Welcome to the 365th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week.
- The WWE Network is shutting down in March 2021. Peacock has the streaming rights and all WWE content is going there after the switch. NBCUniversal reportedly paid $1 billion for the rights. The switchover happens on March 18, 2021. After that, youâ€™ll have to get your WWE content from Peacock. You can check out Peacock here.
- Last week, we talk about Google eventually making its Google Messages app only available on certified phones. It turns out Google Duo may get the same treatment. This doesnâ€™t change anything for Google Play Store users. However, it will change for people who have devices that donâ€™t use Google Play Services. Hit the link to learn more.
- The Indian government levied a ban on Chinese apps in 2020. The whole debacle made our list of the most controversial apps from last year. This week, the Indian government made the ban permanent for about 60 Chinese apps. Some of the names include TikTok, WeChat, Baidu, and several Xiaomi apps.
- Plex is getting into the game streaming market with its new Plex Arcade. It has a bunch of Atari titles and it supports titles from your own library. There is also support for SEGA and Nintendo consoles with more support coming soon. It also supports a variety of platforms like Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, and others. Hit the link to learn more.
- The WhatsApp drama continues this week, but not in the usual way. Telegram now lets you import your WhatsApp chats into Telegram if you decide to switch. Additionally, Signal added a bunch of features to entice WhatsApp users there as well. The battle for the soon-to-be-former WhatsApp users is well underway in the end-to-end privacy chat segment right now. WhatsApp is still adding features, including biometric authentication on its web and desktop apps.
Price: Free to play
Stellar Hunter is an engaging mix of a space RPG and a roguelike. You get the RPG fun of leveling up and getting stronger but also randomly generated events and stuff to throw sticks into your wheels. The game play is mobile RPG style with a few unique twists. Thus, itâ€™s pretty simple to learn and play. This one has its ups and downs, but the concepts are fun. There is also a gacha element that you donâ€™t have to pay that much attention to. Itâ€™s quite good, although there is a level of expectation with the game play twists.
Price: Free / $0.99
Touch Locker is a utility app with a very specific function. It lets you lock your touch screen so you canâ€™t touch it. The app is mostly for media watching or music listening. You can start your media, enable the app, and you canâ€™t touch your screen to accidentally mess things up. You simply swipe down from the status bar and stop the service with the notification. There are a variety of niche use cases for something like this and the app does what it said on our test phones. However, there are some people reporting that it doesnâ€™t work on their phone.
Dragon Quest Tact
Price: Free to play
Dragon Quest Tact is a new gacha mobile RPG from Square Enix. It uses the monster cast from the Dragon Quest games, both figuratively and literally. You summon monsters, level them up, and use them to fight bad guys. The game boasts a use even for low rarity monsters but we didnâ€™t test the game long enough to see what those were as the game progresses. Itâ€™s otherwise a pretty decent mobile gacha with Dragon Quest combat and story elements. Our only potential complaint is the gem system. It might end up being a little aggressive during the endgame.
Price: Free / $1.99
Simple Notepad is, well, a simple notepad app. You can create notes, edit notes, and share notes with other people. The app has a simple UI, a light and dark mode, and thatâ€™s really about it. The base version comes with advertising and you can remove the ads with a single in-app purchases. The app wonâ€™t light up the Play Store with its originality. However, it works quite well, especially for power users. Others may want something a little more modern like Google Keep or ColorNote.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a mobile port from a classic video game remaster released on PC last year. The remaster removed some content from the game but added in some other elements. The game lets you play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy as you platform your way through various levels to save Bikini Bottom from robots. The game also features Google Play Games features as well as controller support. Itâ€™s a tad expensive at $9.99 but has no in-app purchases or ads.
Thank you for reading! Check these out too:
- 10 best roguelike dungeon crawlers for Android
- 10 best Android tools and utility apps
- 15 best gacha games for Android
- 10 best note taking apps for Android
- 15 best platformer games for Android
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, tell us about them in the comments!