Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Welcome to the 392nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Xbox Game Pass is likely coming to Android TV in the near future. There are multiple clues from multiple sources. An APK teardown revealed a banner image that all Android TV apps need to have. Plus, if you sideload the app, it shows that banner image. It’s obviously pretty early on in the process, but Microsoft seems to be working on it.
- YouTube Premium Lite is live to select users in Europe. The idea is to give a reduced price for ad-free YouTube for a cheaper price. However, the Lite version doesn’t let you do things like listen in the background nor does it include ad-free YouTube Music. We don’t know how popular such a service might be, but I guess we’ll see more if the program expands.
- Spotify is also experimenting with a cheaper premium tier. Spotify’s offer, which costs $0.99 per month, grants you unlimited skips on station playlists and also lets you listen to music on demand. It works basically just like the premium version except for the $0.99 version still includes ads. You can read more about it at the link.
- Fandango acquired Vudu in 2020. This year, it looks like the companies are finally starting to merge. Fandango is merging its streaming content into Vudu, bolstering the latter’s number of choices. Additionally, Vudu is now the official movie and TV app for Roku. It’s a pretty big move for both companies.
- Google banned sugar dating apps in the Google Play Store. Sugar, in this instance, means sugar daddy or sugar momma relationships. Google explained to us that they didn’t want to promote apps that encourage people to trade money or gifts for sexual acts. This shouldn’t affect the dating apps scene as a whole, but some apps like Spoil or Seeking Arrangement might find themselves without a store soon. Hit the link to learn more.
Hamster Cookie Factory
Price: Free to play
Hamster Cookie Factory is a cooking simulator. It also features some very cute little hamster friends. The point of the game is to restore a cookie factory, bake better and better cookies, and create stuff to earn money while you’re not playing. Yes, there is an idle game element here as well. The game has some cute graphics and simple mechanics. Most of the stuff is point and click so you don’t need to learn anything tricky. However, it seems to stutter and lag a bit on lower-end devices. It’s something to take into consideration when you start to play.
IMDb TV is the official Android app for IMDb TV. The app lets you stream thousands of movies and TV shows straight from the app. Perhaps the biggest selling point for IMDb TV is that it’s free to use. You don’t need a subscription service to start watching anything. You do have to watch some ads, but that’s to be expected for free content. There is also an Android TV version (Google Play) or you can activate this as a channel in Amazon Prime Video.
War of Survivors
Price: Free to play
War of Survivors is an online multiplayer strategy game. It also has elements of kingdom building. You start the game by building a base, researching upgrades, and building troops. You use those troops to raid other players. There is also a survival element to this one as well. The game does a good job to bring a lot of content and activities to the player’s hands. That said, it is definitely a grindfest and you can buy your way through the game, which some players don’t like. Additionally, the game does have some lag issues on some devices so we hope the developers optimize it a bit in future updates so it’s more playable on more phones.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
SwirlWalls is an interactive wallpaper app. Every wallpaper uses the same swirl style you see in the screenshots above. However, you can customize the swirl to your liking before setting it as a wallpaper. Additionally, the wallpapers are interactive and animate based on your device’s refresh rate. Thus, you can get some super smooth animations on higher-end devices with high refresh rate displays. Some other features include dark mode support, the ability to unlock all of the features without paying for anything, and the ability to configure gestures that make your wallpaper move. It’s definitely something cool and different in the wallpaper space.
My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia is a mobile port of the popular PC and console game. The game is a simulator with some RPG elements. The player inherits a workshop and works to build various things for the town of Portia. You can do quite a bit of stuff here, including collect resources, craft things, socialize with the game’s NPCs, hire workers to help with stuff, and even do combat with bad guys as you explore ruins to uncover secrets. It compares very favorably to games like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon so fans of those types of games should enjoy this one just as much. The game doesn’t have controller support, but verbiage in the Play Store listing indicates that it’s a work in progress. It’s a really good game, especially if you like simulators.
If we missed any big Android app or game releases or news, tell us about it in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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