Welcome to the 339th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google now allows automatic backups even if you don’t pay for Google One (Google Drive’s subscription). The backups should include device data, multimedia messages, and some other stuff as well. Additionally, the iOS version of the app backs up media, contacts, and calendars. Luckily, stuff like contacts and calendars are already backed up on Google services anyway. This is good news since Google was also accused of collecting rival apps data to improve its own products.
- Qualcomm announced GPU updates via the Google Play Store earlier this year. Now, the number of phones to support the feature are two. The first was the Mi 10 series from Xiaomi. Oppo added the functionality to its Oppo Find X2 earlier this week. We hope more phones get this sooner rather than later because it’s a great way to keep phones updated.
- DJI’s official app had a bit of a kerfuffle this week. Two security firms found features that seem to go against Google Play Store policies and have the potential to spy on you. DJI fired back, saying the features are perfectly legitimate. The arguments go both ways and we recommend hitting both links to get the full scoop.
- TikTok is taking the offensive against a US ban. Mark Zuckerberg and other CEOs testified to Congress this week about stifling competition. TikTok took the opportunity to say a US government ban would be just that, stifling competition in favor of Facebook and Instagram. The argument against TikTok is that it’s a Chinese company and the Chinese government could make the company spy on US citizens for China. Hit the link to read more.
- Speaking of Chinese app bans, India is considering banning PUBG Mobile (again), but this time because it’s by a Chinese developer along with apps like AliExpress, Resso, and some others. This issue dates back months as India and China share some political drama. The list now totals 275 Chinese apps that may be on the chopping block in India.
Narcos: Idle Cartel
Price: Free to play
Narcos: Idle Cartle is an idle clicker game with a crime premise. You play the role as a smuggler who builds an empire out of nothing. It also ties into the Narcos TV show and there are cameos from characters as well. Some other game elements include a gacha element for characters from the show and some decently deep idle tap mechanics. It’s far from perfect, but it’s not a bad time waster for fans of the show.
Amoni Launcher makes your phone look like iOS 14. You get similar widget placement and styling, similar icon styling, and similar icon folder styling. Additionally, the launcher comes with some extra goodies like an iOS style battery widget, a light and dark mode, wallpaper blur, and some other neat iOS 14 style effects. There are some bugs and issues here and there, like a lack of gesture support on some devices, but it’s otherwise surprisingly solid for a new app. It runs for $0.99 up front but features no additional in-app purchases or ads.
Aggretsuko: The Short Timer Strikes Back
Price: Free to play
Aggretsuko: The Short Timer Strikes Back. This one is a hybrid of a builder sim and a match-three puzzle game. Players play through the game and upgrade their little office building. The game also features a bunch of humor from the show, including its high contrast between cutesy and heavy metal elements. There are multiple characters to play with, each with their own abilities. You can even watch some of the original one minute animations from 2015 as you progress as well. It’s free to play like most games in the genre, but most people don’t seem to mind it.
Bibino Baby Monitor
Price: Free / $3.99 per month / $19.99 per year
Bibino Baby Monitor is a new baby monitor app. At its core, it works like many other mobile baby monitors. You use one device in your baby’s room and then your usual daily driver. The app connects the two so you can use the other phone’s microphone and camera to view and hear your baby. This one features audio and video recording, notifications when the app hears or sees something, and you can even play lullabies over the second phone to put the baby to sleep. It works over WiFi or mobile data. Some have reported the app not being loud enough to wake one up from sleep and a lack of a low light camera mode, but otherwise it seems to work pretty well.
Price: Free to play
Guardian Tales is a hack-and-slash adventure game with puzzle and RPG elements. Players gather a group of adventurers and explore dungeons, duke it out with bosses, and build up their floating castles. The game features fast game play, online PvP, and guilds where players can test out their strength against a scarecrow target. This one is fairly well polished for how new it is and it currently garners a 4.9 rating on Google Play with 31,000 ratings. We’re not sure they’re all legitimate, but the game is still fun either way.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
- 10 best idle tap games for Android
- 15 best Android launchers
- 15 best adventure games for Android
- 5 best baby monitor apps for Android
- 10 best match-three games for Android
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, tell us about it in the comments!