Welcome to Issue 445 of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the top stories from last week:
- There are some neat new wallpapers available for download this week. First, newer Pixel phones get some new wallpapers inspired by Aboriginal Day. The James Webb Telescope is taking some stunning photos, and we’re here to give you some more context. Finally, our latest Wednesday wallpapers come with even neater wallpapers for you to try.
- Wear OS is getting a better Google Maps experience. The smartwatch OS can use Google Maps without a phone. The feature was announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this week. We don’t know all the details yet, but it’s definitely different.
- Google Photos has a new camouflage tool, and it’s now hitting Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices. This is a subtle editing feature. The feature blends brighter colors better into photos so they’re less distracting. Click the link to see an example of how it works.
- Google took another swipe at Apple and its green bubble culture this week. The company launched a website with a clear call for Apple to come together. It touts the benefits of RCS while criticizing Apple for giving Android users a dreaded green bubble. Click the link for more information.
- Disney Plus will launch an ad-based program on December 8. Also, all other plans will see price hikes. The ad-supported plan costs $7.99 per month. Meanwhile, the regular plan is priced at $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year. In addition, Disney Plus bundle prices for Hulu and ESPN Plus are also increasing. For Disney fans, it’s about to get a little more expensive.
that’s a cow
price: Free / $2.99
That’s a Cow is a cute little runner game. You play as a cow and swipe across the screen to spray milk in all directions. You use the mechanic to propel yourself forward, defeating enemies and platforms to avoid defeat. Each level has coins, apples and bad guys to beat to earn your three stars. There are other cows to unlock, over 100 levels. It’s not a super deep game by any means, but it’s some good arcade fun for kids and adults alike.
Threema is a secure messenger comparable to apps like Telegram and Signal. Threema Libre is the same application, but it does not rely on the Google Push service to function. In other words, you can run Threema Libre on any Android device, even if it doesn’t have the Play Store. The app lets you send text and voice messages. You can also make voice and video calls. It’s fully functional and works great.
The only downside is that the installation is a bit more complicated than the others. Before getting the app on F-Droid, you must install the repository. We have linked installation instructions on the button below.
price: Play for free
TerraGenesis: Landfall is the latest game in the TerraGenesis series. This is a city building simulator where you manage your own city in space. The goal is to make life on Mars possible. It has a lot of city-building elements, including resource management, supporting life challenges, and more. You can even conquer new territories. The mechanics are solid, and everything makes sense. The game has only been out for a few days, so the developers are still working out some bugs, and it’s a little more aggressive with microtransactions than we’d like. That said, it should still be a good game in the end.
price: Free / $5.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Plant Parent is a new gardening app with some potential. It’s designed to help people take better care of plants by helping to see potential disease or ignoring identifiers. Basically, you take a photo of your plant and the app will tell you what it is and if there are any issues with it. There’s also a calendar and smart care reminders to help you stay on top of plant care.
The app is promising, but it needs to support its subscription strategy. Some people report being charged before the free trial ends, and we think $2.99 per week is a bit much. Developers will of course need to address these issues before we can fully recommend it, but as a new gardening app, it has some promise.
Tower of Fantasy
price: Play for free
Tower of Fantasy is a new MMORPG. It has many of the usual MMORPG elements, including a playable story, an open world to explore, and a variety of courses that allow you to play however you want. It has an anime aesthetic and a mix of futuristic and fantasy elements. You can also glide just like in Genshin Impact to traverse the world more easily. Combat is hack and slash with abilities, so this is something we’ve never seen in an MMORPG before.
There are some minor bugs here and there, but nothing too scary. This should prove to be a fairly popular game in the genre, as it has all the elements for success.
Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any big Android app or game releases.
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