5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week
Welcome to the 463rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google enabled Matter on Google, Nest, and Android products this last week. It’s a pretty big deal. Matter is a smart home connectivity standard that aims to make smart home tech much easier to use. We’ve talked about Matter all year, and it’s nice to see it launch.
- Apple might allow app sideloading on iPhones in the future. Reports suggest that Apple is working on the feature as we speak. That’s a huge deal because it would allow for third-party app stores and a whole new side of iOS for users to explore. We already have that on Android, but it may not be a unique feature for much longer.
- Google announced its favorite Chrome extensions this year. There were no ad-blocking extensions on it, which we believe are on many people’s favorite Chrome extensions. That said, Google listed Tango, SwiftRead, Liner, Compose AI, Visbug, and Check US Visa Slots. There were a few others as well. Hit the link to learn more.
- Samsung Good Lock is rolling out to more countries. The new markets include Europe, Latin America, and a couple of Asian countries. It’s a good start, but there are still some rather large parts of the world without it, including all of Africa. You can get the full list of countries in the article linked.
- Google is planning to phase out Manifest V2 from Google Chrome. It would undo ad block if they did so on time. However, Google is delaying the phase-out of Manifest V2 for a little while longer. The company says it’s to help ease some migration challenges to Manifest V3. Hit the link to learn more details.
Sumi Sumi Party
Price: Free to play
Sumi Sumi Part is a match-three style tap puzzle game. Each round loads a bunch of cute little animals into a box. You tap where there are two or more identical creatures to clear them off of the board. You make progress by completing levels. Like most games in this genre today, there are more things to do. This one is part restaurant sim where you unlock recipes by completing levels and using the food to feed other characters. It’s probably not going to make massive waves, but it’s a fun little time waster that is also family-friendly.
Price: Free / $10.99
Notifya is a home security app that sends you notifications when it detects that a door is opened in your house. It uses your device’s sensors to detect the pressure changes that occur when doors open and close. In our limited testing, it seemed to work surprisingly well. The developers claim it works on most modern smartphones, and it integrates with Google Assistant. The developers are also taking feedback in this Reddit thread if you want to check that out. They have mentioned adding things like IFTTT or Telegram bot support as well.
It’s a bit expensive for the full version, and it’s technically currently in beta, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a good home security app release.
Ninja Must Die
Price: Free to play
Ninja Must Die is a side-scrolling runner with some action game elements. You defeat enemies, avoid obstacles and defeat bosses. The player has access to a variety of melee and ranged abilities to help you along the way. The game plays at a rapid pace, which we think is part of the charm. It’s not overly complicated, so you get to just play through the game and enjoy it without a ton of distractions. It is a free-to-play game, so there are microtransactions. They aren’t bad, though, so it shouldn’t mess with your play too much.
Price: Free trial / $8.99 per month / $48.99 per year
Breathwrk is a meditation app and one of Google’s picks for the best Google Play apps from 2022. The app helps users focus on their breathing to help relieve any number of issues, such as anxiety, trouble sleeping, and stress. Like all meditation apps, your mileage will vary since different solutions work for different people. In terms of usability, the app looks and feels pretty nice. You can access a variety of exercises to help you out based on what ails you. The only thing we’re not thrilled about is the subscription. You get a 7-day free trial, but otherwise you basically have to pay for it in order to use it effectively. Still, if it works, it might be worth the cost.
Vampire Survivors is, according to the developers, a roguelite survival RPG. Players play from a top-down perspective. They explore the game world as literally hundreds of bad guys come at them almost all the time. The game play is pretty simple. You use attacks to kill enemies and movement to dodge stuff. There are also some neat little options like the ability to choose between portrait or landscape modes. It’s a decent little arcade game. The best part is the price. The game is entirely free with no in-app purchases, and we think it’s nice to see reasonably decent games come out for free.
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, let us know in the comments.
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