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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week - Android Apps Weekly
Welcome to the 481st edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Facebook settled a court case regarding the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal this week. The reward is $725 million. Folks who were on Facebook during the scandal may be entitled to compensation. You can follow the link for instructions on how to claim any winnings you may be entitled to.
- Netflix plans to charge folks for password sharing as of this summer. We knew this was happening months ago, but Netflix dragged its heels on actually doing so. The company announced it would roll out the feature by June of this year in a shareholder letter. Netflix says it is expecting a loss of subscribers at first but that long-term revenue should go up. It’s going to make a lot of people mad, and we think the anger is justified.
- Google is expanding the Google Play Points feature. It’s now usable for DoorDash and Instacart discounts. You can also use it to obtain Google merchandise. The merchandise is just okay. There are some sunglasses, socks, and shirts, along with a water bottle up for grabs. It’s not much, but Google Play Points are kind of a niche feature right now, so it’s good to see more reasons to use them.
- Samsung is talking about replacing Google with Bing as its default search engine on Galaxy phones. It can’t because agreements with Google prohibit such behavior, but it was enough to get people talking. It was also enough to add to the various motivators Google has to get AI going in its popular Search. There are various plans in action, including generating images based on Google image searches. Hit both links to learn more.
- Google’s messaging apps are at it again. Google began encouraging folks to uninstall the old Google Meet so they could install and start using the new Google Meet. Yeah, it’s confusing, as Google’s messaging ecosystem seems to always be. In short, they want you to uninstall the Google Hangouts Meet app so you can use the new Google Meet app that was formerly Google Duo.
Price: Free to play
Dragon Cliff is a mobile RPG. You form a party of heroes, level them up, and take on various bosses and dungeons. The game features an open map that you can explore, simple combat mechanics, and plenty of ways to customize your party. It has an old-school look and feel, with a decently large emphasis on traditional RPG elements like min-maxing stats. There is also an idle element where you get rewards even if you’re not online. The game does feel repetitive after a bit, and it’s not as social as some others. Some folks may appreciate the older feel, but others may not.
PlainApp is a free and open-source app that lets you manage your phone through your PC’s web browser. It has some good features, such as AES 256-bit encryption for security purposes. In terms of usability, it’s actually pretty easy to set up. Everything takes place on your phone, so all you need is a web browser to access everything. There are some gimmicky features, like Chat GPT support, but everything comes with Chat GPT support these days. There are also built-in stuff like a note-taking feature, an RSS reader, and more. It does a lot of stuff, but the core functionality is there and it worked well in our testing.
The Tale of Food
Price: Free to play
The Tale of Food is a mobile gacha game with restaurant sim elements. You collect characters named after food, which fulfills the gacha element. There is also a restaurant to manage and a house to furnish as well, which satisfies the restaurant sim portion of it. This game is in a subgenre known as husbando games, which is a rarity outside of East Asia. The general idea is that it’s a cozy game where you collect male characters. The opposite, waifu games (such as Azur Lane), are quite plentiful, so it’s nice to see some representation from the other side of the fence. In any case, this is a fairly chill game with a decent characters and world stories. Fans of the genre should enjoy it.
SoundCrowd Music Player
SoundCrowd Music Player is an alternative music player for SoundCloud. It features more fluid controls, a modern Material Design, and more. The developers say it’s made for listening to longer tracks, like DJ mixes, live sets, and audiobooks. It’s made mostly for SoundCloud but also includes plugins for YouTube, Spotify, and Beatport as well. It is a young app, and some users have had some issues with the UI and some of the stuff. However, it worked fine in our testing, so we think the Google Play rating will improve over time.
Worms WMD: Mobilize
Worms WMD: Mobilize is the latest mobile game in the Worms franchise. For the uninitiated, Worms is a bit like a competitive version of Angry Birds. You and an opponent square off to see who can blow up each other’s worms quicker. There are various weapons to use with different strategies depending on the terrain. The game includes 10 training missions, 20 campaign missions, and a local or online multiplayer mode where you can face real people. We like this one because it’s a single $5.99 purchase, so there is no way to pay to win this game. Our only complaint is the general lack of polish. We hope the developers clean up the experience a little bit, but it’s still definitely playable.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.