Welcome to the 340th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Blue Mail was booted out of the Play Store last week. It eventually returned, but not before the conspiracy theories flew. Blue Mail simply had some similarities to TypeApp Mail according to Google. However, Blue Mail’s CEO believes it a retaliation for complying with the ongoing antitrust investigation of Google. Hit the link for all of the details.
- PUBG Mobile is supporting high frame rate displays. It’s starting support with a series of OnePlus phones, including the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, and OnePlus 8. It comes at the same time that Fortnite also opened up 90fps play on Android as well. The option is exclusive to OnePlus devices until early September.
- Google launched Android’s competitor to Apple’s AirDrop this week. Nearby Share, despite its lame name, works almost identically to AirDrop. You can start the service and find people near you, connect to them, and share stuff. It works with Bluetooth, WiFi, and WebRTC. The system picks the best transfer protocol on a per file basis. Hit the link to learn more.
- Instagram rolled out its competitor to TikTok this week. Reels launched in 50 countries and is usable right from the regular Instagram app. It doesn’t quite compete on a feature-by-feature basis, but it’s definitely fortuitous for Instagram considering Donald Trump signed an order banning US business with TikTok and WeChat this week.
- Security and privacy issues are coming to a head in the US. For starters, the US intends to take action against untrusted Chinese apps and phone makers. Of course, the forefront is TikTok and Huawei, but others may soon follow. Agencies like the NSA already warn employees about the dangers of location data and similar things. It’s so bad for TikTok that the company is consdiering selling out to Microsoft. Hit all the links to learn more.
Price: Free / $7.49 per month
Dino Fun is a paint-by-numbers style coloring book app. It uses retro style pixel art as its base and people just zoom in and color as they want. When they zoom all the way out, they get a full picture. It calls itself a game, but it’s really just a coloring book app. The app features over 1,000 pixel art images, the ability to upload your own photos, and simple controls. It’s a relatively relaxing experience except for the ads. The ads can get a little bit annoying from time to time. The subscription is also quite expensive for what the app offers so we recommend sticking to the free version despite its obnoxious advertisements.
Price: Free to play
MazM: Pechka is an adventure game with some visual novel elements. It tells the story Far East Russia and its inevitable collapse. The game takes place in episodes and players pay for such episodes to continue. The artwork and music do a great job of creating the atmosphere. Additionally, the storytelling is pretty decent as well. The developers already did a great job with similar games about Jekyll and Hide and The Phantom of the Opera. Pechka fits right in with how these developers work.
Price: Free / $4.99-$9.99 per month / $49.99 per year
Calendar.AI is a new calendar app for super heavy calendar users. At its core, it’s a usable and good looking calendar app with some smart features. For instance, you can create a meeting with a bunch of people. Those people can put their social links in their profile so you can quickly go to the meeting, click the person, and check out their Twitter account. The UI is perfectly serviceable with a day, 3-day, and week agenda view and multiple calendar syncing support. It also integrates with Zoom, GoToMeeting, Webex, and Microsoft Teams. The premium and pro subscriptions unlock the super smart stuff, but the free version still works pretty well.
Price: Free to play
Brawlhalla is Ubisoft’s latest mobile game. It’s a cross-platform fighting game with up to eight people in a single match. It’s an online PvP style game with some party game elements. That means there are several game modes to play with and you can play with friends if you want to. The game throws you into the deep end quite early and you’re playing right up there against players on console and PC as well so there is a bit of a learning curve at the beginning. It’s free to play, though, so you can take your time with it.
COVIDWISE is the first COVID-19 exposure app with Google’s new API (in the US). It’s specifically for residents of Virginia. The app relies on Bluetooth Low Energy to periodically generate anonymous tokens sent to other people’s phones. Basically, the app keeps you anonymous but also keeps track of all the phones you were close enough to for Bluetooth to connect. If someone you ran into tests positive, you get a notification letting you know. It also works vice versa for all the folks you run into if you catch it. This is also a great chance to see how this works in case your state or region adopts it eventually.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments!