Welcome to the 498th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Bixby’s voice cloning feature is rolling out to more places. In fact, most folks should be able to try the feature via the Bixby Voice Creator app. The idea is that you can train Bixby using your own voice and then have it answer commands in your own voice. Hit the link to read more.
- Nvidia GeForce Now is working with Xbox Game Pass starting this week. That means you can access games from both services at the same time from the same place. However, you do need subscriptions for both services individually. It’s not surprising, but it is something to keep in mind. You can read more at the link, but it’s a good move for consumers to get two competing products in the same space.
- Strava introduced a new route-building feature this week. It lets you browse and view photos uploaded to the service by other Strava users. Strava uses AI to determine the most useful photos from its collection. Users can use those photos to better plan their workouts in more detail by choosing the various trails they want to hit.
- Google is currently testing a hum-to-search feature for YouTube. The feature works as you would expect by searching YouTube for songs based on the song you hum. The feature is available to select folks as an experimental service. Google is also testing a shelf feature where you can view multiple uploads from a creator without visiting their page. Hit the link to learn more about both.
- Android 14 may include a feature that includes a URL with your screenshot. It’ll most likely work with Google apps such as YouTube and Chrome first, which is fairly typical for new Android features. The idea is that you can send a screenshot of an article or video along with the link for that article and video. Thus, you can share two things at once.
Snowbreak: Containment Zone
Price: Free to play
Snowbreak: Containment Zone is a sci-fi-themed shooter with some RPG elements. The RPG stuff is fairly normal for a mobile RPG. You can summon various characters, level them up, and use them to progress through the story. Other than that, you can farm levels either manually or automatically for materials that you use to perform the aforementioned upgrading. The combat is a little more action RPG than traditional shooter, but the game does give you guns as a primary weapon. It has a decent amount of polish, and it’s something a bit different from the typical gacha RPG.
Statista Daily Data
Statista Daily Data is an official app from Statista. You’ve likely heard of it before if you’ve ever gone looking for statistics about stuff. In any case, this app is mostly for entertainment purposes. It shows you daily infographics to show you various amounts of data. In addition, the app also offers fun facts, quizzes, and the ability to personalize your notifications to only see stats about stuff you care about. This is a niche product for curious people and not something that everyone will use. It’s still pretty neat, though.
Clue is another mobile remaster of the classic board game. It plays mostly like the classic game. Your goal is to find the perpetrator, the room, and the instrument used for the murder. The mobile version lets players conduct interviews, uncover facts about the case, and ultimately solve it. There’s a single-player mode along with an offline co-op mode to play if you don’t want to use the online multiplayer. You can adjust the difficulty to make it as easy or as difficult as needed. There are microtransactions, which some folks aren’t pleased with along with some early bugs. Otherwise, it’s not bad.
SimplyLocal is like a Google Maps for locally sourced food. It boasts tens of thousands of registered farms across the U.S. where you can go and buy various forms of food. Included in the search results are farmer’s markets where you can buy multiple different types of food. Of course, it’s more expensive than the stuff you get in the grocery store. The benefit is that you get to choose the quality of your food and for some people at least, that matters. The app is free to use with no in-app purchases or subscriptions that we could see.
War Thunder Mobile
Price: Free to play
War Thunder Mobile is a big release for two reasons. First, it brings the popular War Thunder franchise to mobile where you can battle it out with either tanks or ships against opponents. The second is because it’s the first major game release with ray tracing. In terms of gameplay, it looks excellent and the controls are relatively easy to handle. Luckily, the tutorial isn’t too overbearing. There are bound to be some long farming sessions as you approach the endgame, but that’s typical for a mobile game. It’s definitely worth a play if you enjoy war games.
The ray tracing part is notable as well. Ray tracing has been available since the latest generation of mobile chips has been out, but developers have been slow to take advantage. War Thunder’s ray tracing is subtle. The developers focused on finer shadow details as you can see in Qualcomm’s showcase for it. The effect is noticeable when you’re playing as a tank, but less so when playing as a ship where you’re zoomed so far out that finer details aren’t noticeable. It’s not as bombastic as Cyberpunk 2077, which some folks may have been expecting, but it’s still a big step forward for mobile gaming that it exists at all.
If we missed any big Android app or game releases, tell us about it in the comments.