Welcome to the 418th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google Stadia employees say they spend 80% of their time not working on the consumer version of the platform. There have been whispers for a while. However, it seems like Stadia is moving more toward enterprise rather than consumer-facing services. Hit the link to learn more.
- Amazon Prime is seeing another price hike for US customers. The price hike takes it from $119 per year to $139 per year. It’s not a huge increase, but the service is already pretty expensive. Monthly subscribers will see their prices go from $12.99 per month to $14.99 per month. The change takes place on February 18th, 2022.
- Google was apparently working on an intelligent Android lock screen. It was ditched before it reached final production. It basically uses the At A Glance functionality and extends to the lock screen. It would feature smarter contextual suggestions and some other stuff. You can click the link to learn more about it.
- Google may bring back an old feature to Google Messages. The feature is just a hamburger menu, but it’s an odd choice considering how gestures work on Android. The menu includes some basic stuff like starred conversations, archives, blocked numbers, and other stuff. It should also get a new profile switcher and some other stuff.
- Facebook saw a decline in daily active users for the first time in its history. It was a huge deal and even the stock tanked after the announcement. The platform saw one million fewer daily active users from last quarter. Meta as a whole announced lower than expected ad revenue. As a result, the stock dropped 20%.
EA Sports UFC Mobile 2
Price: Freen to play
UFC Mobile 2 has actually been out for quite some time. However, EA announced that they’re ending support for the original UFC Mobile game in favor of this new one. The old version was officially sunset at the end of January. That leaves this entrant as the main UFC Mobile game in the franchise. The new version made some changes to the gameplay and players aren’t overly happy about it. EA dumbed down the mechanics quite a bit and included even more microtransactions. This may evolve into a good game eventually and now that the original game is gone, EA can spend more time making this one better. We hope they do.
Price: Free / $2.49
CAPod is an app for managing your AirPods. It can show you things like battery level, charging status for both the pods and the case, show ear detection, and other stuff like that. It’s a fairly decent way to manage your AirPods on an Android device and it also supports Beats devices. Some of the features require the $2.49 in-app purchase, but overall it’s not a steep price to pay for what you get.
Overrogue is a new JRPG from Kemco. This one uses card deck-style combat with turn-based battles. It also incorporates some roguelike elements into the dungeon crawling. The game boasts over 300 cards, 150 different treasures, and five labyrinth themes. Otherwise, movement and graphics look like a SNES or PlayStation era JRPG. The game includes a decent amount of challenge, but it’s nothing a player can’t overcome by learning the game better. There is a free version with advertising, but to be honest, it’s a lot better without ads.
Cox Elite Gamer
Elite Gamer is a companion app for Cox Communications’ desktop app with the same name. Basically, it helps you find the fastest paths to game servers to minimize jitter, ping, and lag. We think it’s a bit unfortunate that players need such an app, but at least such an app exists. You can create profiles for your games or use existing profiles if you want. I don’t personally have Cox so I couldn’t test this very thoroughly. However, it seems that not every game is supported. Luckily, the app is free so you can check it out yourself without issue.
Clash of Beasts
Price: Free to play
Clash of Beasts is a tower defense strategy game. Players start the game by collecting beasts. You use the beasts to take out enemy strongholds. The game boasts over 65 monsters to collect with varying abilities. Additionally, you have a base that you must build up to protect yourself from the monsters of other players. The gameplay isn’t overly complicated and you’ll get the hang of it in a few hours. There are also seasonal and weekly events to keep things interesting. Progression is about as you would expect from a free-to-play game. It’s pretty easy in the beginning, but eventually it starts requiring a lot of time investment (or real money) to continue. It’s not pay to win, but we wouldn’t fault you for feeling that way sometimes.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments.
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