Welcome to the 343rd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- The Fortnite saga continued this week with a bunch of new developments. Microsoft showed its backing of Fortnite because of Fortnite’s developments with the Unreal Engine and its impact on PC gaming. In addition, Epic Games hosted a Fortnite tournament before Apple players lost cross-platform privileges earlier this week. Meanwhile, Apple responded to Fortnite’s claims in court, comparing Epic Games to shoplifters in some truly bizarre court statements. Click the links for more details.
- People in Arizona are suing Google over privacy concerns. The court documents alleged that even Google employees had no idea what was happening with their own privacy, let alone anyone else’s. Google said the documents and news sources cherry picked juicy bits to make the situation seem much worse than it actually was. Most of this is from 2018 and Google has improved location services immensely since then.
- Android 11 will sometimes force people to use the stock camera app even if they prefer a third party camera. The new system will let users use the camera in apps where a camera is built-in, like Instagram. However, if an app requires the use of an outside camera, the OS will default to the stock camera app instead of any third party apps. This isn’t too big of a deal since you can still use third party apps, but it’s still a bit restrictive.
- Some Chinese phones shipped with malware recently and it’s been a bit of a big deal. The malware, Triada and xHelper software, could download apps in the background and subscribe to services without the user’s consent. It affected some Tecno W2s, a low cost phone from China. Hit the link for more details.
- TikTok is striking back against the US government. A new lawsuit from the social media giant alleges that the US government intentionally ignored any attempts TikTok made to show the US that it wasn’t a security threat. Some of the initiatives included storing US user data outside of China and a data barrier barring the developer’s other apps from ever accessing TikTok. Trump’s order for ByteDance to sell to a US company by September 15th also remains in effect.
Baseball Superstars 2020
Price: Free to play
Baseball Superstars 2020 is the latest arcade baseball sim from GAMEVIL. Players start the game by collecting various characters to improve their baseball team. You can upgrade players, coaches, and trainers. Plus, you can customize your baseball team in a variety of different ways. There is some actual baseball, including a hitting and pitching mechanic. Both are arcade style so there isn’t much realism. However, it’s a fun little arcade game for baseball fans despite its free to play price tag.
Secure Clips is a new clipboard manager that also includes some security features. It basically intercepts the stock Android clipboard so you can copy and paste text to places without worrying about who can see it. It’s a bit weird to use. You copy text with a three-dot menu instead of the usual pop-up, and then paste the same way. Thus, it skips the OS entirely. You can also enable an extra Accessibility permission to skip that and use it like you would the Android OS method. It runs for $1.99 up front with no in-app purchases and it’s a neat tool for people who care about privacy.
Soul of Eden
Price: Free to play
Soul of Eden is the latest game by Rayark. Rayark is generally known for its rhythm games but this is actually an online dueling card game. Players build 30-card decks from a collection of over 100 and then duel it out with one another online. The game also features four minute matches, various factions for players to join, and a decent game play system that allows for some customization of your combat strategies without relying entirely on RNG. It’s a free to play title and people seem to like it so far.
Price: Free / $1.99 per month
Bazaart is a photo editor app with some neat effects. It doesn’t have all of the usual stuff, but it makes up for it with some fun tricks. There is a magic background eraser tool that lets you remove your background and put something else there instead. You can also do this manually if you want to. The app also boasts a metric ton of filters, effects, and stickers along with some basic comments like flip, rotate, scale, and duplicate. The free version works well enough and has most of the features, but you have to fork out $1.99 for everything. You can try the premium with a seven day free trial.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad
Price: Free to play
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is an online multiplayer strategy game with a Tom Clancy theme. The game includes five on five player battles where each player instructs their characters on where to go and what to do. The team left standing at the end wins. The game focuses primarily on its PvP arena, but you can also play the campaign mode to get started. We didn’t play too much of it but it seems like it’ll be decent enough. The graphics are fine and the game play is decently quick. There are some early bugs but they shouldn’t last very long.
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If we missed any big Android apps and games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments!