Welcome to the 321st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- A phone app went viral this week predominately in India. The app helped users identify and remove apps developed in China. Obviously, such an app was a bit too much. The developers said it was for educational purposes, but it only scanned for Chinese apps and gave users the ability to uninstall. Google removed the app from the Play Store and released this statement. In short, the app encouraged users to remove other third party apps. That’s a no-no in the Play Store.
- Zoom jumped back into the hot water after seemingly crawling out of it this week. The app made end-to-end encryption a premium-only feature. That’s not all that bad, but the CEO said he wanted Zoom to be able to cooperate with the FBI and other law enforcement individuals. It’s a really strange thing to say during an earnings call and you can read the whole quote at the link above. We’ll keep you updated if anything changes.
- Google is on the receiving end of another class action lawsuit. This one alleges that Google intentionally duped people into thinking that Chrome’s Incognito mode was safe. The lawsuit brings up an interesting conversation. Google never actually told anybody that Incognito mode was safe. However, the name Incognito mode certainly implies it. This may have long stretching ramifications since many browsers have a privacy mode.
- Samsung replaced S Voice with Bixby a few years ago, but it didn’t actually close it. Thus, people who still use the service on older devices still could. That comes to an end, though. Samsung announced the end of S Voice along with Find My Car, Car Mode, and MirrorLink functionality. Support officially ended on June 1st. Goodbye S Voicen (and all that other stuff).
- Google is switching things up in Digital Wellbeing. The company is shuttering the Wind Down service in favor of a more powerful Bedtime feature. In practice, it works a lot like Wind Down. The phone prompts you to stop using it at a certain time with alarms and reminders. However, if you ignore it, the phone tracks it and you can view your shame at a later date. check out the link to learn more.
Whipseey is a puzzle-platformer with a lot of retro elements. Players jump, swing, and otherwise maneuver across multiple levels. The titular character has a whip players use as either a weapon or to swing across gaps and other obstacles. It’s not the longest game ever and you’ll probably finish it in a few days. The game does run for $0.99 with no in-app purchases so it’s difficult to really give it a lot of flak for being shorter. Platformer fans can hang out, enjoy some nostalgia, and spend a couple of days with this one. It’s good, cheap fun.
Lockscreen Widgets is a rare new lock screen app. This one restores the ability to add widgets to your lock screen like you could back Android Lollipop. It works similarly to the old days. You set the app as your lock screen and add widgets to it. Each widget is its own page and you can add plenty of them. Thus, you can customize your lock screen. This is probably a niche app since many people skip the lock screen altogether fingerprints and face unlocks, but for $1.49, it’s nice to see some relics of the past live on. The app is in early access beta, though, so expect to see the occasional bug or two.
Clash of Beasts
Price: Free to play
Clash of Beasts is a new game from Ubisoft. It’s an online PvP dueling game. Players collect various beasts and duel them against other players. There are some decent game features, including a three versus three PvP mode, a kingdom building element similar to Clash of Clans, and guilds so you can play with friends. You can team up and battle others or go at it alone as you so choose. The game play is decently fun. You summon beasts and they fly onto the battlefield and take out enemy towers in a top-down perspective. It’s in early access beta so there are obviously bugs. It’s also a free to play game for what it’s worth.
Price: Free / $5.49
Wavelet is an interesting equalizer app. It tries to emulate other headphones by adjusting the equalizer via software. This isn’t the first app to try something like that, but it’s definitely unique in its own way. The app features a nine band equalizer along with some of the usual stuff like a surprisingly tasteful bass booster, a limiter (to prevent music from being too loud), and even a channel balancer in case you need the left or right side to be louder or quieter than the other. The main feature, though, is the collection of 2,300 presets that emulate various popular headphones. Some features are only available in the premium version and it is a single $5.49 in-app purchase.
Dead Cells is a side-scrolling hack-and-slash arcade style game by Playdigious, publishers of Evoland, OK Golf, and Teslagrad. The game is similar in game play to games like Castlevania or Altered Beast, but better and more modern in most respects. The game play is wicked smooth and the the mechanics are easy enough to grasp. The game adds in a Dark Souls-like mentality to the level and enemy design so there is a fair bit of challenge as well. The game also features two modes (regular and auto-hit), external controller support, and a truly excellent non-linear progression path based on your skill level and character build. It does more than enough to justify its $8.99 price tag.
Thanks for coming! Check these out too:
- 15 best platformer games for Android
- 10 best lock screen apps and lock screen replacements
- 10 best kingdom builder games like Clash of Clans
- 15 best arcade games for Android
- 10 best equalizer apps to get your jams sounding right
If we missed any great Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!