5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week

AAW Watcher of Realms

Welcome to the 492nd edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Google Play has officially relaxed its rules regarding NFT sales in apps and games. The new policy does have some rules that developers have to follow. For example, developers of NFT apps need to be even more transparent than typically required for an app developer. You can read more about it at the link.
  • Google TV got over 80,000 free movies and TV shows this week via The Roku Channel. It’s available to owners of Google TV and Android TV devices as of this writing. Installing The Roku Channel grants access to the aforementioned movies and TV shows along with Roku-exclusive content. This is a huge deal for folks who are running out of things to watch.
  • We did two APK teardowns this week. The first showed that Samsung may start using ChatGPT in its own in-house browser. It could be part of the Labs part of the settings. That means it would be an experimental feature. Additionally, a Reddit APK teardown showed that Reddit may be up for giving folks real money for their accumulated Reddit gold and karma. This is probably not the best news after all of the controversy so far this summer, but we’ll see how it plays out.
  • Threads by Instagram took off like a lightning rod since its initial release. We covered it when it passed 30 million subscribers, but that number has ballooned to 100 million in one week. It was such a big deal that Twitter threatened legal action. This is the beginning to a much longer story, but for now, it’s pretty simple stuff. Threads is blowing up and Twitter is angry about it.
  • The US approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard this week. It seemed that was all that was needed to get the deal done. However, the FTC has halted the deal with an appeal. The appeal was filed on July 12th, so we’ll learn more about it as it happens. However, the court has already ruled against the FTC, so it’s fairly likely that it’ll do so again. That said, anything can happen, so we’ll keep you up to date.

 

Kemono Friends: Kingdom

Price: Free to play

Kemono Friends Kingdom screenshot 2023

Kemono Friends: Kingdom is a story-driven game with combat that is somewhat similar to, believe it or not, Angry Birds. It has gacha elements so you’ll be collecting a variety of characters like most mobile JRPGs these days. Your characters then launch themselves into monsters that you find throughout your adventure. I didn’t expect to be writing about an anime Angry Birds with a story, but here we are. If that sounds interesting to you, you may enjoy the game.

PDF AI

Price: Free / $10.99 per month

PDF AI screenshot 2023

PDF AI is a clever use of an AI chatbot. This one lets you import a PDF file. You can then talk to the AI chatbot about its contents. That includes asking it to search for various things, tell you more about it, and interact with it in other ways. This is obviously a niche app that most people won’t find terribly handy. However, folks who use PDFs very frequently may find it useful, especially if the PDFs are very long. It comes with a rather steep subscription like most AI apps do, so it’s not something we’ll ding the developer for. Still, we think some folks may find some use for this, and it worked fine in our testing.

Watcher of Realms

Price: Free to play

Watcher of Realms is a new mobile RPG with over 2.5 million pre-registrations. That’s fairly impressive for a new IP. It uses a lot of the same mechanics as other mobile RPGs. There is a large cast of characters for you to collect, various upgrades to make you stronger, and a story to play through. Combat is a pseudo-tower defense style where you set up your characters and the bad guys come running at you. The goal is to not get run down. It ran fine on our test devices, but it does have some graphical settings for lower-end phones as well. It seems like it has a lot going for it, but it’s still early days.

Dice Simulator for Wear OS

Price: Free

Dice Simulator Wear OS screenshot 2023

Dice Simulator for Wear OS is a simple app with simple functionality. It emulates the various dice that you would normally need for tabletop RPG gameplay. Yous imply select the dice you need to roll and then the app rolls the dice right there on your Wear OS device. It’s a fun little use case, although we think most gamers will prefer their own dice. This works in a pinch. We tested it and it seems to work well. However, we didn’t test it enough to know how random the numbers actually are. Luckily, it’s free and includes a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20, and D100 dice option.

Takt Op Symphony

Price: Free to play

Takt Op Symphony is a different type of mobile RPG. It carries the same sort of elements you normally see like summoning characters, upgrades, and a story to play through. Where this one differs is in its gameplay. You can roam around the various environments, solve puzzles, and progress through the story. The combat is your fairly typical turn-based style with simple attack and special ability controls. This one has some pretty decent presentations. It’s centered around music and art, so we’re happy that the game sounds and looks pretty decent. It ran fine on our test device, but we agree with player reviews that the game could use some optimizations.


If we missed any big Android apps or games releases, tell us about it in the comments.

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