Welcome to version 468 of the Android Apps Weekly. Here are the top headlines from the past week.
- Sony is working on a monitoring app for Android TV devices. Monitoring application prevents hacking. It will basically block sideloading of apps that are known to show pirated content. You can read more at the link, but hopefully it doesn’t interfere with normal sideloading.
- YouTube is testing live TV with a small subset of its users. It allows you to watch live TV for free with ad support. The service should compete with Tubi, Pluto TV, and Roku. All of these services also offer free live TV. We expect it to be released later this year.
- Google updated the official Clock app this week. The new Clock app makes it easy to create a custom alarm. It records audio directly from the app and gives you the tools to make it sound like an alarm. It’s not a huge update, but it does make the app more useful.
- Google Podcasts are not a good time. Recently, it has stopped appearing in Google search results, and is minimized in other areas. A Google spokesperson said these changes are normal. It does spell out good news for Google Podcasts.
- Google Stadia officially died this week. we wrote eulogy for service, so we won’t go into huge details here. Google too Launch a tool to turn a Stadia controller into a regular Bluetooth controller but warns that it removes the Wi-Fi functionality. Click on the links to learn more. Goodbye, Google Stadia.
Dragon Siege: Kingdom Conquest
price: Free to play
Dragon Siege: Kingdom Conquest is a kingdom builder with some additional mechanics. Players focus on building a kingdom and then defending it against attackers. There is also the option to build an army and attack with them. The game includes real-time battles, dragons, and some other things as well. For example, you can also grow food, although it is not a very intense activity. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a game like this, and it’s nice to see this genre is still in development.
price: Free / $2.99 per month / $29.99 one time
One Sec is a digital wellbeing app that helps you use less distracting apps. Makes you do a short breathing exercise before opening distracting apps. Apparently, it helps regulate your usage, relieve stress, and has other benefits. We only tested it for a few hours, so we may not have seen a long term benefit, but some people do. You can try it for free, or buy it for $2.99 per month or $29.99 as a one-time payment. We recommend giving a demo of it and seeing if it works before buying anything.
price: Free to play
Design Diary is a match-three puzzle game. The game includes a set of levels that players can pass. Once done, they unlock things that they can use to decorate their homes within the game. This is more or less a gameplay episode. More stuff unlocks as you play, and decorate as you see fit. It’s certainly not the deepest game, but it’s family-friendly, provided you have a password for in-app purchases. It can be played offline as well, which is rare for a free game.
Myne is a FOSS app that allows you to download e-books from Project GutenBerg. For the unfamiliar, Project GutenBerg is a library of free eBooks. Myne lets you access them in app format. The app also uses Google Books as a source for book data, which is a nice touch. From there, it’s pretty simple. You can download books from the library, read them, and that’s it. The selection is pretty decent for a completely free collection, and it’s a good source for free reading material. The only downside is that Myne is only available on GitHub, so you’ll have to sideload it.
price: Free to play
Sort Master is a puzzle game where you transfer water from one container to another. The goal is to separate the colors and make each container filled with water of one colour. It’s not a difficult premise, but it does get more difficult over time. The developer makes the game a bit more relaxed by not giving the player penalties for failure and also allowing unlimited attempts. It’s also a family-friendly game, and we think young children, in particular, will find something this fun.
If we missed any great Android apps or gaming news, let us know about it in the comments.
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