Welcome to the 409th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- The Unicode Consortium announced the most popular emoji from 2021. They include the laughing with tears, heart, the other laughing with tears, thumbs up, and crying. Believe it or not, three of the top five are the same in 2021 as they were in 2019, the last time the list was launched. Hit the link to learn more or hit this link to learn how you can finally make dog emoji combos in Gboard.
- New flags are present in the latest developer build of Chrome OS that strongly suggests that official Steam support is coming. The flags were for Borealis, the team responsible for Steam support on the platform. This has some major repercussions, including making Chrome OS an actually decent place to find AAA games. The developer build has to make its way through beta and then to stable before any of us will see it.
- An internal FBI document circulating around shows that WhatsApp and iMessage give the most info to the FBI. The document mentions various other messaging apps and their various involvement with the feds. Signal and Telegram are two larger platforms that give the FBI virtually nothing. Hit the link to view the infographic for yourself and see how well your messaging app does among the ones listed. We assume many readers are sad about WhatsApp’s involvement, especially considering how many of them use WhatsApp’s stickers.
- Spotify launched Spotify Wrapped 2021. This magical time of year gives you all kinds of insights into what you listened to. Spotify users can check it out in the app and share neat little cards with their friends on social media. Sharing the Wrapped cards is a pretty big part of the holiday season for Spotify users. Hit the link to learn how to find yours and share it with others.
- It’s that time of year for end-of-the-year lists of the best things. Google Play announced theirs this week and you can check it out at the link. Google Play’s picks include Pokemon Unite, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, and many other games. For apps, Google Play chose Balance, Canva, Clubhouse, Whatifi, Disney+, MyFitnessPal, and many others.
Price: Free to play
Postknight 2 is the sequel to the indie game hit Postknight from 2017. The game bills itself as a casual adventure RPG where you fight through enemies to deliver goods to people. The game revolves around delivery quests and ranking up as a Postknight. There are a variety of locations to deliver to and from, simple but fun combat, and several different sets of equipment to master. It employs fun 2D graphics and the whole game is executed nicely.
Wacom is best known for its tablets as well as the technology behind the Galaxy Note S Pen. It’s actually pretty cool that the company has its own note-taking app. The app lets you draw and write things and then converts your handwritten notes into digital documents. There is also a Semantic Ink function that analyses your notes and adds contextual information as you write out your stuff. It worked okay in our testing. This one obviously works best for devices with a stylus so those without one may miss out on some of the cooler features.
Kingdom Two Crowns
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Kingdom Two Crowns is a new game from Raw Fury, developers of Kathy Rain, Whispers of a Machine, Dandara, and Bad North. This one is a side-scrolling strategy game. Players build themselves a kingdom, recruit people into the kingdom, and then defend it from monsters. The game also boasts a co-op mode (via split-screen local multiplayer), multiple settings, and engaging gameplay. We especially like how there isn’t much of a tutorial so part of the fun of the game is figuring out how to play the game. The base game is $6.99 and there is a $2.99 add-on if you want it.
Price: Free / $3.99
Wallpaper Engine is a mobile port of the popular Windows PC app from Steam. Basically, you create a live wallpaper on the Windows version of the app and then you can port it to your Android device with this app and use it on your phone. You can, of course, make wallpapers directly on the phone as well. The service supports videos, GIFs, and interactive 2D and 3D scenes. Some other features include a playlist that changes your wallpaper automatically, no ads, and your wallpapers automatically pause if you engage power savings mode. The app is free, but the full experience requires the Windows version of the app for obvious reasons.
Rocket League Sideswipe
Price: Free to play
Rocket League Sideswipe is the official mobile version of Rocket League. This version is a 2D side-scroller versus the 3D version on PC and console. Otherwise, the goal is mostly the same. You drive your car around, ram the ball into the opposing goal, and ram into your opponents to stop them from doing the same. Matches are two minutes long and we appreciate quick matches on a mobile game. Some other features include a 1v1 and 2v2 mode along with private matches, online competitive matches, a season pass with extra unlockables, and more. The game is new and seems to be suffering from some crash issues, but otherwise, it’s looking like a pretty solid mobile game.
If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about it in the comments.
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