Welcome to the 442nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the past week:
- Google announced new audio switching technology for its Fast Pair feature. The feature switches your audio to another device in certain scenarios. For example, you won’t hear a notification on your phone when paired with your tablet. Read the link to learn more.
- Google Play Points got more practical this week. You can now use them for discounts in the Google Store. That means you can earn them by buying apps or games, and then get discounts on hardware, including up to $200 off a Pixel phone. The only downside is that you have 30 days to use your discount before it’s gone.
- Netflix announced a few 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 include content you won’t be able to watch without the full subscription. Check out each link to learn more.
- The ACLU received some documents this week that essentially show what we already know. The government buys third-party smartphone tracking data 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 across the United States. The government is working on a “Fourth Amendment No For Sale Act” to put an end to this.
- Nova Launcher was purchased by Branch Analytics. It’s a pretty big deal. According to the parties involved, Branch needs a user base to run some testing scenarios and Nova Launcher needs analytics to better improve its launcher. Both parties have stated that Nova will not change anytime soon. However, there are some concerns that Nova will start sharing data with Branch. Users don’t like that. Click the link to learn more.
Price: Play for free
ChimeraLand is an open world survival game with some RPG elements. It has the usual survival mechanics. You gather resources, use them to build items, and use those items to improve your situation. The unique part of the game is your ability to add animal parts to different animals. For example, you can give a horse wings so that it can fly. It draws comparisons to Ark: Survival Evolved, but the animal evolution thing is an extra that makes it unique. However, there is no controller support and it cannot be played offline, so take that into account.
FishingBooker is a fishing charter booking app. It’s admittedly a niche segment, but some people don’t mind paying a few bucks to have a boat take you out on the water for a nice fishing trip. FishingBooker has hundreds of thousands of customer reviews, boat information, photos and more. It also lists each guide’s credentials so you can hire people you trust. It appears to be working as intended during our testing with no major issues.
Price: Play for free
Vahn’s Quest is a mobile idle role-playing game. It plays like many other RPGs at idle. Your characters hunt while you’re not logged into the game, so you keep growing even when you’re not there. There’s also equipment crafting, costumes to customize your hero, and you can form teams that fight endlessly and get stronger all the time.
This one sets itself apart from others by being a bit more involved. You can actually do things instead of logging in and watching heroes fight. It’s not perfect and had some bugs in the early release, but it’s not bad if you’re into the genre.
Google has officially presented the new Google Wallet. We discussed the changes in a previous Android Apps Weekly, but we’ll go over them again. This is a more standard NFC payment system, and you can store things like your debit and credit cards, award cards, and even your vaccination records if you want. It works very well, and barring some early weirdnesses, it’s basically ready to go. The link below will take you to the Play Store listing for it. Some people may just need to update Google Pay.
Ace Attorney Trilogy
Technically, this isn’t a re-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 mobile ports of the trilogy instead. Now when you buy this trilogy pack, you get the same games that you get when you buy them on Xbox or PlayStation.
The games follow Ace Attorney as he defends people in court. It features a goofy cast of characters, interesting stories, and more. They are entertaining 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’ve missed any big news or releases about Android apps or games, let us know in the comments.
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