Welcome to the 352nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Facebook is the latest company in the game streaming space. It wants to offer mobile game streaming through its official app and on the website. Some of the launch titles include Asphalt 9: Legends, WWE SuperCard, and PGA Golf Tour Shootout. The feature is currently rolling out regionally across the US and there are some restrictions as well. For instance, you need a good Internet connection in order to use it. More areas are coming soon as well as more games.
- Netflix is potentially experimenting with an audio-only mode. XDA-Developers found evidence of such a mode in a recent APK teardown. It may seem silly since Netflix has a bunch of TV shows and movies. However, the service also has a bunch of comedy stand-ups and documentaries that might work pretty well in an audio-only mode. We’ll keep you updated if we hear more.
- Google Play is testing out a comparison feature for apps. It’s only available for media players right now and lets you compare things like resolution support, whether or not it streams, and whether or not it works offline. It only works in version 22.4.28 of the Play Store and even if you have it, Google probably needs to flip a switch for you to see it. Hit the link to learn more details.
- Sony revamped its PlayStation app just in time for the PS5 launch. The new version of the app includes a dedicated store, the ability to voice chat (similar to the Xbox app), and remote control capabilities for the upcoming PS5. You can also answer and send messages to other players, launch games, and manage your storage. It’s actually a fairly huge update and brings it more in line with Xbox’s already excellent mobile app.
- Apple is likely working on a search engine to rival Google. It’s only a rumor, but one with a lot of steam behind it. Google is in the middle of an antitrust lawsuit with the US government and that may bode poorly for Apple. Additionally, it’s likely the company doesn’t want to rely on Google for its search functionality. In any case, you can hit the link to learn more about it.
Price: Free to play
Dragonscapes Adventure is a building simulator with a collector element. Players start on a remote island and build up their little ecosystem, collect various dragons, and merge dragons to make new dragons. It’s not the most exciting game ever, but you do get to explore your island a bit and see some stuff along with the game’s main mechanics. The dragons are cutesy and that appeals to some gamers. Additionally, the graphics are simple, but colorful so the game is pleasing to look at. It won’t blow your mind, but it should serve as a decent time waster.
Noobly is a social app for gamers. You can browse profiles and see what other people play. From there, you invite them to play those games with you. It’s not promoted as a dating app although it probably could be for some people. In any case, it uses a Tinder-style flick mechanic as it shows you profiles. You swipe ones away that you don’t think you’ll like. You put things on your profile like interests, games you play, and other hobbies. It’s in early access beta, so there aren’t a ton of people on the service yet. If it pops off, it could be a good place for gamers to hang out.
Price: Free to play
Sumikkogurashi Farm is easily the most difficult name to type in the history of Android Apps Weekly. This one is a farming simulator is similar in scope to games like FarmVille. You grow crops to earn money and XP, level yourself up, unlock more stuff, and grow more things. There is also a character customization element, monthly events, and some other small additions to the game to keep things interesting. It’s a relaxing game without a ton of player input, but a lot of players seem to enjoy the game’s simplicity. It’s a free to play game, but you don’t have to buy anything to enjoy yourself.
Price: Free / Up to $9.99
SideSqueeze+ is an app mostly for Samsung Galaxy phone owners. It gives devices the ability to squeeze-to-launch apps similar to the functionality we used to see on earlier Pixel and HTC devices. The app needs calibration, but it worked pretty well on our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The app doesn’t work on every device, but it found a home among Nexus 5 owners who miss older Pixel’s ability to squeeze to active Google Assistant. There are even S-Pen features if you want to try it with your Galaxy Note device. It is in early access, though, so expect some bugs, glitches, and compatibility issues here and there.
Price: Free to play
Spooky Wars is a hybird of several game genres, including tower defense, strategy, deck building, and dueling mechanics. Players can collect up to 50 cards with upgrades available to make them stronger. There are also three different game modes, social elements, leaderboards, and one versus one PvP. The game play is fine and reminiscent (but not identical to) games like Badlander Brawl. The only real downside is the game operated on a closed beta for a while and all of those players got to keep their game saves upon final release. Thus, day one players began the game at a serious disadvantage to the beta players. However, we expect that advantage to dissolve over time.
Thank you for reading! Check these out too:
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments!