Andrew Grush / Android Authority
Welcome to the 510th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Once again, we bring you the latest news and apps from the previous week. Let’s start with some of the biggest headlines from last week, which is heavily dominated by Google in this week’s update:
- Fitbit’s latest software update steps back to iOS, while also introducing the feature to Android users for the very first time. What are Step Streaks? In short, it motivates you to keep your running routine going for as long as possible. Be sure to follow the link to learn more about the latest Fitbit changes.
- A new code dive has shed light on an upcoming Google Message feature: Noise reduction for voice recordings. This can be a very practical feature in situations where the ambient noise is very loud, such as a coffee shop.
- YouTube recently started embracing AI in a big way and has started by rolling out a variety of AI testing features to select Premium subscribers. This includes a new conversational AI chatbot, AI summaries of the comment sections and more.
- A few days later, Google also revealed another new YouTube AI experiment called Dream Track. This feature allows you to write an idea and then choose from a carousel of artists to create a short 30-second soundtrack using the artist’s voice. Some of the participating artists include Demi Lovato, John Legend, T-Pain and Charlie Puth.
- Another Google related code dive! Google Play reportedly contains code that indicates a new feature called Cubes. This is a WIP feature that would help find content in various categories, including what to read, what to play, what to listen to, and more.
- Google first announced plans for Photo Stack earlier this year, but now its new Google Stack photo feed has started rolling out to some users. The new interface is much cleaner and easier to use, making it a welcome change.
- Google has also started rolling out Profile Discovery to Google Messages. In short, the feature allows you to create a profile with your name and photo to help those with your phone number or email recognize you in Google products.
Android Apps Weekly: This week’s new apps and games
Looking for some new Android apps and Android games to keep you busy? Below we take a look at some of our favorite suggestions for the week. This week we have four games and one app suggestion.
Based on the name, you might think this is some kind of gimmicky Android battery saver that we all foolishly had installed on our devices in the old days of Android. Instead, this is actually a handy tool that was built by a Google Pixel Watch 2 owner who felt that battery life could be greatly improved with a few tweaks. This app basically helps you quickly enable or disable certain settings to squeeze more battery life out of a Wear OS device.
Although you have to pay for it, the app doesn’t even cost a whole dollar so it’s a pretty easy impulse buy that can make a huge difference for Wear OS users.
- Award: Free with in-app purchases
Cyber Rebellion is a turn-based cyberpunk arena RPG with solid visuals, unique character design and music that hits hard. I had a fun time with it during my brief playthrough but I found the plot to be pretty generic as anything can be, with just a bunch of armies preparing to fight each other. The interface is also a bit clunky, although I got used to it pretty quickly.
It’s also worth noting that while it ran on my Pixel 7 without issue, I tried it on my son’s aging Pixel 4a and found it could get quite laggy on older hardware during cutscenes and other situations with a lot going on at once. Even so, it should be playable on most devices, it just might work a little less smoothly for older phones.
Refind Self is not your typical game, as it is a personality test in disguise. Your goal is to make decisions in the game based on how you would really handle them yourself. The game then records and analyzes your decision and ultimately creates a personality profile for you. It’s not just about the choices you make, but also where you go first and who you choose to talk to.
This may sound like a simple one-off experience, but the game is much deeper than you think and there is a decent amount of replayability. After all, you may purposely answer in a way that you wouldn’t the first time just to see what it says about this personality type. I originally played this on Steam a while back, but it’s now available for the first time on Android. It retains the same experience as before, just with mobile-optimized controls built in.
Bid Wars 3
- Award: Free with in-app purchases
The third game in the series, Bid Wars 3, puts you into the life of Storage Wars and lets you bid on storage auctions in an attempt to make huge profits. You can sell to pawn shops and much more. It’s a fun game although I felt there were a lot of menus and sub-menus you had to endure to get into the action. Sometimes I think mobile games are way more complex than they need to be, especially when you want to jump right into the action. Still, it’s a fun game that’s free to try, though there are ads and in-app purchases.
Hades Star: Dark Nebula
- Award: Free with in-app purchases
Hade’s Star: Dark Nebula is basically a mobile version of a 4X multiplayer strategy game, as this is nowhere near the depth of a console or PC 4X game like Stellaris. The research trees and other methods of progression aren’t as concrete as they could be. The battles are very simplified. There are a few mini-games to help it feel a little deeper, but overall this is a much more shallow experience. Then again, so are most mobile games compared to what you’ll find on PC or console. This is designed to be something you play on the fly, and for that it works pretty well.
The visuals are good and I had a lot of fun, but I don’t see myself committing to hundred hour campaigns like I have in the past for games like Civilization, Europa Universalis or Stellaris. Still, it can be a nice little time waster for 4X fans as long as they go in with their expectations in check.
This week’s pro tip
Starting with our 510th edition of Android Weekly, we’re introducing a new Pro Tip of the Week section. While this may not appear in every add-on, from time to time we’ll share a tip or suggestion that we think might benefit our readers. It may include app recommendations for obscure apps that aren’t new, guides for new issues, or other advice we think might help you.
Why pay for premium apps when you can get them for free?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
This week’s tip is about premium apps. I’m constantly handing out this simple advice to friends and family, so I thought I’d share it with our readers: Get Google Opinion Rewards.
This app sends you simple surveys that sporadically cover topics like your web browsing preferences, places you’ve visited with your phone, and more. It even lets you share receipts from places you’ve shopped, asks a few questions, and then rewards you.
Yes, you are basically selling your information and opinions, but this is stuff that Google already tracks. Might as well at least benefit from it. You can easily earn enough to pay for a few premium apps a month, and it’s even possible to pay for Google One Drive with it.
#Android #Apps #Shouldnt #Week #Android #Apps #Weekly