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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week - Android Apps Weekly

The biggest apps news of this week? Nothing Chats has been removed from the Play Store amid security concerns.
By
November 25, 2023
Nothing Chats on Play Store
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Welcome to the 511th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Once again we bring you the latest news and apps from the previous week. Let’s start with some of the biggest headlines from last week:

  • Nothing recently announced it would be the first to bring iMessage support to an Android phone and we were immediately skeptical, only to be proven right when numerous investigations quickly rose up and reported on the app’s many security flaws. In light of these reports, Nothing has since taken down its app, and even Sunbird — the company behind the technology — has followed suit.
  • While ChatGPT has offered voice support for a while, it was previously reserved for paying customers. This week that all changed, as the company rolled out voice conversations through its AI mobile app. You can start using it immediately. 
  • A new Snapchat code dive suggests Samsung phones may soon have the ability to launch the Snapchat camera right from the lockscreen. Another rumor suggests Instagram could get a similar feature in the future. 
  • Google Maps has rolled out a new color scheme with roads that are now gray, water bodies are a lighter blue, forested areas are a darker shade of green, and the route color is a new blue shade. Most Maps users have opposed the changed color scheme so far.
  • Google is looking to make it easier to unsubscribe to junk mail, adding a prominent “Unsubscribe” button that is much harder to overlook. The upcoming Gmail update will also reportedly add a predictive back navigation feature and a few other minor changes.
  • A new Google Messenger beta has arrived that brings changes to the chat conversation screen and profile section, including the use of more Material You and more.

Android Apps Weekly: New apps and games of the week

Looking for some new Android apps and Android games to keep you occupied? Below, we take a look at some of our favorite suggestions for the week. This week, we have four games and one app suggestion. 

Fly Vaunt

  • Price: $1000 a year
fly vaunt app

Vaunt isn’t just a new app, it’s also a brand-new service that hooks you up with private flights at no additional cost beyond a $ 1,000-a-year membership fee. Once you sign up, you can select from a number of potential flights and put your name on the waitlist. If you’re selected, you’ll be notified and can then fly with yourself and typically up to four others with no other fees or costs involved. You can sign up and look around without an actual membership if you’re curious about where the flights are coming from and going to.

So how does it work? Basically, Vaunt says that roughly 30% of private flights have no actual passengers, as they are just repositioning from one destination to the next. This app works with private plane owners to basically create a service that lets you board these passengerless flights at no cost beyond the membership. 

How to get Espers

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

 

How to Get Espers is a visual novel game with a fairly decent story, or at least that’s what I gathered from the thirty or so minutes with it. That said, it’s far from perfect. The UI is a bit buggy, the dialogue translations are fairly poor, and the ads can be fairly distracting. Still, its creator is known for great visual novels and this is their first fully free attempt. You should appreciate this game despite its flaws if you’re really into visual novels or have enjoyed other Buff Studio games like 7 Days or Underworld Office. 

Sky Fortress: Odyssey

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Sky Fortress: Odyssey is a fairly different gacha adventure, with its own unique mechanics and elements like the VIP system for in-app purchases. It’s also a gorgeous experience for a mobile game, though its story is pretty basic and I found myself wanting to skip cutscenes as often as possible. One thing I need to mention is that I had trouble with this one crashing from time to time. From what I’ve read, some users have had zero issues while others have had bugs like mine, so your mileage may vary. 

Bug Heroes Tower Defense

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

 

Foursaken Media is known for games like Block Fortress: Empires, Bug Heroes, and many others. Now it’s back in rare form with Bug Heroes Tower Defense, a new-to-play experience that combines tower defense and strategy with third-person action sequences. As is typical in these types of games, you fight through waves of enemies while unlocking new ammo types, new buildings, and much more.   Although I only played it for around fifteen minutes, I had a lot of fun in my play through and it caught the attention of my boys who continued playing it for another hour or two. 

Par For The Dungeon

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

 

Par for the Dungeon is a fun twist on golf. You take on the role of an anthropomorphic golf ball as you fight against bogeys in an attempt to save your recently dog-napped companion. There are over 100 golf-based puzzles along the way, and the graphics are pretty top-notch. I actually own the Steam version of this game, though I did check out the Play Store’s free version to see how it compares. While the ads can be a bit obtrusive, the graphics and mechanics remain mostly on-par with the PC version as well. 

Pro Tip of the Week

In our Pro Tip of the Week we share tips or suggestions that we think could benefit our readers. This could include app recommendations for obscure apps that aren’t new, how-to guides for emerging issues, or any advice we think will help you out. This week? We’re being a little self-serving as our tip is to check out our new weekly newsletter, What’s New in AI

Android Authority is introducing “What’s New in AI”

What’s New in AI is our latest weekly newsletter, borrowing a similar format to our Apps Weekly letter but shifting focus on AI news, tools, and tips. In addition to the written format, there’s also a video companion brought to you by our very own Gary Sims. So far we have just two editions to the newsletter with our latest focused primarily on the OpenAI drama that recently went down.