Welcome to the 345th edition of
Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- There have been a lot of questions about Incognito Mode in browsers lately. We decided to do a deep dive and find out what it’s really all about. You can read our analysis of it here and see if Incognito Mode actually protects you from anything other than just other people with your phone.
- Three years ago, Google Maps was removed from Apple Watches in favor of Apple Maps. This week, the world’s most popular navigation app made its triumphant return to the platform. It’s not quite as powerful as Apple Maps. However, it is one of the precious few real alternatives to Apple’s navigation app in this space.
- Samsung added a new module to its Good Lock application. The new module lets you create custom live wallpapers. It’s a pretty basic function. You choose a base image and then add effects and motion to achieve a desired effect. Still, it’s a free product for Samsung owners who use Good Lock. It’s called Wonderland in case you want to check it out and you can get in the Samsung Galaxy Store.
- Google’s new Phone app was a pretty big deal when it first came out a while ago. This week, Google announced it would make its way to more devices outside of just Pixels. Additionally, its Verified Caller function is rolling out to users in a few countries, including US, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Spain. Hit the link to learn more.
- PUBG Mobile is trying to make a comeback in India after its ban a while back. The mobile game quit Tencent in order to shed its Chinese app tag and make its way back onto the Play Store in that country. The company in charge is PUBG Corporation and future updates are handled by South Korean video game company Bluehole. The developers hope this gets the game unbanned in India.
Price: Free to play
Bella Villa is a free to play match-three game with fashion game elements. Players go from level to level solving the match-three puzzles and then follow the story line as they progress. The game boasts thousands of stages, a house that you can decorate and build as you play, an actual story, and some unlockables as you go. It’s definitely something a bit different in the match-three space even if its free to play price tag gets in the way sometimes.
Price: Free / $5.99 per month / $19.99 per year
SlideScan is an app for digitizing old photographs. The app lets you scan old slides. It then applies some auto photo editing magic and you are free to share or store them anywhere you want. It works fairly well. You put the slide in front of something with a backlight so the camera can see what’s on it. The app then scans the image, applies some auto enhancements, and that’s it. The app worked well in our testing, but some people had issues getting it to focus on the slide and, thus, some images came out blurry. The only thing we don’t like is that this is a subscription service for some reason. We recommend paying for a month when you’re ready to digitize your slides and then cancel when you’re done.
Lord of Heroes
Price: Free to play
Lord of Heroes is a new mobile RPG and people seem to really like it so far. The story is nothing special, but it’s well executed and the mobile RPG elements seem relatively fair for free to play players. Even the Google Play description on this one is pretty cool. It’s a message from the game director and he talks about wanting to make the game fun and not an obstacle in your life. We only tested it for a bit, but this one has a lot of promise for a free to play mobile RPG.
Price: Free / $20
Yuka isn’t the newest app on the block, but it did recently launch in the US. In Europe, it’s a reasonably popular health app with a simple premise. You scan barcodes and the app literally just tells you if the item is good or bad for you. It’s a bit broad so there isn’t a ton of context. However, if you scan a vegetable, the app says it’s good and if you scan a soda, the app says it’s bad. So it gets the basics right at the very list. The premium version is rather expensive for how simple the app is, but we suppose it’s probably pretty expensive to keep a database for all this stuff.
Price: Free to play
Runelords Arena is a turn-based strategy game with some RPG elements. Players collect and level up heroes, group them in teams of five, and duke it out against other players. It focuses primarily on the PvP aspect of things but there are some other things you can do. For instance, there is an idle game element where you get loot even when you don’t play along with a campaign mode and a few other game modes. It’s pretty decent, but we thought the English translation was kind of bad and the campaign story is a little unimaginative. You’re definitely here for the PvP stuff if you decide to try it.
Thank you for reading! Try these too:
If we missed any big Android apps or games news or releases, tell us about them in the comments!