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March 6, 2021
Top headlines this week:
AAW Google Pay screenshot 2021
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Welcome to the 370th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Google confirmed the death of Google Cardboard this week. The app was removed from the Play Store with a message stating the end of life for the hardware. Google Cardboard was the first VR platform on Android so it’s a bit sad to see it go. However, there was hardly any active development on the platform for years. Goodbye, Cardboard, we’ll miss you kind of.
  • Netflix is launching a new feature. The new Fast Laughs feature shows you short comedy videos in a feed like format. This is obviously to combat short video style apps like TikTok. The catalog includes clips from a bunch of shows and stand-ups on Netflix. It’s only available for iPhone right now but it should migrate to Android eventually.
  • Fitbit suffered a fairly significant outage this week. It prevented the app from contacting servers for quite some time earlier this week. Users were left without the ability to update the various modules in the app and many other parts were completely useless as well. Fitbit eventually fixed the issue, but it’s surprising what a minor server outage can do.
  • In a surprise move, Google vowed to not use your browsing history to serve you ads anymore. It also wants to stop tracking your specific activity in its other apps to serve you advertisements as well. The changes should take place later this year. Hit the link to read the whole story.
  • A new PUBG game was announced last week. PUBG: New State is apparently an entirely different mobile game from PUBG Mobile. The game has many similar elements to PUBG Mobile, including its battle royale style game play. However, the game takes place in 2051. The environments and gear reflect that with new weapons and maps for players to play. Hit the link to learn everything we know right now about PUBG: New State.
New apps and games this week:

Warhammer: Odyssey

Price: Free to play
Warhammer: Odyssey is a new MMORPG set in the Warhammer universe. The game boasts six classes, 12 specializations, and the usual assortment of MMORPG social elements. In terms of game play, it’s a solid, if somewhat typical, MMORPG experience. You run around, complete quests, kill bad guys, and progress through the story. There are also decent graphics and easy controls so it doesn’t take long to learn how to play. There are a few bugs as is the norm for new games, but most of them are minor things the developer should be able to clean up quickly enough.


Google Pay

Price: Free
Google officially launched a completely redo of its Google Pay app. It began work in November and the full version is available now. The app still has most of its original features. However, it puts a much larger emphasis on sending money to and from people similar to Venmo or Cash App than it does for NFC payments. Thus, the whole UI is different to accommodate that new focus. You can’t send money on the web anymore, which is a shame. However, you can scan your Gmail and Google Photos data for receipts for some cash back options if you want to. It’s better in some ways and worse in others, just about as you would expect.

Google Pay screenshot 2021
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Abyss: Rebirth Phantom

Price: Free to play
Abyss: Rebirth Phantom is an idle RPG. Players embark on a quest to another world and adventure while they play. The idle portion of the game is basically auto-battling. You’re really supposed to just sit and enjoy the game while you grind up and summon characters. However, the game does have a few flaws. The English localization is below average with obvious grammatical errors. Plus, the summoning system seems to be a bit messed up for some folks. It definitely needs some fixes, but has some promise for fans of the genre.


Flexcil

Price: Free
Flexcil is a note taking app mixed with a PDF reader. The app started its successful life on iOS and should launch officially on Android soon. The app lets you read, annotate, and organize your PDF files. You can also organize and check out other types of documents and notes. It’s a fairly powerful app overall with a bunch of different features that almost all revolve around organization, PDFs, and taking notes. It’s in beta right now and you can hit the button below to sign up for the beta version. Just be prepared for bugs because it is a test version.


Blade & Soul: Revolution

Price: Free to play
Blade & Soul: Revolution is a new MMORPG from Netmarble. This one actually has quite a bit of promise. The graphics are pretty decent and there are a lot of things to do. It features a more intricate combat style although you can just auto-battle if you want to. It even includes faction wars with up to 500 players on each server. Otherwise, it has a solid MMORPG foundation with plenty of ways to customize your character. It’ll be up to Netmarble as to whether this one succeeds, but it has a good base so we hope they build on it properly.


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