Welcome to the 438th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Gaming Chromebooks are apparently on the way from Lenovo and HP. They’ll even include some gamer features like RGB keyboard support and other stuff. However, it seems like the main focus for these Chromebooks is game streaming rather than gaming directly. Reports say that they’ll ship with Stadia installed out of the box along with access to Nvidia GeForce Now game streaming. Hit the link to learn more.
- Google’s Password Manager is now usable straight from your home screen. Basically, you just open the password manager, hit the Settings cogwheel, and add it to your home screen. It’ll add an icon to your home screen that you can use to access your passwords much faster. Here is a how-to in case you want step-by-step instructions.
- Twitter’s board approved the Elon Musk buyout already. However, Musk is delaying the sale. This week, we found out a few reasons why that might be. The fake accounts problem is one we already know about. Additionally, putting together the financing and getting shareholder approval still stand in the way. A shareholder vote is expected in late July or early August.
- Samsung Pay morphed into Samsung Wallet this week and that comes with both good and bad news. We’ll talk more about the new features later, but one of the bad parts is that it no longer works on non-Samsung devices. People without Samsung phones can’t install it and even if they can, it doesn’t work anymore. That’s a bit of a bummer.
- Telegram Premium officially launched this week and it’s a pretty big deal. It costs between $5 and $6 per month and includes some new features. The premium version includes up to 4GB upload size, up to 1,000 channels, voice-to-text conversion, faster download speeds, no ads, and more. It’s still perfectly usable for free. Hit the link to learn more.
Bloodline: Heroes of Lithas
Price: Free to play
Bloodline: Heroes of Lithas is a mobile RPG and partial strategy game. The goal is to become a successful leader of a city while also exploring the world and defeating evil. It boasts a large number of character races and plenty of places to explore and experience. You’ll also be tasked with rebuilding a city and expanding it. There is also a story to play through and the graphics are pretty decent. The launch was a little rough and the combat mechanics feel a bit like an idle game, but we’re sure it’ll find its niche as time goes.
Health Connect by Android
Health Connect is a new app from Google. It aims to share data between your various health, fitness, and digital wellbeing apps while also remaining private. It stores all of your data in a single place and should work with most mainstream apps. I personally only use Fitbit, but that worked pretty well. The UI is very clean and easy to use. It should work well for most, and we look forward to improved support later.
Price: Free to play
Petness is a pet grooming simulator game. Pets come into your shop and you groom them within a certain time limit. Doing so nets you stars for each level. They’ll get up and move around to make things a little more difficult for you. The game also includes boosters to make things easier, a story to play through, and some extras to collect. It’s not a super serious or deep game. It’s also reasonably family-friendly with a bunch of cute animals. This is something you’d play if you enjoy games like Candy Crush or a restaurant simulator.
Samsung started rolling out its Samsung Wallet app this last week. It still goes by Samsung Pay in the Play Store, but when I tried it on my S22, the UI says it’s Samsung Wallet. The new Samsung Wallet works like the old Samsung Pay, except it now stores ID cards, boarding passes, digital keys (if your car supports it), vaccine records, and more. In terms of usability, everything works the same. Tap-to-pay still works and everything seems to be in order. The only downside is that it doesn’t work on non-Samsung phones anymore.
Price: Free to play
Disney Mirrorverse is another new mobile RPG, except this one is an action RPG. It features both Disney and Pixar characters in an original story. Each character you unlock has its own set of spells, skills, and abilities to help you get through everything. It’s one of the more competent western gachas that we’ve played and it has a lot of potential. The only issues are some occasionally janky on-screen controls and the game’s UI isn’t the most visually appealing. Hopefully, the developers improve that stuff over time.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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