Welcome to issue 445 of Android Apps Weekly. These are the big headlines of the last week:
- There were some cool new wallpapers to download this week. For starters, the newer Pixel phones had access to some new wallpapers inspired by Indian Day. The James Webb Telescope is taking some amazing photos. We have more as background here. Finally, our latest Wallpaper Wednesday came out with even more cool wallpapers to try.
- Wear OS is improving the Google Maps experience. The smartwatch OS has the ability to use Google Maps without an accompanying phone. The feature was announced during Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this week. We don’t know all the details yet, but it’s certainly something different.
- Google Photos has a new Camouflage tool, and it’s coming to Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices right now. It is a subtle editing function. The feature better blends the brighter colors in photos so they aren’t as distracting. Click the link to see an example of how it works.
- Google again criticized Apple and its green bubble culture this week. The company launched a site expressly asking for Apple to join. He brags about the benefits of RCS while criticizing Apple for giving Android users the dreaded green bubble. Click on the links for more information.
- Disney Plus will launch an ad-based plan on December 8. Also, prices are going to increase on all other plans. The ad-supported plan costs $7.99 per month. Meanwhile, the regular plans cost $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year. Additionally, Disney Plus bundle prices with Hulu and ESPN Plus are also going up. It’s about to get a little more expensive for Disney fans.
that’s a cow
Price: Free / $2.99
That’s a Cow is a cutesy little runner game. You play as a cow and slide across the screen to spray milk in various directions. You use that mechanic to propel yourself forward, defeat enemies, and platform to avoid missing. Each level has coins, apples, and bad guys to defeat to earn your three stars. There are also other cows to unlock and over 100 levels. It’s not a super deep game by any means, but it’s good arcade fun that’s appropriate for both kids and adults.
Threema is a secure messenger on a par with apps like Telegram and Signal. Threema Libre is the same app, but it doesn’t depend on Google Push services to work. In other words, you can run Threema Libre on any Android device, even if it doesn’t have the Play Store. The app allows you to send text and voice messages. You can also make voice calls and video calls. It is fully featured and works quite well.
The only drawback is that the installation is a bit more complicated than others. You must install a repository before you get the app on F-Droid. We have linked the installation instructions on the button below.
Price: free to play
TerraGenesis: Landfall is the latest game in the TerraGenesis series. It is a city building simulator in which you manage your own city but in space. The goal is to make life possible on Mars. It has many city-building elements, including resource management, life-sustaining challenges, and more. You can even conquer new territories. The mechanics are solid and everything is quite reasonable. The game has only been out for a few days, so there are some bugs that the developers are still ironing out, and it’s a bit more aggressive with microtransactions than we’d like. That said, it should still end up being a decent game.
Price: Free / $5.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Plant Parent is a new gardening app and it has some potential. Their goal is to help people take better care of plants by helping to see potential identifiers for disease or neglect. Basically, you take a photo of your plant and the app tells you what it is and if it has any problems. There’s also a calendar and smart care reminders to help you stay on top of caring for your plants.
The app shows promise, but needs to beef up its subscription strategy. Some people have reported being charged before the free trial ends, and we think $2.99 per week is too much. Developers would certainly have to iron out those issues before we’d fully recommend it, but as a new gardening app it’s otherwise promising.
Price: free to play
Tower of Fantasy is a new MMORPG. It has many of the usual MMORPG elements, including a story to play through, an open world to explore, and multiple classes so you can play however you feel comfortable. It has an anime aesthetic along with a mix of futuristic and fantasy elements. You can also glide like in Genshin Impact to traverse the world a bit easier. The combat is hack-and-slash with abilities, so it’s nothing we haven’t seen before in MMORPGs.
There are a few minor bugs here and there, but nothing too terrible. This should turn out to be quite a popular game in the genre as it has all the elements to be successful.
If we missed any major Android app or game releases, let us know in the comments.
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