Welcome to the 450th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google is putting a lot of its own projects on the chopping block. The company wants to operate more efficiently. The answer seems to be canceling unnecessary projects. The Area 120 division cut its projects down from 14 to seven. Overall, Sunday Pichai wants to increase Google’s efficiency by 20%. That likely means some apps are on the chopping block as well.
- Google Play introduced a 24-hour review delay for the Play Store. The aim is to prevent review bombing and prevent suspicious reviews. It’s no secret that fake reviews are a problem on Google Play. Developers can still reply to newly submitted reviews, but they won’t show up on the Play Store page for a day. Hit the link to read more.
- Google lost the first appeal to overturn a record-breaking EU fine from 2018. The fine was levied because Google requires OEMs to pre-load phones with Google Search and other Google products in order to use Google Play. After deliberations, the courts held up the EU’s decision, and Google is off to round two.
- Discord officially launched on Xbox this week. It was in beta for a while, and we’re happy to see it out for real. The process isn’t terribly complicated, but it takes place almost exclusively with the Discord and Xbox apps on your phone. Hit the link to learn how to connect Discord to Xbox.
- Apple’s Dynamic Island made quite the splash this week. It also only took developers about a day to mimic the effect on Android phones. It only works on Xiaomi devices via an MIUI theme, but it’s still pretty neat to see. We asked our readers if they thought Dynamic Island was cool, and, believe it or not, more than 50% of our readers said no.
Sniper Zombie 2: Crime City
Price: Free to play
Sniper Zombie 2: Crime City is a sniper game with a bunch of zombies in it. The game boasts over 100 story missions in its campaign mode, daily missions for extra loot, and an online PvP mode if you feel like it. There are also a variety of weapons to unlock. In terms of gameplay, it’s pretty simple stuff. You run around the map and aim down your scope, line up your shot, and take it. Your success or failure depends on how injured you get and how well your shots are placed. It’s free to play with the usual grind that shooters have in such games, but it’s a nice little time killer.
Otternal Life is a habit tracker app. The app lets you create new habits, and then helps you track them to ensure that they become habits. You can also track your progress, keep a very basic mood journal, and more. It works entirely offline and is free to use with no advertising. It’s a pretty basic app. However, the functions work well and we think the UI is pretty clean too.
ScourgeBringer is a roguelite platformer game with some hack-and-slash mechanics. Your main ability lets you blink around the map in an instant. You use the ability to dodge enemies and progress through the game. There are also other abilities you unlock as you go that help you defeat bosses and enemies. The storytelling isn’t half bad for a roguelite and the frenetic gameplay is definitely interesting to engage with. It’s also a premium game so once you buy it, there are no in-app purchases or ads to mess up your fun.
Qewd is an interesting app. It lets you log in to a variety of streaming services. From there, you can manage your queue, discover new content to watch, and manage your playlists. The app is quite buggy as of the time of this writing since it does have to integrate a bunch of different platforms. We do think this has promise, especially since it’s rough to keep track of every streaming app you have. Keep an eye on this one. If the developers can fix it up right, it’ll be one of those hidden gem apps.
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Price: Free to play
Star Trek: Lower Decks is an idle game. The story revolves around being locked in the holodeck where you have to relive old Star Trek stories and return to the real world. It’s a bit campy, but nostalgia is a big thing with games like this one. As you play, you unlock various members of the crew to help you as you click your way out of the holodeck. In terms of mechanics, it’s a fairly standard idle clicker, so unless you’re into the genre and the nostalgia, you may not like it.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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