Welcome to the 390th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week.
- Google announced App Bundles a few years ago with the intention of moving the Play Store to them soon. Amazon announced in a blog post this week that they’re doing the same thing. This isn’t normally a big deal. However, with Amazon being the app store of choice for Windows 11, it’s nice to see Amazon keeping up so developers don’t have to try so hard to do so.
- Google revamped the Play Store to provide some much-needed help to Wear OS users. On phones, it’s easier to find apps with Wear OS support. In addition, the Wear OS version of the Play Store got a visual revamp to fall more in line with Android 12’s design. Both improvements help people find more Wear OS apps easier than they could before. Hit the link for more details.
- A bunch of websites went down this last week, including LastPass, Steam, Amazon, and dozens of other websites. This obviously affected the apps for those websites as well. The issue is fixed now. It apparently came from Akamai, a content distribution network. Hit the link for more details.
- Some former WhatsApp employees are working on a new social network. The network, HalloApp, is a fairly ambitious project. The people behind it want to tear away the algorithm stuff and all of that. Basically, the goal is to put the social back into social media. There isn’t a lot to know about it yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
- Netflix is trying to get into gaming. Some data mining found a possible tie-in with Sony. Those two companies working together could be really cool to see. Another report says Netflix is doing mobile gaming as part of its subscription as well as video streaming content. This is still very early days, so I’m sure we’ll hear more over the coming weeks and months.
Alchemy Stars: Aurora Blast
Price: Free to play
Alchemy Stars: Aurora Blast is a new gacha RPG. It uses strategy RPG-style line combat. Players collect characters, level them up, and use them to complete the game’s story mode and various limited-time events. The game boasts excellent execution with smooth game play and good graphics for its genre. The content is pretty good and there is enough here to keep you busy for a while. The summoning mechanic is a bit restrictive compared to many, but otherwise it’s a competently done gacha RPG.
Price: Free / Varies
YourMechanic is a service to help you find a mechanic when your car needs fixing. You simply put your car woes into the app and you get instant quotes and the ability to schedule service at a nearby mechanic. There are quotes from multiple mechanics so you can price shop, which is a lot easier than going to or calling mechanics to get prices. There is also a chat function if you have other questions. This app is brand new and there are probably some bugs to work out. It covers 300 US cities so you may not be able to find anything if you don’t live in any of them.
Price: Free / $0.99
Escape Lab is a local multiplayer puzzle game. You and a friend can play together separately or in the same room, but you always need two different devices. The two of you work together to complete the puzzles and escape the lab. Players have to escape before they are captured. The game has a horror element with some creepy scenarios and graphics. Overall, the game takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. This isn’t a game you’ll spend months playing, but for a buck, it’s definitely not bad.
Price: Free / Up to $74.99 per year
TimeoutIQ is an app for parents. It lets you monitor your kids’ screen time as they use their phones. It’s aimed at kids from the ages of 3 to 11. The app lets you set screen time limits, track your child’s location and monitor which apps your kids use. The app is free for use on a single screen with tiered subscriptions based on how many screens you need. It can get a bit pricy, so check out the subscription tiers before you commit to anything.
The Witcher: Monster Slayer
Price: Free to play
The Witcher: Monster Slayer is an augmented reality game. Players move around and slay monsters. The app takes into consideration things like time of day and weather conditions to aid you in your hunt. Players also unlock and collect various things in their travels. It’s a bit like Pokemon Go, but with wildly different mechanics. The mechanics isn’t difficult, so it won’t take long to learn. It’s definitely something different in the AR space.
If we missed any big Android apps and games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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