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- Google Play is reducing its cut for Google Play Store developers. It now only charges a 15% fee for the first $1 million and then returns to its 30% cut after that. The change comes after Apple did the same thing with the App Store. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help massive companies making a ton of money, but at least it’s friendlier for smaller developers. All of these changes come in the wake of the giant Fortnite controversy from last year.
- Researchers developed an app that acts like COVID-19. It basically uses Bluetooth to see if people are social distancing and then fake infects another person’s phone. This isn’t an app you can get right now or anything, it’s mostly for testing and research. For instance, the researchers intend on having a group of people at a college campus install the app and see how long it takes for the fake virus to spread via Bluetooth. It’s a neat idea and a fun way to simulate the spread of a real virus. Hit the link for more details.
- Signal Private Messenger is working on a tool to transfer chats from one device to another. It’s only available to try in its beta version but it works more or less as expected. You backup your messages, log in on a new phone, and download the messages there. Telegram and other competitors already have a tool for this, so it’s nice to see Signal keep pace. You can hit the link to check it out and sign up for the beta.
- Google is working on a new crowd-sourced installation method for Play Store apps and games. Basically, it uses data to see which parts of any given app or game people use first and then installs those parts before all the others. It probably won’t matter for apps all that much, but larger games may eventually get the feature to start playing while it’s downloading like you see on modern consoles. Plus, the data may help developers figure out which parts of the app or game they need to work on. It could be a whole thing.
- The second developer preview for Android 12 released this week. There weren’t a ton of consumer-facing new features. However, the back end got some much needed stability and developers have more stuff to play with. This is an important release for developers to get their apps ready for Android 12’s eventual launch later this year. Hit the link to learn what was new.
Price: Free to play
Spookiz Pang is a bubble shooter similar to most other bubble shooters. This one includes over 1,000 levels, some fun characters, and more. It has the usual stuff like power ups as well but you can earn most of them at a fairly decent clip by just playing the game. The draw here is the absolutely massive number of levels and the reasonably friendly free play. Plus, it has things like offline play as well. It’s a decent arcade bubble shooter if you’re into that genre.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month
MindTree is a meditation app with a pay-it-forward ethos. The company plants a tree every time you meditate as long as you’re a premium user. The app itself is pretty simple. The UI is easy to navigate and it’s quite easy to use. It plays various music and gives you some basic meditation instructions. There is also a timer so you can time your meditations. The premium version is pricey for a meditation app at $9.99 per month. However, you can use a good amount of the app for free before buying and at least you know you’re planting trees with the money you spend.
Dungeon of Endless: Apogee
Dungeon of Endless: Apogee is a rogue-like dungeon defense game. It merges several different genres together for a fairly entertaining experience. Players gather a team, explore the dungeon, and collect stuff. That’s a very basic premise. There is a balance needed since your crew consists of both prison inmates and guards. Each door also has something random in it so you have to be prepared at all times. There are also elements of tower defense, kingdom building, and RPG. It’s a pretty deep game for its price and there are no in-app purchases to gum up the works. The game is a port from the Steam version and people seemed to really like that one too. The only bad part is the game can feel cramped on smaller displays.
Glance Weather is a weather widget that tries to show you everything you need to know in a small widget. It offers up temperature, precipitation, wind, and cloudiness. The widget is re-sizable and also includes things like a real-feel temperature and a night mode. The design could be better, but the developer is still actively working on improving it based on user suggestions. In any case, it’s a free weather widget that gives you plenty of information at a glance. It should improve over time.
Price: Free / Up to $4.99
Argo’s Choice is an interactive novel with heavy text elements. You play the role of Argo and you watch as a story unfolds. Decisions the player makes affects events in the game, including the ending. Plus, you can interact with other characters and see Argo’s relationship with them. This isn’t a challenging game to play. It’s all about playing the story, making decisions, and watching the reactions to those decisions. It could use some polish here and there, but you can play the game for free (with ads) and it’s otherwise a decent experience.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
- 15 best arcade games for Android
- 10 best meditation apps for Android
- 10 best roguelikes and dungeon crawlers for Android
- 15 best weather apps for Android
- 10 best visual novels for Android
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