Welcome to the 398th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Google Hangouts is on its way out sometime in late 2021. We wrote an obituary for the app as it was a favorite among many members of our team. The obituary includes a full history along with some good and bad things Google did with it. Hit the link to read it.
- The Unicode Consortium announced 37 new emoji and 75 skin tone variations as part of its 2022 Emoji 14.0 lineup. The new emoji brings the total up to 3,633. That’s rather surprising. The new emoji include a salute, the heart finger (popular among K-Pop fans), a biting lips one, and others. You can hit the link to check them out now. You probably won’t see any of these until 2022 unless you know where to get them.
- Spotify experienced a minor outage this week. It went down on September 16th for a little while. It was first found on Down Detector as many people said they couldn’t get anything to work. The issue was eventually solved, even if the functionality was a bit dodgy for another few hours.
- Google may add free channels to its streaming platform soon. The channels are potentially free with ad support. We don’t know a ton yet because it is a bit of a rumor. The news hinges around FAST (free, ad-support streaming television) channels. Such channels have done great on other platforms. It makes sense that Google wants it for theirs as well. Hit the link to learn more.
- Google intends to port Android 11 permission features to versions of Android all the way back to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Namely, the part where apps lose their permissions if you don’t use them for a significant period of time. This was one of the big security adds from Android 11 and it’s nice to see Google bringing it to more people.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Wear Installer may be a valuable tool for Wear OS owners. It lets you sideload APKs directly to your watch from your phone. It works as long as the app you’re installing has Wear OS components. The app also works with the already notoriously finicky Wear OS 3.0. It requires developer options on your watch, but otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward. I can’t comment on how well it works because I don’t own a Wear OS watch, but it definitely has some promise as a power user app.
The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia
The Heroic Legend of Eagerlnia is a strategy game with a lot going for it. It’s a grand strategy game where you manage a whole country. The game includes five races, a storyline to follow, offline support, and over 350 heroes to play with. There is simply so much to do and so many choices that many players can play it in many different ways. We also like that the game is premium without any in-app purchases to get in the way. There is strategy, combat, and customization. There isn’t much else to ask for. It’s a winner.
Price: Free trial / $3.99 per month / $9.99 once
Ace ASL is an app for learning sign language. It’s actually a neat premise. The app uses your camera to watch you sign and then lets you know if you’re signing the practice sentences correctly. The app also has some small games and videos for further instruction. In the intro rounds, the app basically asks you to memorize the letters, then you practice, and then you test. You can repeat tests as often as needed to learn stuff. The app goes for $3.99 per month or boasts a $9.99 lifetime price as an early bird special. Obviously, the lifetime membership is cheaper over time.
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV is the first of a few pixel remasters the company intends to drop this year. The remaster includes re-drawn pixel graphics designed by the original artist of Final Fantasy IV. The soundtrack is also remastered along with some other stuff. The core game remains intact. You play the story of Cecil as he goes from being a crystal stealing thug to a hero. The remaster also includes cloud saving and the usual near $20 price tag for Final Fantasy ports. On the downside, there is an online DRM function to prevent piracy but you can’t play offline. Plus, there is no controller support, something the mobile 3D master has. Hopefully, Square Enix continues to improve this over time. As for the remastered graphics. I personally like them, but I can see why some people may not. It’s totally up to preference.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
OnMail is a new email app. It works like most email clients. You can send and receive email, archive stuff, reply, forward, and all of that jazz. This one is special because it filters out spam and junk and it claims to do so better than most. The app lets you approve and deny contacts. Denied contacts simply can’t send you email anymore. The app also includes unsubscribe recommendations and works with Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. It seems to work, although long-term testing is needed to see how well it actually works.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about them in the comments or contact us at [email protected]
Thank you for reading! Try these out too: