Welcome to the 313th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Xiaomi had a weird disclosure on the box of its Mi 10 Pro. It claims to have access to the Google apps people use most. That’s an unusual thing to print on a box and it inspired a lot of conversation. Many believe it’s a swipe at Huawei since Huawei can’t use Google products right now. However, Xiaomi says it’s an old guideline it chose to abide by. It’s most likely the Huawei thing, though. Hit the link to learn more.
- Disney Plus hit a monumental milestone this week. The service now has over 50 million subscribers. The meteoric rise took place in the span of only about six months since its November 2019 release. There are some possible explanations, including its excellent bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ along with the COVID-19 quarantines. Plus, Disney Plus launched in many European countries in the near recent past. In any case, the service is already among the biggest in the industry.
- Netflix made the news a couple of times this week. The streaming giant plans to release a COVID-19 series about how to cope with quarantine, how to stay safe, and other information. Additionally, Netflix launched a new set of parental controls. You can now PIN protect accounts to prevent kids from using the wrong ones and you can even block specific titles now. Hit the links to learn more about each.
- Zoom continues to make headlines with its security issues and potential fixes. The video conferencing service has a lawsuit coming for its security issues. It’s still trying to right the wrongs, though, with some additional security updates this last week. Finally, Google banned the use of the app from its employees right as they released a second security patch. Zoom is in a tough spot and its stocks aren’t doing so hot. In response, competitors like Skype are adding Zoom-like features to try to collect some of the people flocking away from the service. It’s a giant mess. You can also delete your Zoom account if you want to.
- Google Stadia launched its free service this last week. It’s not the most mesmerizing thing we’ve ever seen. You sign up for the service, buy games, and play the games with lower resolutions than the premium users. There are some free games on the service such as Destiny 2 so you can still at least try it without buying a bunch of games first. In response, Microsoft’s Project Xcloud launched in 11 more countries this last week.
Price: Free to play
Disorder is a free to play third person shooter from NetEase, developers of LifeAfter and Onmyoji. The game features excellent graphics, fun game play, and some decent customization options. Players are dropped into a dystopian future where everybody fights everybody with some sort of cool special abilities. It seems predominately online multiplayer so those who like solo games may want to skip this one. Otherwise, the game has a lot of potential is NetEase can keep it up, fix the issues, and continue to add more content.
Energy Ring (two apps)
Price: Free / $2.49 each
IJP is a developer on Google Play best known for its Energy Ring apps for the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series of devices. The developers recently released two more apps. The first is for the S20 family of devices (link at the button below) while the second is for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, A51, and A71 devices. Both of these apps do exactly the same thing as the old ones. It lets you turn the punch hole camera cut out into a battery monitor. Each one has a variety of customizations including color, thickness, and more. We liked the idea last year and we still like the idea this year, although it’s weird to download and pay for a new app each time a new Galaxy phone comes out. Regardless, they all go for the same price for the premium version and they both work rather well.
Rocky Rampage: Wreck ’em Up
Price: Free to play
Rocky Rampage: Wreck ’em Up is an action-platformer with a fun, arcade style. You launch Mr. Boulder and try to hit as many things as you possibly can. It’s a simple premise not too different from titles like Angry Birds, except you destroy a lot more stuff. The hero has a variety of pants and upgrades to collect and there are even things like boss fights. There are some small issues with the game, notably some frame rate issues on some devices as well as some UI pain points. However, once fixed, this should be a good game to kill some time with.
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $19.99 per year
Snap Search is a lightweight incognito browser and search app with some neat tricks up its sleeve. The app comes with a native ad blocker as well as a native VPN service. You can search for whatever you want and the app automatically deletes all of your cookies and history when you leave. Most of the app is entirely free with the only price coming for the VPN service. It’s a bit odd using such a lightweight tool for web browsing, but it worked as advertised.
Sky: Children of the Light
Price: Free to play
Sky: Children of Light finally launched on Android this week after a lengthy period in pre-registration. It’s a puzzle-adventure game at its heart but with elements of open world and MMO. Players explore seven distinctive worlds to return the constellations to the sky where they belong. There is also a social element to the game and you can send gifts to the other players. However, this game is all about its indie-style graphics that give everything big bursts of color and its laid back game play style. This is one of the good ones of 2020, no doubt about it.
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