Welcome to the 474th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- A YouTube video seems to be causing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro to crash. The video, which is in 4K and HDR, appears to cause a processing error on the phones and cause the phones to at least partially reboot. Some Pixel 6 owners have also reported it. However, it doesn’t seem to affect all phones, 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. Initially, it will respond to such requests by saying that it does not understand the users. Google released a fix, so everything is fine now. But if you noticed problems with the 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. It turns out that a whopping 82% of readers do, which makes us happy because 2FA is very important for security. We hope the other 18% reconsider, and if they do, we’ve got a list of great 2FA apps for them to try out.
- Google announced some new Android features at Mobile World Congress. Some of them include app stuff. Some of the features include noise reduction for Google Meet, improved PDF annotation in Google Drive, Fast Pair for Chromebook, new Google Keep features and more. Click on the link to learn more.
- We had more news in AI this week. Snapchat now includes a ChatGPT bot that will automatically not respond if you ask questions that violate 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. Click on 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 particularly unique in this area, 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. The free-to-play elements aren’t the best, and the game suffers from occasional sync issues, but it will be fine once the bugs are ironed out.
Soundclub is an event app that focuses on music festivals. The app has 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 such. That’s not a bad idea for an app. Music festivals are everywhere, and with the warmer weather comes festival season. The app was free in our testing, and aside from some lag, it seems to work well.
Price: Free to play
Zombie Kingdom is an AFK survival game. You fight 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’s a ton of growth for you to go through, and that’s what you’ll be spending most of your time on. There aren’t many controls for the player, and you’ll see the game play itself more often than not. It’s certainly not the strongest player in the genre, but we had no technical issues during testing.
Vanishing Hour – Watch Face
Vanishing Hour is a watch face for Wear OS. The dial has a minimalist design and some nice design elements. The hours are displayed in the center of the screen. As the minute hand moves around the dial, it slowly erases some or all of the hour number. You can set the number to fade out, 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 series. You collect them, create a team and make your way through the levels to advance in the game. We have no doubt that longtime fans will be disappointed that it’s not a fighter, but more of a mobile RPG, and we understand that. Fortunately, characters aren’t hard to come by, and the game is reasonably easy to play. In fact, it is almost identical to One Punch Man: Road to Hero, so those who played it will know how this game works. Combat is relatively simple, requiring players to basically just tap moves to perform them. There are also some social elements. It doesn’t feel like Street Fighter, but it’s not bad for its genre either.
If we missed any big app or game releases, let us know about them in the comments.
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