Welcome to the 442nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the past week:
- Google has announced new audio switching technology for its Fast Pair feature. The feature will switch your audio to another device in specific scenarios. For example, you won’t hear a notification on your phone if you’re paired with your tablet. Read the link to learn more.
- Google Play Points got more convenient this week. Now you can use them for discounts in the Google Store. That means you can earn them by buying apps or games and then getting discounts on hardware, including up to $200 on a Pixel smartphone. The only downside is that you have 30 days to use your discount before it disappears.
- Netflix announced several things this week. The new Add A Home feature, which is basically password sharing, is being tested in more markets and costs $2.99 per month. Additionally, Netflix has confirmed that its cheaper, ad-supported tier will have content that you won’t be able to watch without the full subscription. Check out each link to learn more.
- The ACLU obtained documents this week that essentially show what we already know. The government buys smartphone tracking data from third parties and uses it to track our movements. The specific document the ACLU found dates from 2018 and shows that Customs and Border Protection purchased records containing nearly 114,000 location points in the United States. The government is working on a Fourth Amendment not for sale that should put an end to this.
- Nova Launcher was purchased by Branch Analytics. It’s a big problem. According to the parties involved, Branch needs a user base to perform certain test scenarios, and Nova Launcher needs analytics to better improve its launcher. Both sides have said that Nova won’t be changing anytime soon. However, there are concerns that Nova may start sharing data with Branch. Users don’t like it very much. Click on the link to find out more.
Price: free to play
ChimeraLand is an open-world survival game with RPG elements. It exhibits the usual survival mechanisms. You gather resources, use them to craft items, and use those items to improve your situation. The unique part of the game is your ability to add animal parts to various animals. You can put wings on a horse, for example, so it can fly. It draws comparisons to Ark: Survival Evolved, but the animal evolution is a little extra that makes it unique. There’s no controller support and it can’t be played offline, so take that into consideration.
FishingBooker is a booking application for fishing charters. It’s certainly a niche segment, but some people don’t mind paying a few dollars for a boat to take them out in the water for a nice fishing trip. FishingBooker has hundreds of thousands of customer reviews, boat information, photos and more. It also lists the credentials of each guide, so you can hire people you trust. It seems to work as expected without any major issues during our testing.
Price: free to play
Vahn’s Quest is an idle mobile RPG. It plays like many other idle RPGs. Your characters go hunting while you’re not logged into the game, so you get constant growth even when you’re not around. There’s also gear crafting, costumes to customize your hero, and you can create teams that fight endlessly and keep getting stronger.
This one stands out from the others by being a little more involved. You can actually do things instead of logging in and watching heroes fight. It’s not perfect, and there were a few bugs in early versions, but it’s not bad if you like the genre.
Google has officially launched the new Google Wallet. We discussed the changes in a previous Android Apps Weekly, but we’ll come back to them. It’s a more standard NFC payment system, and you can store things like your debit and credit cards, rewards cards, and even your vaccination records if you want. It works great and apart from some early quirks it’s basically out of the box. The link below takes you to the Play Store listing for it. Some people may just need to update Google Pay.
Ace Attorney Trilogy
This one is technically not a new release, but rather a re-release. Years ago, Capcom released the first three Ace Attorney games in their mobile variants. In June 2022, they removed the mobile versions and released the mobile ports of the trilogy instead. Now, if you buy this trilogy package, you’ll get the same games as when you buy them on Xbox or PlayStation.
The games follow Ace Attorney as he defends people in court. It features a wacky cast of characters, interesting stories, and more. These are fun visual novel style games. The $22.99 price tag is a little easier to swallow when you know you’re getting three games instead of just one.
If we missed any important news or releases of Android apps or games, let us know in the comments.
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