Welcome to the 347th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- The beta version of the official Xbox app now streams games on your phone from your Xbox. It works just like it did with the Xbox Insiders program except now it doesn’t need the Insiders program to work. This is a pretty big step toward game streaming with Xbox. Microsoft also made waves by purchasing ZeniMax (parent company of Bethesda) for $7.5 billion earlier this week. Hit the two links to learn more.
- Amazon announced Luna this week. It’s a new game streaming service similar to Google Stadia. People buy a controller, connect it to a Fire TV device, and stream games. The new service features 50 games at launch, 1080p and 60fps game play (with the premium version), and 4k streaming to come later. Luna also integrates with Twitch. This is a pretty good competitor in this space and should give Stadia a run for its money.
- Sling TV launched a new social distancing feature this week. The app now has Watch Party, a video chat service that lets you chat with people while watching the same show on TV. Unfortunately, the feature isn’t available on every platform where you can get Sling TV, but it is available in the app version at least. The new feature brings it in contention with other streaming services with shared watching experiences.
- The US temporarily halted its ban on WeChat and TikTok. TikTok found itself a buyer with Oracle and Walmart that should keep it from being in the hot seat for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, a judge blocked the US from banning WeChat from app stores for the time being. The TikTok development is huge since it was going to sell to Microsoft and then didn’t. Trump said he approved of the Oracle deal so this whole saga might finally be over.
- Epic Games and Spotify are uniting to push for major app store reforms. Both companies strongly dislike the 30% cut that Apple and Google take in the App Store and Google Play, respectively, and want a bigger cut for themselves (and ostensibly, other developers). Match (developers of most dating apps you know about) and Tile also joined in this new coalition, dubbed the Coalition for App Fairness. Hit the link to learn more about their demands.
Price: Free to play
Battle Tank2 is an arcade PvP game with a bunch of tanks. Players play real-time three versus three battles against other players with only your tank to keep you safe. There are additional tanks and various upgrades to unlock as you progress. You basically battle the opposing team until someone wipes out the other side’s main base. It’s not an overly complicated or deep game and it’s pretty easy to get into. The game doesn’t have too much of a tutorial and battles are relatively quick. However, the game is a bit buggy and unpolished. We recommend waiting a bit to see if the developers fix it later on, but it has a good foundation.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $54.99 per year
Kippo is a dating app specifically for gamers. The app asks you things like the games you like and other such things. It then pairs you up with people who play the same games and like the same stuff. It’s not a difficult premise, but it’s a neat idea nevertheless. The app is free to use for the basic stuff like profile creation and basic matching. However, there is a premium subscription option with more features. It’s kind of like a gamer version of Tinder but it goes a bit deeper than just physical attraction. In any case, it’s a decent option in the dating space for gamers.
BTS Universe Story
Price: Free to play
BTS Universe Story is a visual novel style simulation game. Players pick one of seven characters (all boys) and make various decisions to impact the outcome of their lives. You can also create your own stories and, to be honest, that’s the real draw of this app. The story creator is rather decent and lets you do your own thing instead of what the game tells you. Some of the stories require purchase first, but this is a decent, chill game for life sim fans.
Price: Free trial / $54.99
Cubasis 3 (by the makers of Cubase) is an audio DAW that actually launched a couple of months ago. It was super buggy to start, though, and we wanted to give the developers time before we wrote about it. Cubase is one of the most popular DAWs on PC so it’s kind of a big deal that there is an Android version. The trial version (linked at the button) gives you 30 minutes of demo time to see if you like it and you can restart the demo and do it again as many times as you like. In terms of features, this one is full featured and includes unlimited MIDI tracks, an absolutely ton of features, and a sky high price tag. We absolutely recommend checking out the demo first.
Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Price: Free to play
Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is a new arcade match-three game from Zynga. It plays like most match-three games. You match various shapes together to clear them from the board until you win the level. There are the same old special abilities like you see in most games in this genre, but all the ones here are Harry Potter themed. The abilities are upgradeable as you play and collectibles that can help you in the game as well. The game also lets you relive old Harry Potter moments as well. It’s not overly imaginative, but it’s a rock solid match-three game if you’re into that sort of thing.
Thank you for reading, check these out too:
- 10 best online multiplayer PvP games for Android
- 10 best dating apps for Android
- The 10 best life simulator games for Android
- 10 best musician apps for Android
- 10 best match-three games like Candy Crush Saga
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, tell us about it in the comments!