Welcome to the 427th edition of Android apps weekly. Here are the big headlines from the past week:
- Google is trying to make games easier to find on your Chromebook. A potential new search service helps people find games by aggregating a bunch of results in a single pass. Since Chrome OS now supports Steam and is suitable for some game streaming services, you might be able to do a single search for all services. Click the link to learn more.
- Microsoft is aiming for closer integration with Android. The company recently reorganized its Android development teams in hopes of providing better overall integration. The reorganization involves the spin-off of a dedicated team that reports only to Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay. We’re not sure what the team will do first, but hopefully it’s good.
- A new Google Play Protect feature removes permissions from your unused apps. The function is already present in all phones running Android 11 and higher. However, Google is porting the feature to devices running Android 10 and earlier via Google Play Protect. Some devices, like Samsung phones, also already have this feature, but it’s nice to see that more people are using it.
- Piracy is on the rise again and that since 2018. We asked our audience if they have ever pirated anything and a staggering 83% said they have done so before. This is not uncommon as piracy is quite easy to do and has been rife for many years. Streaming services seem to have forgotten that their main competitors are piracy sites, not each other. Click on the links for full details and survey numbers.
- Google makes it harder for people to find apps not receiving consistent updates. The company does this in the name of security, as older apps may contain exploits that the developers haven’t patched yet. As of November 2022, apps targeting anything prior to the two latest versions of Android will remain hidden from more and more people.
League of Angels: Chaos
Price: Play for free
League of Angels: Chaos is a new mobile MMORPG. Players create a character and have a choice of three basic classes. The classes are Dragoon, Mage and Archer. Everyone has their own style of play. Some other gameplay features include alliances, cross-server competitions, equipment crafting (known as forging), a trading feature between players, and more. The game has an automatic mode, which some fans of the genre will not like. Otherwise it’s a pretty standard MMORPG. You go on quests, get loot and level up your character. On top of that, the progression is the weirdest mix of too fast at the beginning and too slow when you get pretty far into the game.
It definitely has its flaws, and you can buy your way through to the end of various in-game challenges. Luckily, there is very little emphasis on PvP, and you can get resources if you’re patient. So it’s only pay-to-win if you want to finish very quickly. It has potential if the developers tighten it up a bit, but until then it’s pretty average.
Linios Icons (seven colors)
Price: $0.99 each
Developer GomoTheGom II recently released seven icon packs under the Linios name on the Play Store. There are seven packs in total and each is basically a different color. Each pack costs $0.99 and includes 3,000 icons along with matching background images. The developer is also taking requests for new icons that should appear in each pack. Click the button below to visit the developer’s Google Play page where you can find all seven packs.
Top Mech bills itself as a strategy mech fighting game. It plays like many mobile strategy games. You acquire resources, build a base, train troops and defend against attacks. This represents the main game loop and it’s nothing we haven’t seen in this genre. Our only gripe is the in-app purchases. You can literally buy buffs for your army with real money, and while we don’t use the dreaded pay-to-win phrase very often, this is a pretty good example of it. If the developer can find a better way to monetize this game, it’s a decent city-builder strategy game. Otherwise, we think most players will go pretty quickly.
Game Jolt Social
Game Jolt Social is a social space aimed at gamers. It works like almost any other social media site. You can post videos of yourself playing games, fan art, and other similar things. You follow people, other people follow you and you make new friends. The app offers over 60,000 communities to join, a one-to-one chat feature and you can create your own community with your own moderation team. It already has a decent user base, and honestly it’s not a terrible place to hang out with other players.
Rovio Classic: Angry Birds
Rovio Classics: Angry Birds is actually just the first Angry Birds game to be re-released for Android. It contains the original game along with the original gameplay with a few extra elements to freshen things up. The original game was originally based on its own game engine and this variant is based on Unity. So the developers can actually keep it updated without any worries. In any case, this is actually the original game. There are 390 levels, no in-app purchases, no ads (which we saw anyway), and more. There’s also a new Mighty Eagle mechanic that’s pretty nice. This is the same family-friendly, simple, and cheap arcade game that we saw years ago. It’s honestly worth the $0.99 price even if you played it 10 years ago.
If we’ve missed any big news or releases about Android apps or games, let us know in the comments.
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