This week we talk about the less than exceptional Nothing Launcher, CNN+’s early demise, and more Android apps news.
Welcome to the 430th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- A report circulated this week outlines Elon Musk’s alleged ideas to increase Twitter’s revenue. Among the ideas includes monetizing tweets, increasing celebrity engagement, and slashing the salaries of high-level executives. It was apparently part of his bid to buy Twitter. We don’t know how feasible a lot of that stuff is, but you can hit the link to learn more about it.
- Google is giving people more power to remove personally identifiable information from the web. This week, Google gave people the ability to request that phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses be removed from Google Search results. Google processes the requests in a few days and your information should be gone. We like this move a lot and recommend that people do it.
- Last week, we talked about the shutdown of the disaster that was CNN Plus. It turns out, it was worse than we thought because it actually shut down two days early. It was set to shut down on April 30th, but shut down on April 28th instead. It’s one of the worst streaming services launches of all time and draws comparison to Quibi quite a lot.
- Several major tech companies were duped into giving personal data to hackers. The process is a little complicated. However, the short version is that hackers pretended to be a legitimate company and submitted fake legal requests. The big tech companies responded and gave away data. Google, Apple, Twitter, Discord, and several others were included. Hit the link to learn more.
- The Google Play Store now shows you how apps collect and share your data. It’s 100% mandatory for app developers to include this data starting from July 20th, 2022. The information includes what data is collected, how it is used, what third parties it shares with, and several other pieces of data. You should see this rolling out in the coming weeks.
Phantom is a crypto wallet that was originally for desktop browsers. The company launched its Android and iOS apps a couple of weeks ago. The app boasts many of the same features as the wallet itself, including quick transactions, low fees, and Solana DAPPs for increased functionality. As an app, it’s not terrible but it definitely still needs some optimizations. It tends to load slowly and becomes occasionally unresponsive. However, a little tweaking here and there and the app should prove to be very useful. People who already use Phantom should definitely check it out.
Seven Mortal Sins X-Tasy
Price: Free to play
Seven Mortal Sins X-Tasy is a mobile JRPG with the usual gacha elements. You play through the story while you summon and upgrade your units. Some other game features include voice actors, the story having unique reactions based on player decisions, and hidden stories for your characters to unlock and play. The honeymoon phase is quite free-to-play friendly, although the grind does catch up to you eventually. It’s definitely one of the better options for this genre in recent memory.
Mastodon is a decentralized social network that is kind of like Google+ and Twitter mixed together. The service launched its official Android app this last week, no doubt in response to Musk buying Twitter. The app is decent for being so new. You can join various communities, post your thoughts, post polls, get notifications, and more. There are some growing pains. For example, it’s tough to switch instances without needing to log in multiple times and there are some other UI/UX issues that we hope the developers work out soon.
Echoes of Mana
Echoes of Mana is the latest gacha RPG from Square Enix. This one revolves around the existing Mana series. It plays like many Square Enix gachas where you can summon new and old characters from the Mana series, play through a storyline, and enjoy a bit of nostalgia mixed with a bit of newness. This one is a bit more aggressive in terms of microtransactions than most Square Enix gachas and some of the gameplay is a bit stuttery on lower-end devices, but Square Enix will continue to improve over the long term so keep an eye on this one.
Nothing, the company, launched Nothing Launcher as a publicity stunt to market its upcoming phone. The launcher is what will run on the new device. The launcher is a little bland. There are some widgets, a unique wallpaper, and a few customization options. However, it is very bland and basic so we don’t anticipate this taking the spot of apps like Nova Launcher any time soon. Still, we’ve seen OEMs upgrade and evolve their launchers before with great success so we won’t count this one out quite yet.