Welcome to the 434th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google TV is rolling out profiles for real this time. Google has false-started this initiative a few different times. This time it seems to be legitimate. Profiles allow users to keep their own preferences on Google TV so there is no arguing over how things are set up. Hit the link to learn more.
- You may see more apps with snore and cough detection. Google is working on such abilities on Android right now. The information was discovered in an APK teardown of the Google Health Studies app. The goal is, obviously, to help people sleep better.
- Google Assistant came to the Galaxy Watch 4 this week after a long delay. Galaxy Watch 4 users can simply head to the Play Store on their watch and install it like any other app. We would’ve thought it would drop sooner since Samsung and Google worked together on the watch, but better late than never.
- Google Photos rolled out an update this week. The new update includes the Real Tone filters we first heard about at Google I / O 2022. The Real Tone filters help better correct skin tone in people of color and it’s a welcome change to the platform. It’s also available for the iOS version in case anyone was curious.
- Android apps on Windows 11 rolled out to five more countries this week. They include France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. That should dramatically increase the number of people who can use the new feature. It’s coming along as cleanly as many had hoped, but it’s nice to see Microsoft make progress.
Stories: Free to play
Catalyst Black is a third-person shooter and MOBA from Super Evil Megacorp, the developers of Vainglory. It’s a fairly standard experience for a mobile game. There are several different game modes to play, various weapons and gear to level up, and you can play with (or against) your friends. It’s predominantly an online PvP experience so you’re usually duking it out with other players for supremacy. Thankfully, there are some PvE elements as well so you can take a break when needed. The mechanics are pretty clean and the game ran smoothly on our test devices. You can buy your way to an advantage, though, and that’s never a good thing for players.
Remote for Roku TV
Stories: Free / $ 4.49
Remote for Roku TV is a third-party remote for, well, Roku TVs. It works pretty well. You can do basic stuff like navigating the UI, changing the volume, and controlling the playback with play and pause buttons. It also lets you cast images, videos, and audio to the TV through the app. It even lets you screen mirror to your Roku TV and we like that quite a bit. It’s rather new so it’s largely untested with all of the Roku TVs out there. It may work better or worse for some.
Streets of Rage 4
Stories: $ 7.99
Streets of Rage 4 is the latest game from Playdigious, developers of Dead Cells, Evoland 1 and 2, Teslagrad, and others. This game is a mobile remaster of the classic 1990s game. It’s a side-scrolling beat ’em up game where you complete levels by defeating opponents and bosses without being defeated yourself. This variant includes new characters, 12 stages, a few different game modes, and a Mr. X Nightmare DLC that adds a few other things. Honestly, we don’t see many beat ’em ups these days and this is not only an excellent recreation, but it’s still a fun game. The only issue we’ve seen are some startup crashes, but that goes away once you get into the game.
Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning apps of all time. Duolingo ABC is a learning app for kids. It helps teach them how to read. Duolingo claims it improves literacy rates by 28% in as little as nine weeks, but that usually depends on the child. It aims at kids between the ages of three and eight and teaches them things like letters, spelling, and pronunciation through the use of mini-games and storytelling. It boasts a total of 700 lessons. It’s a strong app in a space where we don’t see a lot of strong apps.
Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds
Stories: Free to play
Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is a mobile game from Netmarble. It’s actually not half bad. The art style and animation are ripped straight out of the Ni no Kuni games and you’ll even find some familiar music if you’ve played before. It’s an action RPG where you roam the world, experience the story, and beat up on bad guys. We appreciate a good open-world RPG. In terms of gachas, it’s pretty standard stuff. Time will tell if Netmarble is friendly to free players or not. The only other gripe is the auto-battle system makes the game a little boring. It’s definitely fun to watch, though.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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