a 20% discount on V-Bucks. It’s obviously because Epic Games circumvents the 30% Apple and Google tax by not using their payment methods. You also get the 20% discount if you download it through the Epic Games Store or Samsung’s Galaxy Store. The game was summarily booted from the Apple App Store.
- Amazon Alexa had a security flaw that may have exposed your voice history to hackers. In addition, the same exploit may have exposed home addresses and credit card information as well. Amazon fixed the issue already, but nobody is quite sure how much information was actually exposed. Those who use Alexa should hit the link and learn more.
- A new report exposed hundreds of apps with government tracking. Apparently, a government contractor made agreements with a bunch of apps and some of them are very popular. The apps track user data and sends it directly to the US government. This probably doesn’t surprise anybody as it was suspected for years. It seems we have confirmation now. Unfortunately, none of the reports list the apps affected so we have no idea which ones to tell you to uninstall.
Sports City Tycoon
Price: Free to play
Sports City Tycoon is a mix between a city building sim and an idle game. Players start the game by building various sports attractions in their own little sports park. The attractions bring in money and players upgrade the park over time. There are some additional elements like hosting sports competitions for quick bumps in revenue, but it’s mostly a typical idle game. Some other game features include colorful graphics, the ability to earn money while not playing, and some light money management sim mechanics as well. It’s a good time killer even if it’s not as deep as something like Pocket City or SimCity BuildIt.
Motion Cam is a camera app with a neat premise. It takes photos in RAW, but it also records photos before your actual shot so you can pick the best one. In our testing, it captured images about every four to ten seconds and listed them out on a camera roll like graphic toward the bottom of the viewfinder. The app is more than its gimmick, though, and includes full manual camera controls such as ISO, shutter speed, and other things. This one is in early release status so there are definitely bugs. Plus, you need a higher end phone with full camera2 API support, otherwise it won’t work.
The Grand Mafia
Price: Free to play
The Grand Mafia is a mob style game where you create a crime empire. Players earn money by doing crimes, hire characters to do their bidding, and make all kinds of other choices. The game boasts the ability for multiple players to get further using different methods so there is a little bit of depth there. However, some of it is overshadowed by its pay-to-win elements. You don’t need them to progress, but the progression is a lot more enjoyable if you go that route and it’s a little sad. Otherwise, this is a competent mob game in an Android ecosystem without a ton of good ones. It’s a decent time killer.
Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $34.99 per year
Wondery is a weird app. It’s a podcast player similar to ones like Doggcatcher or Spotify. However, it has its own library of content and virtually none of the stuff you would usually find elsewhere. The app has a bunch of podcasts, but focuses more on the series format rather than episodic. The player itself is fairly standard and you get a few decent controls there. The big thing with this podcast player is its subscription cost. It runs for $4.99 per month or $34.99 per year and gives you ad-free access to everything on the site. We don’t think this will replace Pocket Casts or Podcast Addict on your phone just yet, but it could be a neat idea for some folks.
EVE Echoes is an MMO space game and one of the first decent ones we’ve seen since Star Traders. The game comes with surprisingly good graphics, deep customization and upgrade branches, PvP, and an utterly massive game universe with over 8,000 star systems. We write this article on Thursdays and the game didn’t officially open its servers until August 13th (Thursday), so we didn’t get to play the game all that much. However, it seems to be well made and will almost certainly be better over time.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
- 10 best gangster games for Android
- 15 best camera apps for Android
- 10 best idle tap games for Android
- 10 best podcast apps for Android
- 15 best MMORPGs for Android
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments!