Welcome to the 416th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
YouTube now offers an annual subscription to its Premium service. It’s only a limited run until January 23rd and it’s a bit tricky to get. Plus, some grandfathered accounts may not get a full discount. Hit the link to learn how to get it.
Google started testing Google Play Games on PC this week. It’s in limited beta so it’s not available to everybody just yet. In fact, you can only try it in Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong right now. This could have a massive impact on apps like Bluestacks if you can just play games on your PC without an emulator.
There are many old G Suite accounts that are using the service for free. Google is apparently taking them all away. The legacy accounts are being migrated to paid Google Workspace accounts. People have until May 1, 2022, to select a plan and until July 1, 2022, to add a payment method. Goodbye, old G Suite customers.
Google hates that iMessage doesn’t support RCS. However, it seems Apple doesn’t have a lot of faith in RCS and, coincidentally, neither do our readers. Nearly 50% of you don’t think RCS stands a chance and 27.5% of you think that it might, but the deck is stacked against it. Hit the link to view more details.
Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion this week. It’s a massive purchase that includes games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and mobile games like Candy Crush, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Diablo: Immortal. This is a huge deal and we’re sure to see the both positive and negative fallout from this for years to come.
Legion Network is a combination of a few different things. It works primarily as a crypto wallet and it also houses an NFT marketplace for folks who care about that. It also boasts a decent amount of materials for people to learn about NFTs, Defi, GameFi, and other topics in this space. The app is still a bit buggy as a consequence of being new, but it seems headed in the right direction.
Awaken: Chaos Era
Price: Free to play
Awaken: Chaos Era is a mobile RPG with some gacha elements. As per the norm, players collect various heroes, level them up, and use them to take on bad guys. The game also boasts a PvE campaign, a PvP arena mode, and more. You can even crawl through dungeons and find loot. It’s not terribly different from most mobile RPGs, but the execution is decent and the microtransactions aren’t the worst we’ve ever seen.
Sleep.com Sleep Cycle Tracker
Sleep.com Sleep Cycle Tracker is an app from Mattress Firm, the mattress store chain. The company partnered with SleeepScore to make this app. Basically, it tracks your sleep, gives you a sleep score, and then gives you recommendations on how to improve your sleep. There is also an alarm function, sleep goals, and a history section where you can see your stats.
The app definitely has some release pains as many users have complained of bugs. The developer seems to be correcting problems as they arise, but it seems like it’ll take a while. Keep it on your radar if you’re into sleep tracking, but give the developers a few months to fix the issues.
Dice: Heroes of Whitestone is a mix of an RPG and a strategic board game. Players explore the world via a game board. They roll dice, move, and then do what the board tells them they need to do. The RPG side of things is straightforward enough. You grind levels, beat up bad guys, and play through the game’s story. There are boss battles, various loot to collect, and even a PvP mode. It’s not free from bugs, but existing players seem to enjoy it regardless.
Cast to TV
Price: Free / $2.99
Cast to TV is a pretty simple little app. It lets you cast things to your television. It supports Miracast so you don’t necessarily need a Chromecast, but it does make it easier. It lets you cast just about anything you want to your TV as long as your TV supports it. It worked well in our testing with the LG B7 TV and a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but your mileage may vary depending on your TV.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about it in the comments. Thank you for reading. Try these out too: