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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week and all the latest app news - Android Apps Weekly
After taking a break for the holidays, Android Apps Weekly is back with its 515th edition. Let’s start by jumping right into the news:
- This week Google has finally settled its Chromebook incognito mode class-action lawsuit. For those that don’t know, a class action lawsuit was previously filed against Google in 2020 for the way it handles its incognito mode, with the plaintiffs alleging Google isn’t clear enough about what its incognito mode does and doesn’t track. While we don’t know the terms of the agreement, Google will not have to admit fault or make any major changes that will affect users.
- An APK teardown hints that Driving Mode may be getting the ax, and it’s very possible Google wants people to use Google Assistant voice commands instead for calls, messages, and playing media while driving.
- A new version of Google Play Services suggests Nearby Share may soon be rebranded to Quick Share. This is interesting as currently Nearby Share and Quick Share largely do the same thing, but one is available on all Android devices, while the other is a Samsung exclusive.
- Beeper Mini is back again, though it’s been further reduced in functionality in the process. After weeks of attempting to patch Apple’s block on its Beeper Mini app, Beeper has rolled out a new update that requires access to a Mac or an older jailbroken iPhone to work. The company says this is the last fix it will attempt. In other words, if Apple manages to break the app again, the company is throwing in the towel on this particular project.
- The Samsung Health app is rolling out a new medication tracking feature in the US. Not only will it track meds, but it will also give you tips and relevant information about the drugs you are taking. The feature is expected to roll out this week, though it’s unclear when it will reach other countries.
- Whatsapp is working on a feature that will let users share music audio during video calls and it’s rolling out now to the company’s latest beta app for iOS and Android users.
- TikTok’s latest update finally improves the experience for foldable and tablet owners, with layouts designed to make better use of the extra screen real estate. Some of the changes include a refined video feed, streamlined nav bar, and support for both landscape and portrait modes.
- Google’s Podcast app is getting closer and closer to retirement and so as promised, Google has finally released a tool that will allow you to export subscriptions to YouTube Music and other platforms. For now, this method is only available for those in the US.
Android Apps Weekly: New apps and games, and so you might have missed
Looking for some new Android apps and Android games to keep you occupied? The last two weeks were a bit slow on that front, so we’re doing things a bit differently. There are only three new apps worth showcasing in this edition, two games and one AI tool. I’ve also included one other game and one other app, both of which were released earlier this year but worth showcasing again in case you missed them. The point of these additions isn’t to showcase some big app or game you already likely know, but instead, I want to shine a light on well-rated and useful ones that flew a little bit more under the radar.
It’s a Small RomanTick World (New)
- Price: Free with in-app purchases
Small RomanTick World is a time-traveling romance adventure game where you are searching for your lost parents across a variety of timelines and regions, including visits to ancient Egypt, ancient Korea, Medieval Europe, and more. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of distractions, including a wide cast of male companions you can romance. While this isn’t my cup of tea directly, it’s a well-built game with unique gameplay and a story that’s perfect for those who enjoy dating sims and adventure games alike.
Beastie Bay DX (New)
- Price: $6.49
A combination of settlement builder and monster taming, the game centers on a group marooned on a strange island filled with monsters. Through building and taming beasts, you slowly start to settle the island and turn it into your own paradise. If this game sounds familiar, that’s because this is a deluxe edition of the original title by the same name, dropping its freemium model in favor of a fully unlocked experience that retails for $6.49. If you like Kairosoft’s other titles or always wanted to play the original without in-app purchases, this is worth the download.
Microsoft CoPilot (New)
- Price: Free
Microsoft recently launched an Android version of its CoPilot chatbot, based on GPT 4. The new provides the same general experience as you’d get from the web app, allowing you to ask questions, create images using just words, compose written content in seconds, and much more. If you’ve yet to use CoPilot I highly recommend giving it a try, as it actually outperforms the free (GPT 3.5-based) version of ChatGPT in several ways.
Roto Force (July 18, 2023)
- Price: Free with in-app purchase
Roto Force is an original arcade game launched on PC and mobile simultaneously, which is pretty rare. Typically Android games are ported a year or more after they arrive on Steam and other platforms. The game is a frantic-paced experience as it has you shooting and dodging around a spinning room. Despite its simple design, this old-school game is addicting and can be quite challenging. Keep in mind that you only get a demo experience for free, as unlocking the full game will cost you $5.
Niji Journey (August 3, 2023)
- Price: Free with subscription
While there’s still no official Midjourney mobile app, you can now access its power through Niji Journey, with a notable exception: this app isn’t about general art. Built in partnership with Midjourney, Niji Journey helps you create anime characters and scenes that you can use however you deem fit. You can get 20 images generated for free, but you’ll need a Midjourney subscription for full access.