Welcome to the 465th Android Apps Weekly and the final edition in 2022. Happy new years, and here are the big headlines from the last week:
- We asked our readers how well Google did this year. You all told us that you thought Google did pretty well this year, both in terms of hardware and software. Regarding stats, 48% of you said that Google had a good year, while only about 5% thought the year was a total failure. You can hit the link to see the more granular stats.
- We also asked our readers when they sideloaded an app on Android last. Over 40% of our readers have sideloaded an app within the last month, and only about 15% have never sideloaded an app at all. We found that interesting since the common narrative is that sideloading is rare. Apparently, we have some rare readers.
- Our own Adam Birney attempted to use Google Translate on a trip with some mixed results. For example, some of the traveler-friendly features don’t work offline. Adam outlined his experience with the various features working or not working, and you can read it at the link above.
- Google is worried about Search. The number of AI tools and their surging popularity have the company a little on edge. Reportedly, the situation is a code red at Google. The worry is that AI responses give such tight answers that people won’t click on advertising links anymore, which would cause Google to lose a lot of money. Hit the link to keep reading, and we’ll keep monitoring to see what happens.
- As per the norm, we have rounded up the best new Android apps, best new Android games, and most controversial apps and games from the last year. You can hit any of the links to check out our selections. Overall, there are 50 apps and games to scroll through, along with ten more controversial apps and games. It was a pretty exciting year with some interesting launches.
Alliance Alive HD Remastered
Alliance Alive HD Remastered is a remaster of the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name. It’s also available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and iOS. The game is an RPG that takes place in a fantasy world. Players eventually wind up with nine characters, each one’s story interweaving with the other. Combat is turn-based and fairly indicative of JRPGs of its era. The game includes the whole story from the original, along with updated graphics, new features, and, of course, mobile controls. It’s a tad expensive at $11.99, but there are no ads or in-app purchases to tarnish the experience after that.
Mere Launcher is a minimalist launcher with larger icons. The home screen shows your favorite apps, with a simple shortcut to the app drawer where you can find everything. The app includes dark and light themes, a background tint function for improved contrast, and you can even orient the launcher landscape if needed. There aren’t a ton of extra features, but that’s normal for a minimalist app. It’s not half bad and worked well in our testing.
Price: Free to play
Frozen City is a city-building simulator. It’s set in a world that is beset by snow and ice, and that plays into the survival aspects of the game. You slowly build up your city, assign newly arrived survivors to do tasks, explore the wilderness, and survive the cold. It’s a fairly straightforward game without many twists and turns to annoy the player. There are microtransactions, but they aren’t terrible. Aside from some early game bugs, everything works pretty well.
My Link Manager
My Link Manager is an app for organizing and managing your web browser bookmarks. This is an especially great app if you use a web browser that doesn’t support bookmarks or one that doesn’t allow you to sync them to a new device. It’s a fairly simple app overall. You put your links in there, organize them, and retrieve them when needed. There is an import and export function, so you can back them up. It also doesn’t require Internet access, making it a fully offline app. There really isn’t much wrong with this one, and it worked fine in our testing.
Price: Free to play
Ever Legion is an idle RPG. The game sets the player off on an adventure to save their family from being turned into undead monsters. You collect heroes, let them do battle to level up, and progress through the game. As the genre suggests, the game plays itself in the background so you can grind while you sleep. The graphics are decent. We liked the world design more than the character design, but it’s a very Diablo-like experience, with dark color palettes. It competes with games like AFK Arena, and as long as the developer doesn’t mess up, it might actually succeed at it.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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