Welcome to the 325th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week.
- WhatsApp announced some new features this week, although most of them arenâ€™t actually new. Things we knew about already like QR codes were just officially added to the app. Some other stuff includes some bug fixes and animated stickers. The changes should roll out over the course of the next few weeks. Donâ€™t worry if you donâ€™t see them right away.
- A decision from Google may prevent photos from uploading to Google Photos. Basically, Google paused uploads from folders from various apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and others. Google did this intentionally to ease the strain since people are uploading more photos during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can easily reset this in the settings to get your images from all apps uploaded if you want to. Hit the link for the tutorial if you need help.
- YouTube, Reddit, and other social media sites are cracking down on extremist views. The crackdown includes some prominent names from the extremist community along with some troublesome subreddits. Itâ€™s a good thing overall since itâ€™s really easy to find those things even for younger kids. Hit the link above to check out the full list of bans along with some more details about why social media sites may want to keep it up to avoid legal trouble.
- Last week we talked about India potentially banning dozens of Chinese apps. This week the country went ahead and did it. The ban list includes TikTok, every DU app, every Cheetah Mobile app, Mobile Legends, ES File Explorer, and others. Weâ€™re not sure how India intends to enforce these bans. Russia tried something similar with Telegram and failed miserably. The bans come amid tensions between China and India that has already resulted in some combat.
- YouTube TV raised its prices again this week. This isnâ€™t usually a big deal because the live TV services has done it before. This time, though, the price hike is a whole $15 per month. The service did add some channels, though, including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1 along with some others to follow soon.
Price: Free to play
Dream Decor is a new mobile game for fans of house decorating. The game is easy to play. Players unlock various bits of furniture and decorate rooms to achieve scores. You get rewards when you do well. The game has a few balancing issues out of the gate and we do wish you got a bit more of a reward for doing well, but otherwise itâ€™s something different from what we normally see in free to play games. The gameâ€™s rating is also quite low due to a series of loading bugs in the gameâ€™s opening few days, but the rating should bounce back over time. Itâ€™s a decent little time killer.
Keen is a new, experimental app from Google. It works a little bit like Pinterest mixed with the Collections feature of Google+. You find stuff you like and save it for future reference. You can create a new â€œKeenâ€� whenever you want and then organize various things into that Keen. Thus, you can keep track of more than one thing at once. This app is a web wrapper so itâ€™s not a native Android app. You can get more or less the same experience by using the serviceâ€™s official website.Â
Trivia Royale is a new trivia experience that rests somewhere between Trivia Crack and HQ Trivia. Players start games in groups of 1,000 and slowly get weeded out as they get answers wrong. Itâ€™s a neat concept, even if you donâ€™t win real money like you do on HQ Trivia. In any case, the game has a ton of questions across many topics with more added on a consistent basis. Additionally, the game has a VIP lounge for folks who beat the game. It has some issues out of the gate, generally with lag or connection issues and we wish you could do stuff like turn the music off. Otherwise, itâ€™s not bad for a trivia game.
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $19.99 per year
RainViewer is a new weather app with some decent features. It has the usual basic features like weather forecast, temperature, etc. This appâ€™s claim to fame, though, is its rain tracking. You use this one almost exclusively to track various types of precipitation. The app features over 1,000 weather radars all over the world and it works in 90 countries. It can track storms up to 48 hours previous and up to 90 minutes into the future. Additionally, there is a widget and support for 32 languages. It has a subscription and weâ€™re not the biggest fans of that, but everything else about it is pretty good. Notably, this is also available in Huaweiâ€™s app store alongside Google Play and iTunes.
Price: Free to play
SINoALICE is a new mobile RPG. Itâ€™s directed by Yoko Taro (Nier Automata and Drakengard) and composed by Okabe Keiich (also NieR Automata). The game includes similar mechanics to most mobile RPGs. You can get a bunch of characters, take on the story in a series of missions, and there are some social elements for cooperative play. The story is a bit similar to Final Fantasy Record Keeper where you enter into a library of stories and complete each one. The gameâ€™s highlights are its voice acting and music. We expect the game play to evolve more over time.
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If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!