Welcome to the 353rd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the headlines from the last week:
- Netflix is increasing its prices for its most popular plans. The regular HD streaming plans increased from $12.99 per month to $13.99 per month while the 4K streaming plan went from $15.99 per month to $17.99 per month. Netflix says its to ensure people get more TV shows and movies. The price increase hurts a bit, but luckily it’s nothing too insane. The last time Netflix increased prices was January of 2019 so it’s actually been a little while.
- Spotify is also increasing its prices sooner rather than later. The CEO confirmed as much earlier this week. We don’t know how much the price increase is or when it’s happening. However, it is an inevitability at this point. The family plan already saw a price hike not long ago in select markets so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. Hit the link for more details.
- Google Messages received a new feature this week. People can schedule text messages for any day or time that they want. This is a bit of a niche feature, but it can help with how some people text. The feature rolled out to some people already with a bigger rollout likely planned for later. Additionally, this feature works with both RCS and regular SMS text messages.
- WhatsApp had a few announcements this last week. The first is a set of new storage tools. The first lets you remove files larger than 5MB and files you forwarded a bunch of times to save on storage. Additionally, the service is rolling out Disappearing Messages (expiring messages) this week to users worldwide. Hit the various links to learn more.
- Activision Blizzard announced a slew of mobile games this last week. It wasn’t any game in particular, but the gaming giant said it would make mobile games for basically all of its existing gaming properties. We already know Diablo Immortal is coming someday. However, the developer also has properties like Spyro, Overwatch, StarCraft, and others without a mobile property yet. Hopefully they do it well and don’t screw it up.
Price: Free to play
Mechanical Instinct is a mobile fighting game. Players choose from six pilots and start customizing their fighting style with different melee and ranged weapons. You level up over time to take on tougher opponents. The game also includes a leaderboard, an alliance system, and a loot box system. The free to play elements aren’t too bad but eventually you may feel a lot of pressure to buy stuff with real money. In any case, the controls are simple and the game is fun in an arcade game sort of way.
Starlink is a management app for SpaceX’s upcoming satellite-based Internet service. The app does a variety of things, including helping you set up your Starlink setup, run speed tests, and troubleshoot connection issues. We couldn’t test this app fully because we don’t have Starlink, but the app gives you a good idea of how it’ll run for people. In particular, the setup process looks pretty easy and neat. Most people won’t be able to use this, but it’s nice to see it since it signals that the service might actually launch eventually.
Tera: Endless War
Price: Free to play
Tera: Endless Wars is a new strategy game with kingdom building elements. You basically build up your troops and take on opposing armies. It uses a hexagon style grid map where you build your defenses and conduct your battles. The controls are pretty easy and the graphics are reasonably decent. We have seen some complaints about performance on lower end devices, though, so that’s something to keep in mind. You spend most of your time watching battles rather than conducting them and that’s a bit of a drag, but the game is a decent time killer for fans of the genre.
Zenchat is a chat app mixed with a to-do list app. It basically merges the two into a single idea. Any message can become a task with a due date, reminders, notes, and whatever else you need. There are separate sections for managing your chats and task as well as decent chat functions. This one is mostly for business use and advertises a decent way to stop switching between management services and chat services. It’s still young and has a long way to go, but the idea is quite good and we hope they do it right.
Shadow Fight Arena
Price: Free to play
Shadow Fight Arena is the latest game in the popular Shadow Fight series. It’s a 2D side scrolling fighter where you create teams of fighters and face off against foes. The game includes an online PvP element along with some single player activities. The various heroes have upgradeable abilities and there are plenty to collect. We also quite like the controls. You get a lot more control over your characters than some arcade mobile fighters. This one is pretty decent and early reviews also praise the game despite its early bugs.
Thank you for reading! Check these out too:
- 10 best kingdom building games like Clash of Clans
- 10 best Android tools and utility apps
- 15 best fighting games for Android
- 10 best messenger apps for Android
- 15 best strategy games for Android
If we missed any big Android app or game news or releases, tell us about it in the comments.