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April 3, 2021
Top headlines this week:
Android Apps Weekly - League of Legends Wild Rift screenshot
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Welcome to the 374th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • People are getting extensions on their free year of Apple TV. It’s not a massive extension. Apple is only adding a few months here and there, but any extension is a welcome extension. Those who got their subscriptions earlier in 2020 only get a couple of extra months. However, those who bought in November will get nine extra months. Hit the link to learn more.
  • T-Mobile is shuttering its TVision services on April 29th. After that, T-Mobile subscribers can get YouTube TV or Philo Internet TV for $10 off. It’s no secret that TVision wasn’t overly popular and kind of flopped out of the gate. It was a nice idea in theory, but the execution just wasn’t there. YouTube TV and Philo are both better services anyway.
  • Microsoft officially shut down Cortana on Android and iOS this week. We knew the move was coming for a while, and even removed the app from our best personal assistant apps list in preparation. The personal assistant just never caught on for mobile users, and the feature list grew too slowly to compete with Google Assistant and Siri. Hit the links to learn more.
  • PUBG Mobile Lite is also shutting down later in April. It went completely free to play in November 2020, so the game hasn’t generated revenue in months. Plus, there were complaints of non-human bot players since the population was too low. It’s not the biggest deal since regular PUBG Mobile still exists. However, folks with lower-end devices may not struggle in the regular game.
  • Google cancelled its April Fool’s day plans for the second consecutive year. Usually, they hid a bunch of little goofs and Easter eggs in its various apps and services. The company blamed COVID-19 again for its lack of participation. We get it. Some people miss the pranks, others do not. It’s still sad to see, though.
New apps and games this week:

Phocus II

Price: Free / $1.99 per month / $2.99 per year

Phocus II is a photo editor with some neat tricks up its sleeve. It primarily edits things like backgrounds, blur (bokeh), and things like that. It uses AI to detect the foreground and background so you can edit each. Additionally, you can change the background on photos, add effects like a black and white filter, and the usual stuff like saturation, highlights, and tint. The free editor gives you a lot of features. You can also watch a few ads to unlock the free version or pay the subscription cost.

Phocus II screenshot

Biphase

Price: Free

Biphase is a simple arcade game with platformer mechanics. Players jump from one platform to the next. Each jump changes the colors of the level and alters how you see things. The controls are also simple enough. You use the left slider to move and tap the right side to jump and trigger mechanisms. The game isn’t terribly long, but it has that same kind of indie charm that games like Monument Valley have. It’s also entirely free, so it’s great for gamers on a budget.

Stories Now

Price: Free

Stories Now is an RSS newsreader. It lets you follow various blogs and websites for the news like most RSS readers. However, this one presents the news similarly to how you see Instagram Stories. It supports RSS and ATOM. Some other features include a dashboard for your convenience, a dark theme, and categories for you to follow. It’s simple, useful, and other than some unoptimized ads, it’s a pretty decent little newsreader.

Stories Now screenshot 2021

League of Legends: Wild Rift

Price: Free to play

League of Legends: Wild Rift soft-launched last year but became available in North America and other places earlier this week. It’s a five-on-five mobile take on the popular MOBA experience. It features a decent cast of champions, various strategies to learn, and more than enough social elements. You can play with up to five of your friends in a full stack. Every champion is available for free with enough gameplay, so the in-app purchases are basically entirely optional. This should easily be a top-three pick for the best Android games of 2021.

Stack

Price: Free

Stack is a new app from Google’s Area 120. The app lets you quickly scan and organize various documents. This is mostly for business use. It can do things like scan a receipt and praise the total amount for your records. You can scan things like your bills, receipts, and other stuff. The app puts everything into PDF format for future use. It automatically backs up all your files to Google Drive, and it uses OCR technology to do all of its stuff. The app is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads. There are some early bugs to work out, though.

Stack screenshot

Thank you for reading! Try these out, too:

If we missed any great Android apps or game releases this week, contact us at contact@androidauthority.com to tell us about it.

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