Welcome to the 248th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google is in a whole heap of trouble this week. China is investigating Google for antitrust and the probe is led by none other than Huawei. The probe deals with everything from chipmaking to TikTok’s treatment by the American government. Meanwhile, the US is considering suing Google for search and advertising dominance. It’s investigating whether or not Google’s dominance is coincidental or intentional via sabotage, basically. Finally, the EU is drafting a law that lets people uninstall any pre-installed phone apps. Hit the various links to learn more.
- Windows announced 64-bit app emulation for Windows on Arm devices next month. This would allow Windows devices to run legacy 64-bit Windows apps alongside the stuff it can run now. We don’t know how it’ll affect performance and battery consumption, but we imagine it’ll depend on the app you want to run.
- Google disabled selfie retouching by default in the newest Pixel devices. The company believes it’ll help improve users’ mental health by not changing a bunch of stuff about their face. Additionally, the beauty mode will tell users what it intends to change when switched on. Those super concerned can try out new editing options in the Google Photos app.
- TikTok and Oracle are still in negotiations for a sale. In the mean time, a federal judge temporarily halted a ban on the TikTok app in the US. This goes along with the WeChat ban block we talked about last week. The app should remain on the Play Store and Apple App Store until the court has a chance to look things over.
- Startup developers in India are potentially planning a third party app store. The Play Store’s hard stance against actual gambling apparently accelerated talks. This new app store would also bypass the 30% tax Google puts on developers in the Play Store. Meanwhile, Google plans to start its crackdown of developers bypassing the Play Store in-app purchase system sometime in 2021. It’s been a rough year for developers on Google Play.
Price: Free to play
Arcane Showdown is an online PvP combat game with some strategy elements. It lets players build an army and then deploy them across the battlefield to take on opponents. There are also deck building elements, some stuff on the battlefield to help turn the tide of battle, and upgrades for troops. The controls are relatively easy to learn and the menus aren’t super bloated like most other games in this genre. We’re not fans of the timed chests, but luckily the only ones with timers are from PvP matches.
Shortcut Manager is an Android customization app. It lets you make various shortcuts for your home screen for things that don’t normally have shortcuts. Some examples include volume controls, specific settings menu items, and more. It also lets you customize the icon either with an icon pack or by using images from your gallery. The list varies from phone to phone since many phones have activities that other phones do not. In any case, it’s a cheap way to add some extra functionality to your home screen and it worked fine in our testing.
Price: Free to play
Fantasy League is a mobile RPG and it falls pretty squarely in the gacha category. It has all of the usual elements, including a story mode, online PvP, plenty of characters to summon, turn-based RPG combat, and stuff like that. This one also includes guilds, guild wars, and world bosses for some social play as well. There are some issues with it, including some bugs and some parts of the game that need some polish. It’s not quite good enough yet but if the developers fix it up a little, it has potential.
djay for Android
Price: Free / $6.99
Technically, djay for Android isn’t new. However, its version 3.0 update is pretty massive and includes as ton of new features. The new features include support for TIDAL and SoundCloud along with an Automix AI function, better controls, and integration with Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 devices. There is a longer list of features there as well. The new update seems like it works okay, but people have found bugs here and there that probably should’ve been patched before release. It’ll stabilize over time, but there’s a lot of cool new stuff here.
Price: Free to play
Genshin Impact is the latest game from MiHoYo, developers of the popular and successful Honkai Impact series. The game includes a fully open world that lets you climb and swim over and through just about any obstacle in your path. The game also includes gacha mechanics and some have likened it to a Zelda: Breath of the Wild clone. You even get a glider to traverse longer distances. This is a huge game and we only tested it for a few hours, but it actually played pretty well during our testing.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
- 10 best online multiplayer PvP games for Android
- 10 best musician apps for Android
- 15 best Android RPGs for action and jRPG fans
- 10 best Android customization apps
- 15 best gacha games for Android
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments.