Welcome to the 391st edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- WhatsApp has a social hacking problem. Apparently, people are stealing other people’s Facebook or Instagram credentials, and then message you with your own family’s profiles. It then encourages you to help them log in. This is an easily avoidable problem by simply not giving out WhatsApp credentials online anywhere and maybe giving your family members a call to make sure it’s actually them. Hit the link for more details.
- Google detailed a new Play Store policy where a mandatory privacy tab is included in the Play Store. The tab will tell you things like whether or not the app encrypts data, shares data with other sources, what information the app collects, etc. Developers can start adding this in October 2021, but it will be mandatory by April 2022. Basically, Google wants developers to explain why they need your info and it wants users to understand why developers need it. Hit the link for more.
- WeChat had to stop allowing people into the app if they lived in China. New laws cracking down on companies in China forced WeChat to suspend new people there until they could update the app to fall in line with local laws. It is one of many companies in China that have faced anti-privacy scrutiny, including LinkedIn, TikTok, and others. You can read more about it at the link.
- A few years ago, Apple launched its first Android app. It was an app to help Android users switch to iOS. It seems Google is working on a similar app. It would help iOS users switch to Android. Information about this came from an APK teardown of the Data Recovery Tool app, another recent addition to the Play Store. Hit up the link to learn more.
- Google TV is updating itself with some new UI elements and support for more streaming services. The new UI adds things like 16:9 banners for stuff like sci-fi thrillers or other discovery-oriented things. Additionally, Google TV will soon support Cartoon Network, Discovery Plus, Viki, PBS Kids, and Boomerang. Hit the first link to learn more.
Garena Contra Returns
Price: Free to play
Garena Contra Returns launched in other countries as many as four years ago. However, the North American, European, and Latin American release of the game happened this last week. This one is a 2D shooter that pays ode to old Contra games. The game leans heavily on its PvP experience, which is fun for some players and not so much for others. There is also an upgrade system and other stuff to keep players occupied. It’s a reasonably decent game, even if the world is only just now getting into a game some have been playing for years.
Videoleap by Lightricks
Price: Free / $7.99 per month / $35.99 per year / $69.99 once
Videoleap is a new video editing app. It boasts the ability to create high-quality clips in a short period of time. It uses the timeline style like most competent video editors. It also includes green screen support, the ability to cut clips to fit, unlimited undo and redo, and the ability to zoom in and edit on a frame-by-frame basis. You also get the usual array of filters and effects to make things flow better and look nicer. The iOS version still has more features, but we imagine the Android version will get improvements over time. There is a subscription needed for all of the features or you can buy the app once for $69.99.
Price: Free to play
Potato Smash is a cutesy little tower defense game. Players collect, upgrade, and place little potato characters to defend you from the enemy. There is a merge mechanic to upgrade your potatoes so yes, there is a bit of an idle tap element to this one. After that, your potatoes defend you, rack up points, and let you create more potatoes. The game has an online PvP mode, a co-op mode, and a solo player mode so you can play with or against other people or alone. The ads are a bit annoying and the game seems to lag pretty badly on lower-end devices, but otherwise it’s a fun time killer.
Data Restore Tool
Data Restore Tool is a new app from Google. It basically functions as, well, a backup and restore tool. It lets you connect one phone to another phone and import your data. This is very similar to the one you can find in the settings menu of any Android phone. However, having a dedicated app makes it a bit easier to find and use. You can use a cable to do most of the work. It’s simple and relatively easy to use. I didn’t personally test this one, but it functions very similarly to the one you use in the settings, which I have used before. It’s also free.
Price: Free to play
NieR Re[in]carnation is a new gacha RPG from Square Enix. Like most games in the NieR franchise, the game revolves heavily around its serious, goofy, and occasionally dark narrative. Combat is a relatively simple thing. You issue commands to your character or allow the auto mode to do it for you. You can attack pretty much constantly but special abilities have cooldowns. Battles also come in waves with a fun third-person perspective instead of the usual side perspective. The graphics are outstanding for its genre and the soundtrack is quite good in general. I’m still pretty early into the game, but it seems like it’s going to be quite a bit of fun, just like every other NieR game.
If we missed any big Android app or game releases or news, tell us about it in the comments!
Thank you for reading! Try these out too: