Welcome to the 474th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- A YouTube video seems to be causing crashes on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The video, which is in 4K and HDR, seems to cause a processing error on the phones and causing the phones to at least partially reboot. Some Pixel 6 owners have reported it as well. It doesn’t seem to affect every phone, though, and some running the Android 13 developer preview haven’t experienced the issue.
- Google Assistant had a bug this week where it forgot how to control smart home devices. Basically, it would respond to such requests by saying it doesn’t understand the users. Google rolled out a fix, so everything is okay now. However, if you noticed any issues with your Assistant and smart home stuff this week, this is probably why.
- We asked our readers if they used two-factor authentication after Twitter removed SMS two-factor authentication for non-paying users. As it turns out, a whopping 82% of our readership does, which makes us happy because 2FA is very important for security. We hope the other 18% reconsiders, and if they do, we have a list of great 2FA apps they can try out.
- Google announced some new Android features at Mobile World Congress. Some of them include app stuff. Some fo the features include noise cancellation for Google Meet, improved PDF annotation in Google Drive, Fast Pair for Chromebooks, new Google Keep features, and more. Hit the link to learn more.
- We had some more news in AI this week. Snapchat now includes a ChatGPT bot that will automatically not answer if you ask questions that break Snapchat’s terms of service. Microsoft brought ChatGPT-powered Bing and iMessage support to Windows, and our own Rita El Khoury got to try out offline AI image generation courtesy of Qualcomm. Hit the links to learn more.
Price: Free to play
Pixel Fantasia is a 2.5D idle RPG. You send your hero out, they fight as long as they can, and then you upgrade their gear and abilities, so they can go back out and do it again for longer. The basic gameplay loop isn’t terribly unique in this space, but the developers do a decent job of making it fun. The game also includes online PvP, continued growth while offline, and a gacha element where you can summon companions to help you out. The free to play elements aren’t the best, and the game is suffering from the occasional sync issues, but it’ll be fine once the bugs get worked out.
Soundclub is an event app that focuses on music festivals. The app boasts over 5,000 festivals attended by over 1.2 million artists. You can find ticket information, artist lineups, and more information. There is also a social networking aspect where you connect with other users, share reviews, and stuff like that. It’s not a bad idea for an app. Music festivals are all over the place, and with the warmer weather coming, the festival season is coming soon. The app was free in our testing, and aside from some lag, it seems to work well.
Price: Free to play
Zombie Kingdom is a survival AFK game. You do battle with tons and tons of zombies, followed by bosses. Your characters level up, and you continue to move through the game. The max level is 9,999, so there is a metric ton of growth for you to go through, and that’s what you’re going to spend most of your time doing. There aren’t a lot of controls for the player, and you’ll watch the game play itself more often than not. It’s certainly not the strongest entrant in the genre, but we didn’t have any technical issues during testing.
Vanishing Hour – Watch Face
Vanishing Hour is a watch face for Wear OS. The watch face features a minimal design and some nice design elements. The hour is displayed in the center of the screen. As the minute hand makes its way around the watch face, it slowly erases some or all of the hour number. You can set the number to fade, turn it into an outline, or disappear entirely. You can also choose between a black or gray background along with a couple of hand styles. It’s not the most customizable watch face we’ve ever seen, but the minimal design looks nice, and it’s AMOLED-friendly.
Street Fighter: Duel
Price: Free to play
Street Fighter: Duel is the next official Street Fighter game for mobile. It includes over 40 characters from the famous fighter franchise. You collect them, make a team, and make your way through levels to progress the game. We’ve no doubt that long-time fans are going to be disappointed that it’s not a fighter, but more of a mobile RPG, and we totally get it. Luckily, it’s not difficult to get characters, and the game is reasonably decent to play. In fact, it’s almost identical to One Punch Man: Road to Hero, so those who played that will know how this game works. Combat is relatively simple, and requires players to basically just tap moves to execute them. There are also some social elements. It doesn’t feel like Street Fighter, but it’s also not bad for its genre.
If we missed any big app or game releases, tell us about them in the comments.
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