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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week - Android Apps Weekly
Welcome to the 480th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google Pay users benefited from a bug this week. Google Play paid out way too much money for rewards. Some payments even reached more than $1,000. Google fixed the bug but also told users to keep the money. Not a bad week for some Google Pay users.
- Snapchat is allegedly working on a dark mode for the Android version of Snapchat but is putting it behind a paywall. Rumor has it that Snapchat is putting dark mode behind Snapchat Plus, its subscription service. This is especially insulting, considering that the iOS version has a dark mode for free. However, it is a rumor, so it may not shake down that way.
- Google is continuing with its Bard improvements this week. The company debuted a webpage to disclose changes made to Bard over time. The goal is to provide better transparency to Bard’s changes and inform people of the improvements being made. Hit the link to find out where the page is.
- YouTube Premium added new features to the service this week. The first is an enhanced bitrate mode with higher-quality video at the same resolutions as non-paying users. The other features improve usability, and you can learn more at the link.
- Google debuted an auto-archive feature this week. The goal is to reduce the need to uninstall apps. Essentially, it frees up to 60% of the app’s storage usage once it’s been archived. This allows the user to keep the app on the phone until they need it again while also still saving them space. This is an opt-in feature, and you can learn more about it at the link.
Price: Free / $7.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Vatic is an AI video generator, and a fairly fun little tool to play with. The app works like most AI apps. You enter your keywords and the app generates a video based on what you want. It isn’t always successful, although few apps like this are, but you can concoct some simple videos with it. The most common issue we found was some weird artifacts when looking up very specific stuff. You can use the app for free with ads. The premium version lets you do longer videos, remove ads, and includes faster processing.
Price: Free to play
Star Equestrian is a simulation game with horses. The game gives you a horse at the beginning, and you go on adventures with it. That includes building things like stables, customize the horse, do contests, and ride around with other players. The big draw, the contests, ramp up in difficulty pretty aggressively, as is typical in a free to play game. Additionally, we noticed some lag from time to time. Otherwise, this is a pretty game that plays okay.
We haven’t seen a new VR app since the demise of Google Daydream, but apparently some developers are still working on it. This is a semi-educational experience where you get to check out the landscape on Mars. The developer also intends to add things like weather effects and actual game mechanics in future releases. For now, this is a fun little experience for those who like fun little VR experiences. It has potential, though, and with so little competition these days, the door is open for a good VR app or game.
Call of Dragons
Price: Free to play
Call of Dragons is an MMO strategy game. It plays like many other strategy games. You build your kingdom, train your troops, and do battle against other opponents. What sets this apart from most kingdom builders is the existence of things like a story, cutscenes, and things like that. In terms of pure gameplay, you’ve played this type of stuff before. You build up your kingdom, upgrade the buildings, make troops, and off to combat you go. The execution is reasonably good, and kingdom builder fans may enjoy this one.
SuperImage is an upscaler that uses nueral networks. Essentially, it takes an image, scales it up to a higher resolution, and then intelligently sharpens images to make them look clean. There are some options, such as the mode, output format, and things like that. However, in terms of usability, it only does this one thing. The nice part is that it made some old phone wallpapers I had lying around look very nice on my phone. The lack of options is the only real downside, but this is among the best upscaling apps on the Play Store, despite being relatively new.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments.