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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week - Android Apps Weekly
Welcome to the 495th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google’s Results About You tool received a boost in functionality here recently. The service now alerts you if you it detects new personally identifiable information in Google Search results. It then gives you the tools you need to get rid of it. Click the link to learn more, but just about everybody should check it out.
- YouTube Shorts got a few new features this week. Some of them even came from TikTok and Instagram Reels. The features include a new Collab feature similar to TikTok’s Stitch feature, new tools to convert landscape content into portrait-oriented content, and more. Hit the link to learn more about the changes.
- Google may remove the Chrome from Chrome OS soon. Google has spent a couple of years trying to decouple Google Chrome from Chrome OS already. Some references in the code suggest that folks will be able to enable a standalone browser starting with Chrome OS 116.
- Fitbit is redesigning its app. The company boasts refreshed visuals, simpler navigation, new features, and better tracking for achievements and badges. The beta rolled out on August 1st, so these changes should come to everyone in the relatively near future.
- A leaked Google memo shows that it’s still committed to Google Assistant. It’s not a question a ton of people have asked, but ChatGPT and Bard kind of do what Assistant does. Google says they’re adding AI smarts to Assistant to make it even better than before. To be perfectly honest, this is the path I thought Google was going to take instead of Bard, so it’s nice to see they’re getting around to it eventually. You can read the leaked memo at the link.
Price: Free to play
Defense Derby is an competitive tower defense game. You and three other players essentially bid for towers. The winner of the bids gets to lay the tower as part of their defense. The winner is the last player standing. Winning games nets you rank, which lets you ascend to the next league for stiffer competition. It’s a unique twist on online PvP games and tower defense. There are a few PvE game modes as well if you’re not feeling particularly competitive on any given day. There are also some things for players to collect and some upgrades. Fortunately, you don’t need in-app purchases to do well, but it does require some grinding.
FeedFlow is a new RSS app. We don’t see a lot of RSS apps these days, so it’s a relatively unique release. This one features a clean UI where you can scroll through your feed in peace. Clicking links opens articles on their native website, which is both a pro and a con. On the plus side, you’re supporting the author and the website by visiting. On the downside, you lose out on RSS-specific reader functions that some other apps have. However, we think it’s an overall good app. It feels lightweight, almost like a standalone, more customizable version of Google Discover . You can also import your RSS feed with OPML files, which this app supports.
Snowbreak: Containment Zone/h2>
Price: Free to play
Snowbreak: Containment Zone is a hybrid between a shooter and a gacha RPG. The characters you collect have various abilities but also use different types of guns. You use those characters to clear missions and earn rewards. It uses similar controls to other gacha RPGs where each characters has a base attack, a support ability, and an ultimate ability. In terms of gameplay, it’s actually pretty fun. There is a co-op mode to play with friends, which already makes it a more fun experience than most gacha RPGs. The graphics are decent and the controls are okay. It has a lot of potential, but we’ll see how the game grows over time.
Shortwave hit the Internet this week like a ton of bricks. It’s developed by ex-Googlers and it’s essentially a follow-up to Inbox by Google. It has quite a few features and they seem pretty nice. You get the usual 2023 stuff like an AI helper that generates summaries of your email, which I actually found insanely useful for PR emails. That’s likely why professional bloggers already like it so much. Other features include delivery schedules, the usual stuff like pinning and snoozing emails, smart labels, and the old Inbox by Google trick of grouping similar emails together into groups. This app is free for the time being, and it’s quite functional.
Train Manager 2023
Price: Free to play
Train Manager 2023 is the latest iteration of the reasonably popular Train Manager franchise. It is, at its core, a train tycoon game where you create and manage your own rail system. Like most, you start with basically nothing and expand your empire worldwide. You can track your trains as they progress through their routes live. There are also various upgrades and other things you can get to increase your profits. There are some items that are only attainable with in-app purchases, but luckily, at least early on, you don’t need them to progress through the game. Later on in the game, though, it may become a problem.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about them in the comments.