Welcome to the 437th edition of Android apps per week† Here are the big headlines from the past week:
- WhatsApp had a number of announcements this week. You can now decide who can do that or can’t see your profile. This is clearly a security feature and you can click the link to learn more. Additionally, you can now transfer data directly from your Android phone to your iPhone, and that helps people who switch from one to another.
- We asked our audience if they use other app stores besides Google Play. Most of our readers don’t. That part was predictable. However, 48% of our readers do use alternative app stores. That is slightly higher than expected. Click the link to view the poll.
- Google dropped Android 13 beta 3.1 this week. It wasn’t a planned drop and seems to be a bug fix† It makes the Feedback app possible for people who may not have it. There was a second rollout later in the week to fix some other bugs, including an issue with the back button not working properly.
- Samsung caught cheating benchmarks again† This time it’s for TV benchmarks. The company makes its TVs use their color and brightness especially for benchmarks, so the numbers seem better. Samsung says it will update the TVs to fix them. The company also announced Samsung Wallet, a clear upgrade to Samsung Pay. It supports payments as always, but also includes support for digital car keys and cryptocurrency investments.
- Adobe is tinkering with the idea to make the web version of Photoshop free for everyone. This can be a big problem for Chromecast users who don’t have a full Photoshop version available. Adobe is currently testing this in Canada. We’ll see if they go through with it.
Artery Gear: Fusion
Price: Free to play
Artery Gear: Fusion is a mobile RPG with gacha elements. It plays like a pretty typical mobile RPG, but the gacha elements are similar to Epic Seven or Azur Lane. All the characters are mech girls, which is a surprisingly popular premise. The mechanics are quite easy to understand. The fights are especially neat. Players have the option to tune their automatic battles to avoid resource overuse and we really liked it. You get the usual stuff like banners, different characters to draw, PvP and more. You can also interact with your characters a little more than you can with your standard gacha. It has potential, but you have to be into the whole chibi thing to really enjoy it.
Price: Free / $4.99
Calendar Notification allows you to view your calendar and calendar as a permanent notification in your notification panel. Allows you to view an entire month or just one day. You also get some customization options, although it’s nothing too big. Basically, it basically puts a widget in your notifications. Of course, its usefulness is limited and you really have to lean on your agenda to make it work. Fortunately, it’s not too expensive and you can try it before you buy.
Price: Free to play
Kingdom Maker is a strategy game in which you control a kingdom. That includes building, fighting and all that sort of thing. There’s actually a story with this one where you take on bad guys and defend your empire. In addition, there are upgrades to unlock, and buildings let you do a lot of different things. It has a lot of potential, especially as it is reminiscent of older kingdom builders. A common complaint is the amount of time it takes to do just about everything, and upgrades can take forever. It’s flawed, but there’s nothing seriously wrong with it.
Glimesh: Live Streaming
Glimesh is a live streaming service that tries to emphasize interaction and findability. You can stream many things including games, art and music. You can even hang out and just chat with your followers if you want. The company is also part of the Open Company Initiative for transparency. It even works with OBS when streaming from PC. There aren’t many people out there yet, but it has potential.
Ensemble Stars Music
Price: Free to play
Ensemble Stars Music is a new rhythm game with some potential. The game has a story like many mobile rhythm games, but people show up for the mechanics, so let’s talk about that. The UI is shaped like a crescent moon where you tap one of the seven nodes to hit the note. Tap and hold with double tap and swipe. Some songs are quite easy, but as you play it gets more difficult. The free-to-play elements aren’t friendly, and we really don’t like it when games have separate “premium” gems instead of regular, in-game gems. The story and mechanics are good though, so you could have a good time as long as you can get past the free-to-play stuff.
If we missed any big news about Android apps or games, tell us about it in the comments.
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