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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week - Android Apps Weekly
Welcome to the 453rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google announced a new privacy and security hub for Android 13. The company announced it during the Pixel launch event earlier this week. The new hub merges privacy and security stuff into a single UI. There are also action cards to help users lower their safety risks. It’ll go to Pixel devices first later this year, with more devices down the line.
- Elon Musk is buying Twitter for real this time. It’s for the same price as the original offer. Plus, the paperwork is filed with the SEC, so there is no turning back this time. This closes a chapter in one of the most controversial buyouts in recent memory. Hit the link to learn more.
- On a happier note, Twitter is finally releasing an edit button. It’s in testing right now, but there are some folks on Twitter with it already. Twitter Blue users are the first to get the new feature. We assume it’ll roll out to everyone over time. This is something that needed to be done for ages, so we’re glad to see Twitter finally catching up.
- YouTube is trying very hard to promote its YouTube Premium service. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean good things for users. YouTube is toying with the idea of putting 4K content behind its subscription service. We expect this to anger most people. However, most phones don’t have 4K anyway, so it’s not a huge loss for mobile users unless you’re casting or streaming it to a TV. Still, it’s not a move we approve of.
- Google officially announced the death of Google Stadia. It comes as no surprise. The service wasn’t popular, didn’t compete favorably with existing platforms, and required a constant Internet connection. On the plus side, Google is refunding everything people spent on Stadia. People are still losing their save files, but at least they can get that back. We polled our readers, and about 50% of them think this is a good decision. Hit the links to read more.
Match Puzzle House
Price: Free to play
Match Puzzle House is a match-three game. It plays like many others, but with matching four shapes instead of three. You move the shapes around on the screen to line up similar ones to clear the board and score points. This one also includes a house decoration element. You unlock things to decorate your little living space. There is also a story to help as motivation to keep playing the game. It also includes a leaderboard, races, and boost items to help you get through tougher levels. It’s not bad as far as match-three games go.
Google Pixel Watch
Google launched the new Google Pixel Watch app in conjunction with its recent Pixel Watch announcement. We haven’t tested the app yet since the watch is currently unavailable. However, we can surmise some things. This seems to be the Google equivalent of Samsung’s Wearables app, where you manage your watch. You’ll be able to change watch faces, change notification settings, manage tiles, and more. We’ll have to wait until watches start shipping to people to see how the app works, but if it’s like the Galaxy Wearables app, it should work as expected.
Masha and the Bear: My Friends
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $19.99 per year
Masha and the Bear: My Friends is a Tamagotchi-style game. Players feed and dress up their little animal companions and do other things to take care of them. There are some other smaller mini-games like playing the harmonica, tennis, and other stuff. This is a game for younger kids, so none of the mechanics are difficult to do. There also isn’t a penalty for not doing things as quickly as possible. It’s not a bad game overall. However, we think some people may be put off by its subscription service. The good news is that it’s in lieu of in-app purchases, but we get it if people aren’t stoked about paying a subscription for a game.
Price: Free / $7.99 per month / $59.99 per year
Readdle basically re-launched its Spark Mail app earlier this week. The new app adds features, changes up the UI a bit, and more. One of the bigger new features is support for iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows, so you get good cross-platform support for the app. There is also a new subscription feature for power users. It includes a home screen function to better manage email, a gatekeeper function to accept or block incoming emails, a mute function, and more. Luckily, most of the hallmark features, like the smart inbox that Spark is known for, remain free.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a free email client go premium. The ill-fated Newton Mail tried to do the same back when it was called CloudMagic. In any case, Spark Mail seems to have at least attempted to strike a balance between free and premium features, so we think this is going to go better than Newton did.
Spiritfarer Netflix Edition
Price: Free (with a Netflix subscription
Spiritfare Netflix Edition is, well, the Netflix edition version of Spiritfarer. You play the role of Stella, a Spiritfarer tasked with seeing spirits through to the other side. You’ll meet and care for those spirits until it’s time to release them officially to the afterlife. The game also lets you craft, fish, farm, mine, cook, and upgrade your ferry over time. The game was ported to mobile by Playdigious, even if it’s published under the Netflix banner. Playdigious does pretty good work, and indeed this is one of the better games to launch under the Netflix banner. This one is actually worth trying if you have a Netflix subscription, as the game is free as long as you have one.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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