5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week

AAW ChatGPT screenshot

Welcome to the 494th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Android 14 beta 4.1 landed this week. It brought with it a long list of bug fixes and performance improvements. This is fairly typical for an Android update this late into the cycle as the stable version creeps closer. Among the changes was Android 14’s work profile and how it suspends apps once you switch out of the profile. As Android 14 progresses, we bemoan the end of Android 4.4 KitKat, which is officially losing support in Google Play Services.
  • Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta are teaming up to take on Google Maps and Apple Maps. The two mainstays in the navigation space have ruled the roost for a long time. With this alliance of huge tech companies, there may be a third option here before too long. Click the link to read more about it.
  • Elon Musk is at it again at Twitter this week. Or rather, we should say that Elon Musk is at it at X this week. The eccentric owner changed Twitter’s branding to X, including removing the Twitter logo for an X logo. Hit the link to learn more. The company is also considering charging folks for more than 500 DMs a day to help control bot spam.
  • Bing Chat has begun pushing Bing Chat to Safari and Chrome this week. This lets folks not on Edge chat with Bing’s ChatGPT. People on those browsers have usage and character limits, so you predictably don’t get the full experience unless you use Microsoft Edge. The update is rolling out so you’ll see it eventually.
  • Google announced a new Play Store specifically for foldables and tablets this week. The new Play Store lets you only search for apps that are optimized for larger or foldable screens. This is a good idea, since you can turn on recommendations for non-optimized apps if you want to. Google has spent the last couple of years trying to get developers to optimize apps for larger displays. Now, those developers have to if they want to be involved with this new Play Store.

 

Merge Neverland

Price: Free to play

Merge Neverland is, as you would expect, a merge game. The goal is to merge the various items to get better items and complete levels. There are over 200 levels to play through to obtain various items and gold. You use these items and currency to bring a garden back to life. In addition to the core gameplay loop, players also get themed events every week, various login bonuses, and more. Like most free-to-play games, there is a grind as you get further and further into the game. However, it’s pleasant enough that it’s not really a big deal.

DJ Music Mixer

Price: Free / $5.99

DJ Music Mixer screenshot 2023

DJ Music Mixer is a DJ app that lets you mix and play music right from your phone. It has a variety of desirable features, including virtual turntables, a crossfader, built-in sound samples, and you can record everything you mix directly through the app if you so choose. The UI has a learning curve as would almost any app like this. The developers say it was designed by actual DJs, but that’s likely at least partially a marketing ploy. It worked well in our testing, but admittedly, we didn’t test it for a super long time.

Master of Knights

Price: Free

Master of Knights is a mobile gacha RPG with SRPG-style combat. The main focus of the game is summoning various heroes to help you along your quest. You level them up, give them better gear, and send them out to fight for you. Combat features a checkerboard-style layout where you set characters down to fight bad guys. All of the controls are tap, and combat seems to go pretty quickly during the early levels. This one suffers from the age-old problem of intentional resource scarcity to make grinding longer than it should be, but other than that, it’s not bad.

ChatGPT

Price: Free / $20 per month (eventually)

ChatGPT screenshot 2023

OpenAI released an official ChatGPT app this week. It works pretty well. You can engage with ChatGPT 3 for free as of this writing. You’ll be able to pay the $20 ChatGPT Plus subscription to engage with ChatGPT 4 eventually, but it’s not in the app just yet. Other than that, it works like most AI chatbot apps. You ask it questions and it gives you answers. We asked it 20 questions and most of the answers were correct. This is a good tool for simple stuff, but more complex things are outside of the scope of the app. In any case, you can try it now with the button below.

Tower of God: New World

Price: Free

Tower of God: New World is the latest game from Netmarble. It’s yet another gacha-style mobile RPG where you summon characters, level them up, and make them work for you. Combat is relatively simple. Most things require little more than tapping, and you get the colorful special attack graphics that every mobile gacha RPG uses. Outside of the gameplay, there’s a story to play through and some other things to do. Some folks don’t like the story or the gameplay. The grind gets pretty intense during the later stages of the game as well. If you can handle that, it’s not a bad overall game.


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

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