Welcome to the 445th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- There were some neat new wallpapers to download this week. To start, newer Pixel phones had access to some new wallpapers inspired by Indigenous Day. The James Webb Telescope is taking some amazing pictures we have more for your background here. Finally, our latest Wallpaper Wednesday came out with even more neat wallpapers to try out.
- Wear OS is getting a better Google Maps experience. The smartwatch operating system is getting the ability to use Google Maps without an accompanying phone. The feature was announced during Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this week. We don’t know all the details yet, but it’s certainly something different.
- Google Photos has a new Camouflage tool, and it’s hitting Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices right now. It’s a subtle editing feature. The feature blends brighter colors into photos better so that they aren’t so distracting. Hit the link to see an example of how it works.
- Google slammed Apple and its green bubble culture again this week. The company launched a site expressly calling for Apple to get itself together. It boasts the benefits of RCS while criticizing Apple for giving Android users the dreaded green bubble. Hit the links to learn more.
- Disney Plus is launching an ad-based plan on December 8th. Additionally, prices are going to increase on all other plans. The ad-supported plan costs $7.99 per month. Meanwhile, the regular plans go to $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year. In addition, the prices for the Disney Plus bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus are also going up. It’s about to get a little more expensive for Disney fans.
That’s a Cow
Price: Free / $2.99
That’s a Cow is a cutesy little runner game. You play a cow and swipe around the screen to spray milk in various directions. You use that mechanic to boost yourself forward, defeat enemies, and platform to avoid failing. Each level has coins, apples, and bad guys to defeat to earn your three stars. There are also other cows to unlock and over 100 levels. It’s not a super deep game by any stretch, but it’s some good arcade fun that is appropriate for both kids and adults.
Threema is a secure messenger on par with apps like Telegram and Signal. Threema Libre is the same app, but it doesn’t rely on Google Push services in order to function. In other words, you can run Threema Libre on any Android device, even if it doesn’t have the Play Store. The app lets you send texts and voice messages. You can also make voice and video calls. It’s full-featured and works pretty well.
The only downside is the installation is a bit more complicated than others. You have to install a repository before obtaining the app on F-Droid. We have linked the installation instructions at the button below.
Price: Free to play
TerraGenesis: Landfall is the latest game in the TerraGenesis series. It’s a city-building simulator where you manage your own city but in space. The goal is to make life possible on Mars. It has a lot of city-builder elements, including resource management, challenges to support life, and more. You can even conquer new territories. The mechanics are solid, and everything is pretty reasonable. The game has only been out for a few days, so there are some bugs the developers are still addressing, and it’s just a tad more aggressive with microtransactions than we’d like. That said, it should still end up being a decent game.
Price: Free / $5.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Plant Parent is a new gardening app, and it has some potential. It aims to help people take better care of plants by helping to see potential disease or neglect identifiers. Basically, you take a picture of your plant, and the app tells you what it is and if there is anything wrong with it. There is also a calendar and smart care reminders to help you stay on top of your plant care.
The app strategy has promise, but it needs to shore up its subscription. Some people have reported being charged before the free trial is over, and we think that $2.99 per week is a bit much. The developers would certainly need to fix those issues before we’d fully recommend it, but as a new gardening app, it otherwise has some promise.
Tower of Fantasy
Price: Free to play
Tower of Fantasy is a new MMORPG. It has a lot of the usual MMORPG elements, including a story to play through, an open world to explore, and various classes so you can play how you’re comfortable. It has an anime aesthetic along with a mix of futuristic and fantasy elements. You can also glide like in Genshin Impact to traverse the world a little easier. Combat is hack-and-slash with abilities so it’s nothing we haven’t seen in MMORPGs before.
There are some minor bugs here and there, but nothing too terrible. This should prove to be a fairly popular game in the genre as it has all of the elements to succeed.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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