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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week

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coromon

Welcome to the 509th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Once again we bring you the latest news and apps from the previous week. Let’s start with some of the biggest headlines from last week:

  • A recent code dive suggests Google is working on a new Profiles feature for Messenger that would allow users to set their own profile name and photo. It’s possible this could be an RCS feature, or it could be a Google Messages feature similar to how Apple manages iMessage and Contact Posters used in it. 
  • Gmail for Android is testing a new feature that will help us respond to our emails faster. The new method will let you quickly begin typing a response to an email as you read it.
  • Ads may soon be heading to WhatsApp, as confirmed by the platform’s head Will Cathcart. The ads will only be displayed in areas like the Status page and Channels. Whatsapp promises it won’t put ads in the main inbox, thankfully.
  • Google is rallying big European telecom companies together to take on Apple’s iMessage in Europe. In a little to the European Commission, Google and its allies argue iMessage should be considered a gatekeeper service, which would force Apple to make it interoperable with other messaging apps. 
  • Previously if you wanted to read Instagram messages without letting anyone know you had to use a workaround involving Airplane mode and logging out of the app. Thankfully Meta has officially solved this problem, letting users turn off read receipts. 
  • Google has announced it’s testing new generative AI experiments for YouTube. This includes using AI to summarize the broad topic of the comments in videos and the ability to use an AI chatbot to answer questions about the video being watched without interrupting playback.

Android Apps Weekly: New apps and games of the week

Looking for some new Android apps and Android games to keep you occupied? Below we take a look at some of our favorite suggestions for the week. This week we have three games and two app suggestions. 

GOPilotX

  • Price: Free but requires sign-in
gopilot

I load up every app I put on the weekly list, but usually, my time with it is limited to about ten to thirty minutes depending on the app or game — just enough to determine whether it might be interesting enough to recommend. In the case of GoPilotX, it requires more time to assess the quality of its AI feedback. I’ve only had two days with it and have completed just three jogs, so the data is limited.

From what I can see, it works by tracking your logs over a period of time and then it provides an analysis that breaks down the run. So far, it hasn’t provided much beyond a few basic insights about my average speeds, but it has piqued my curiosity enough to start tracking my logs. Nevertheless, I find this to be an interesting app and believe it’s worth trying at least. It also promises new features every week, so it might be something to keep an eye on in the long term. 

Frontline Hero: Epic War Games

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Frontline Hero is a bit of a hybrid between tower defense, RGP, and gacha. The story here is pretty limited but it takes place in a futuristic world with unique anime-style graphics and animations. As for the core gameplay, you basically have to defend your team from waves of enemies using different strategies along the way. You’ll also be able to customize your captain and other characters as well. For my tastes, the action was a bit too frantic with a lot going on at once, but I can see how it will appeal to those who enjoy games similar to this. 

Phantom Blade: Executioners

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Phantom Blade: Executioners is a unique kungfu action side-scrolling game with some of the best character designs and art I’ve seen in a long time. The storyline is also pretty impressive here. Without giving anything away, it centers around a conspiracy that threatens the whole world.

While I enjoyed it, the experience wasn’t perfect as I ran into some bugs and a fair share of lag. From what I can tell from other Google Play reviews, device performance can vary significantly so your experience might be more stable than might. Either way, it’s a new game, so here’s hoping that future updates make it a bit more stable for everyone. 

Coromon

  • Price: Freeware, $4.99 to unlock full game

Clone them, clone them, gotta clone them all! Cormon takes pretty obvious inspiration from Nintendo’s Pokemon, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Even the intro feels like an old-school Pokemon game, complete with a scenario where you’re a young kid living at home with your mom until you suddenly leave for a new job that changes everything. Overall this feels the closest thing to a retro-style Pokemon game you’ll officially find on Android outside of an emulator. Just be aware the free version is more like a demo, with the full game costing $5. If you like Pokemon as much as I do, it’s probably worth it though. 

Metria

  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

When I first opened Metria up on my phone the loading screen and intro video gave me immediate Zelda BoTW vibes, but despite similar initial character clothes and sounds, there are some core differences. There are no mechanics no swimming, no climbing, and the world is only semi-open. There’s also a lot of loading screens. You also play as more than one character as the story progresses, so Metria has few more JRPG elements than Zelda.

The storyline itself seems to be pretty generic, centering around deadly sins that once almost destroyed the world until 12 warriors fought off the 9 deadly sins and sealed them away with the power of magical light. 

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