Welcome to the 323rd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Twitch announced a watch parties feature a while back during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streaming service made the feature officially available to all creators starting this week. The feature is fairly easy to understand. A Twitch creator watches a movie from Amazon Prime Video and the creator’s followers can watch along, comment, and hang out together. Hit the link to learn more details.
- HBO is cleaning up its streaming service selections. The company is shutting down HBO Go and going with only the standard HBO and HBO Max from now on. Basically, HBO Go was the app you used if you had a TV subscription with HBO. After this change, you’ll just use HBO Max instead. HBO Now then becomes just HBO and the company is down to just two apps. Hit the link to learn more about all the changes.
- A security firm uncovered a ring of Google Chrome spyware extensions. The extensions almost all promote security measures against malicious websites so the most affected folks are ones shopping for that kind of extension. The extensions used their access to steal customer information when they logged into various sites. The ring covered over 100 extensions downloaded a total of 32 million times. That’s not a good look for Google.
- An upcoming Zoom update is adding encryption for everybody, including free users. Previously, the company made encryption a premium-only feature and people didn’t like it too much. Zoom did a 180-degree turn and made the feature free for all. Free users have to verify their identities and go through some other hoops to get the feature, but at least it’s coming to the free version.
- Telegram scored a major win this week. Russia long tried to ban the app and prevent its citizens from using it. The country officially gave up this week and Telegram is now 100% legal again. The app has been highly useful for transmitting COVID-19 information between its users and the privacy is certainly welcome as well. Hit the link to learn more.
Price: Free / $4.99 per month
GameClub is a new game service. It works like most other game services. You subscribe for $4.99 per month and get access to a bunch of games. Each game is entirely free to play with no in-app purchases or advertising. Plus, they are all playable offline. We browsed through the list and didn’t see a ton of recognizable titles, but we did see some old favorites like Avalon: Sword and Shield, Frozen Synapse, Mikey Shorts, and Mikey Hooks. We expect the collection to grow as time continues. There is a 30-day free trial to try it out and then it’s $4.99 per month after that. Frankly, the price undercuts a lot of other services, but the game selection is a bit smaller.
Argent is a newer cryptocurrency wallet. It boasts support for a lot of cryptocurrencies along with the ability to invest, gain interest, and borrow cyrptocurrency. Additionally, users can surf and explore DeFi for a lot more information about various cryptocurrencies. There are also some decent security features and it is completely private, even from the app’s developer. The UI is basic Material Design. It won’t blow you away but it definitely looks nice. This is something crypto fans should check out.
Dynasty Heroes: Legends of SamKok
Price: Free to play
Dynasty Heroes: Legends of SamKok is a new gacha RPG with some decent mechanics. The game has over 140 characters to collect, level up, and upgrade. The game is classic mobile RPG mechanics with turn-by-turn combat and a campaign mode. There is also a PvP mode and some other social features as well. It doesn’t necessarily stand out from the pack and it has its flaws, but it’s a decent experience for a while. This one also caught some criticism for making itself look like a Dynasty Warriors game in advertising when it’s nothing like that. We’re not big fans of that level of advertising.
Acture is a digital wellbeing app. It basically locks you out of everything until you ask for permission. When you do, the app asks you to give it a reason and you have to type in why you need to use your phone. You can later check out all of your reasons to see what makes you want to use your device. It requires a level of self awareness and honesty, but it can be a good way to help yourself figure out how to get off of your phone more often. The app is new and therefore buggy, but it’s a neat idea.
Price: Free / Up to $3.49
Endurance is the prequel to Ailment, one of the best indie games from 2019. Endurance shares a lot of the same elements as Ailment, including its action game shooter mechanics, retro graphics, and tons of things to do and unlock. The story takes place before Ailment as the protagonist and his friend go to the ship Endurance to find out how the virus spread. You also get a good dungeon crawling experience, the ability to bring NPCs with you, and some decent mobile controls. This is one of the good ones in the dungeon crawling genre, trust us.
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