Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Welcome to the 360th edition of Android Apps Weekly and the last one of 2020! We hope you’re all having a happy holidays and have a happy New Year as well. It was a bit of a slow week because of the holidays, but here are the top app and game headlines from the last week:
- A lot of folks may get their first Android phones this year while also giving up their Apple devices. There are a lot of differences between the platforms, including the apps available for each. Those switching may want to check out some excellent Android alternatives to some of the best iOS apps.
- WhatsApp is rolling out audio and video calls to desktop users eventually. Unfortunately, only some people have it now as part of a limited trial. However, the service plans to launch the feature after the new year. It didn’t make it in time for the holidays but it definitely will next year.
- Google is shutting down its Android Things platform. It starts the sunset process on January 5th, 2021 and it’ll completely close down the platform a year later to the day. Luckily, there aren’t a ton of affected products and Google never seemed too interested in it anyway. We don’t know if Google is replacing it with anything.
- We asked readers this week if they ever used the news aggregator that usually comes packed with stock launchers these days. The most popular is Google Discover, but Samsung, OnePlus, and several other OEMs have their own little flavor. Obviously most of our readers voted for Google Discover, with second place going to ignoring the feature entirely. Hit the link to read more.
- We did a poll among our writers to find out our favorite games of the year. Among the ones we listed, a few mobile games made it to the list, including Genshin Impact and Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross. Hit the link to check out our choices.
Price: Free to play
Empires Mobile is the latest game from IGG. It’s a strategy game with similar (but not identical) mechanics to games like Clash of Clans. You build up your little empire and then train troops to take over other empires. It lets you choose between various fantasy races like elves and dwarves. Of course, there are heroes to unlock and play with as well. The big complaint with this one is that you can only play elves at first. The developers plan to add in the other races over time. It’ll be a good time waster eventually so keep an eye on it.
Price: Free / $6.49
Listshare is a simple list sharing app. You can create lists for things like groceries or just a general to-do list and share them with your family, roommates, or whoever. It features a simple, colorful UI. No one should get lost using this one. You can also organize your lists into custom categories such as groceries or chores so everything can have its place. This one is new and we didn’t test it super extensively so there may be bugs we missed, but it seems pretty good to us.
Forager is a 2D open world game with dungeon crawling elements. It started life on Steam and is now available on mobile. You can explore the world, collect many things, craft items, build structures, and manage your various resources. The graphics won’t win any awards but the game play elements are actually quite fun. It had some early release issues like the occasional crash, but most of the issues seem to have been patched in updates. It’s a bit expensive but you can easily dump dozens of hours into this one without an issue.
Sky Weatherman is a new weather app. It does a lot of the basics like current temperature and future forecasts. However, this one lets users track weather during important dates to them. For instance, you can tell the app your wedding day and it’ll tell you the weather for that day. It’s a separate part of the app so you can easily check and double check to make sure nothing has changed. You can even set it to tell you the weather as a specific time every day like right before your morning commute. It also has widgets, push notifications for inclement weather, and other features. We would like a pro version to remove ads, but it’s otherwise pretty good.
Star Wars KOTOR II
Star Wars KOTOR II is the latest port from the popular Knights of the Old Republic series. It’s a rather deep RPG where you try to save the Jedi Order after it falls into ruin. It’s a bit of a slow game, but the RPG elements and story are so deep that you can play for dozens of hours. The mobile version is a faithful recreation of the original. However, there are some bugs that are causing some issues with game play. We recommend giving the developers time to sort some of it out, but it’s otherwise a great retro RPG.
Thank you for reading! Check these out too:
If we missed any big Android apps and games news, updates, or releases, tell us about it in the comments.