Welcome to version 443 of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the top headlines from the past week:
- Gmail has a new look. The new version rolled out this week on the web and includes Chat, Meet, and Spaces integration. This puts all of your business communications on one web page. You can customize the appearance in the settings to add or remove things that you use or do not use. Click on the link to find out more details.
- Google Maps also saw an update this week. It added some new features, including a new 3D aerial view and over 100 major global landmarks. Landmarks include such things as the Emire State Building and Big Ben in London. Some of the other new things include improved route information for cyclists and location sharing notifications.
- Chromebooks are getting some new features just in time for the school season. Most of them are OS level stuff like dark theme and other customization options. However, an interesting new feature is the Google Photo Movie Editor. It will basically let you create videos using Google Photos photos and videos. It doesn’t look too complicated from the screenshots, but it should work just fine for the basic stuff.
- Diablo Immortal appears to have made $100 million in its first two months of operation. That’s not a terribly surprising number, given the scale of the Diablo franchise. However, the game’s microtransactions have generated quite a bit of ire from the player base, and this kind of reinforces how heavy microtransactions actually are. Click on the link to find out more.
- Google Play celebrates its first decade of life with a new promotion and new logo. The new logo matches other Google products in terms of color, but other than that, it’s not the biggest deal. Promotion is basically an expansion of the Google Play Points program where you get more points for buying things and being able to buy things from the Google Store, as in hardware products, with your points. Read the link to find out more.
price: free to play
Alice Fiction is a hybrid RPG with some match-3 mechanics. The game puts you in a world with a decent story and campaign. During the fight, you match three shapes to damage the bad guy. It’s similar to games like Crash Fever. Anyway, there are also gacha items where you can get more characters. However, each character can be continually upgraded to the highest rarity level, so almost any draw can be good. The music is fun, and everything here seems to work as advertised. There are some stability issues that can cause crashes here and there, but it’s nothing serious.
RandomWalking is something a little different. It is a walking app that gently guides you towards things that might be interesting to see. It doesn’t work like a GPS app or like a workout tracker. Instead, you open it up when you’re in a prominent place, and the app simply gives you ideas for how you can see interesting things. You collect points when you reach the attractions, and there are different levels in case you want to take it easy or challenge yourself. It’s free at the time of writing, but there are some ads.
MLB Perfect Inning: Ultimate is the latest version of MLB Perfect Inning from Com2uS. The goal is to go over previous iterations as much as possible. It only works in some places, but it’s still way too early. The game features a new graphics engine, online PvP, more interactive controls and combat, and more. It should eventually shape up to be a decent baseball game. However, there seems to be a relatively high number of bugs, poor optimization on minimal phones, and a very difficult user interface. Fortunately, these are things that developers can fix over time.
Aquafy Water Tracker Reminder is a simple app, and it does what its name suggests. It allows you to track your water usage and remind you to drink water. It also lets you record whatever else you’re drinking if you want. Some of the features include scheduling reminders, widgets, stats on fluid intake, and more. It also supports Google Fit and Fitbit at launch with Samsung Health and Awake coming soon.
It has a subscription, but it’s actually not terribly unreasonable at $0.99 per month or $7.49 per year. You can also pay $35.99 once and never have to worry about that again.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is the latest edition of Square Enix. It makes use of most of the graphics, game world, battle mechanics, and soundtrack that the game is based on. This is good news because it was great, the battle mechanics were good, and the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. In fact, it is very similar to the original game when you play it. It’s an RPG where you roam the world, fight against the bad guys, and learn more about the stories of the heroes.
Square Enix boasts 64 characters at launch, so there’s a gacha element, too. Unlike most mobile versions of console or PC games, this game actually takes place in the universe of Octopath Traveler a few years before the events of the original game. It feels like a home run in the gacha RPG genre for Square Enix, but we’d have liked to see console support, a faster pace, and a much longer tutorial than it needs to be.
If we missed any major Android apps or games, let us know in the comments or hit me on twitter to let me know.
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