- 1 Apps
- 1.1 Tasker
- 1.2 AccuWeather: Live weather forecast & storm radar
- 1.3 Moon+ Reader Pro
- 1.4 jetAudio HD Music Player Plus
- 1.5 myTuner Radio App: FM Radio + Internet Radio Tuner
- 1.6 Rain Sounds - Sleep & Relax
- 1.7 Camera MX - Photo & Video Camera
- 1.8 Pixgram- video photo slideshow
- 1.9 Business Calendar 2・Agenda, Planner & Organizer
- 1.10 AppLocker | Lock Apps - Fingerprint, PIN, Pattern
- 2 Games
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Google Play Pass arrived this week as an answer to Apple Arcade. Google boasts that over 350 apps and games are included with the monthly subscription service, though so far we've only been able to catalog around 250 or so. Google being Google, many of these titles are rather lackluster, which makes it difficult to know if the subscription is worth it. So in order to help everyone out, I've gone through the entire list of available titles to pick out a few of the standouts to create this roundup. Below you'll find 20 of the better apps and games available through the service, hand-picked by yours truly. For your convenience, I've broken this list up by apps and games to keep things simple.
Tasker hardly needs an introduction. It's essentially the go-to solution for anyone that wants to automate their Android experience. You can expect over 200 built-in actions, as well as a bunch of loops, variables, and conditions, which makes it easy to automate just about any process on your device. So if you'd like to gain more control over your machine without having to root, Tasker is the #1 choice.
AccuWeather: Live weather forecast & storm radar
Over the years, I've personally tried the majority of weather apps on the Play Store, and yet I keep coming back to AccuWeather. One trend that does not appeal to me is subscriptions, and many weather apps appear to have fallen into this trap, which is probably why there are so few weather apps available through Google Play Pass. While many weather apps can be hit or miss, AccuWeather is easily the most reliable in the long term, which makes it a great choice for all Play Pass subscribers.
Moon+ Reader Pro
If you enjoy reading ebooks on your Android devices, then you've probably heard of Moon+ Reader Pro. Not only has it been around for ages, but it's also the most customizable ereader on the Play Store. Unlike the Kindle app, you can't purchase ebooks through Moon+ Reader Pro, and instead, have to sideload them. This means the app should appeal to those that collect epubs or have an interest in stripping DRM from their legitimate purchases. So if your not a fan of DRM and choose to manually manage your ebook library, using Moon+ Reader Pro on Android is an easy choice.
jetAudio HD Music Player Plus
I've been using Android since the HTC Hero, and I've always had a quality music player installed on my devices since the very first. This means I've gone through more than my fair share of music players in search of the best options available. During this search, I spent a reasonable amount of time with jetAudio, and I have to say it's a quality release. Not only is it compatible with many sound effects plugins, but you can also expect a wide range of audio codec support, which means you can easily play just about any music file, and they will all sound great. There's 32 equalizer presets, and you can even manually set up a 10 or 20 band equalizer. All in all, jetAudio is one of the most customizable and feature-rich music players on the Play Store, so don't miss out.
myTuner Radio App: FM Radio + Internet Radio Tuner
If you're big into listening to the radio, then myTuner Radio App should be on your radar. There are over 50,000 stations on offer, from over 200 countries across the world, and there's also a slew of podcasts available, which really rounds out the collection of stations. The app is also made for convenience, so if you're looking to listen to a particular song, you can search to see if any of the available stations are currently playing it. Really, myTuner Radio App is what radio should have always been, and if you're a Google Play Pass subscriber, you can use the entire app without any limitations.
Rain Sounds - Sleep & Relax
Some nights I have trouble sleeping, often worrying about this and that instead of getting rest. This is why I appreciate apps like Rain Sounds - Sleep & Relax. Not only is this a great release that offers high-quality sounds, but the selection available should provide a wide range of carefully selected rain types that should be suitable for many different occasions. So if you suffer from sleepless nights, maybe it's time to check out this relaxation app to see if you can calm your nerves and finally get some rest.
Camera MX - Photo & Video Camera
Just as I spent years searching for quality weather and music apps I also spent a lot of time searching out third-party camera apps, so of course I've used Camera MX and can say it's a worthwhile release. The app offers high-quality still photos as you can pause while recording video. It also supports controls for features like flash, zoom, and shutter sound. Of course, I don't have enough space to list out every feature, so let's just say this is one of the more customizable camera apps available, and leave it at that.
Pixgram- video photo slideshow
Pixgram is an awesome video and photo slideshow app. It offers a plethora of customization options, such as filter effects and music support. These tools make it easy to create professional slideshows accompanied by your favorite tunes, which is great if you enjoy sharing your work on social media.
Business Calendar 2・Agenda, Planner & Organizer
Business Calendar 2 is the latest calendar app from Appgenix Software, and much like the original release, the second version is one of the best calendar apps available on the Play Store. There are six views possible, and popups are supported in the month view (my favorite feature). There's also a daily and weekly planner, and each is adjustable to 1-14 days. You can even sync Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Exchange, which is clearly one of its bigger selling points.
AppLocker | Lock Apps - Fingerprint, PIN, Pattern
If you often share your Android device with members of your family or friends, it's probably a good idea to use a release like AppLocker to secure the more private apps on the device, such as your photo app or banking apps. By locking certain titles behind a password, you can safely hand over your device to just about anyone without having to worry about them digging through your personal data.
At this point, I would imagine the majority of our readers are familiar with the farming simulation game Stardew Valley. It has existed for years on many other platforms, and the Android release is easily one of the better offerings. Currently, the main criticisms regarding this title are focused around the touchscreen controls. Things like fishing of battling can be difficult, but luckily physical controllers are supported, which significantly helps in these two areas. Hands-down, this is the best farming sim on the Play Store, which is why it's at the top of my list.
Star Wars™: KOTOR
Sixteen years ago the best Star Wars-themed RPG ever made was released on the original Xbox. Eleven years later Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was ported to Android by Aspyr Media. This means you can play this classic from the comfort of your phone or tablet, and it definitely shouldn't be missed. The game plays great using the default touchscreen controls, plus it also supports external controllers for those of you who require something more tactile.
Grimvalor is an awesome hack and slash platformer that includes excellent graphics and quality controls. The game supports physical controllers, though the touchscreen controls easily perform well in a pinch. Reviews of the game have remained positive since its original release on the Apple App Store in 2018, so you can rest assured that the Android port looks and plays just as well as it does on iOS. So make sure you don't miss out on this one if you enjoy challenging action-adventure games that include many RPG elements.
Space Marshals is an enjoyable Sci-fi Wild West adventure game, and it's not just about shooting aliens because you'll have to take cover, acquire gear, choose the right weapons, and know which tools are best for each situation. You can go in guns blazing, or you can rely on a silencer to sneak through each level. So while certain aspects may sound similar to the X-Com series, this is not a turn-based affair, which means you'll have to choose each approach with care.
DotEmu's port of Titan Quest offers a top-down action-RPG that was first released on PC back in 2006. Maybe 13 years on the shelf isn't quite long enough for a game to be called a classic, but anyone who's a fan of the hack-and-slash set up with tons of loot in play should be able to overlook such a thing. The setting is ancient Greek mythology, and the extras are surprisingly robust, so if you're looking for the best loot-fest on the Play Store, this is it.
LIMBO is a platformer and puzzler favorite among the Steam and console crowd, and it's creepy, super creepy. So creepy that it will give you recurring nightmares about a tiny big-headed boy and the various wretched ways that he gets monochromatically disemboweled. The thing is, the atmosphere and puzzles are fantastic, which is why many games copied this title's black and white formula. Still, it's always best to stick with the original, and for a good reason. LIMBO is easily one of the best indie platformers on the Play Store.
Old Man's Journey
Who doesn't love playing through a beautiful puzzle adventure game with a great story? Old Man's Journey is undoubtedly one of the most polished titles in this genre. Not only is the artwork incredible, but the music adds such a fantastic tone to the gameplay that you are instantly immersed in the old man's adventure. The only shortcoming I can find is the fact that this is a linear story that will not hold a lot of value for extra playthroughs.
Thimbleweed Park is a fantastic port of the console and PC point-and-click adventure game. It runs wonderfully on Android, and the included controller support is just as good as it is on PC and consoles. Not only was this title created by the original developers behind some of the best adventure games ever made, such as Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, but it also contains all of the classic stylings of those inspirational titles. So if you're looking for a fresh trip down memory lane with the added bonus of an X-Files-like theme, Thimbleweed Park is an awesome choice.
Hidden Folks is a very stylish hidden object game. All of the art within is hand-drawn and consists of black and white pen and ink designs. You're tasked with finding a particular person hidden in each drawing, much like a Where's Waldo book. This is easier said than done, as you will have to peel back and move objects in each environment to hunt these people down. So unlike many of the hidden objects on the Play Store, Hidden Folks offers a highly interactive experience.
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal offers a unique merging of ClockStone's bridge-building gameplay with Valve's portal-creation universe, and this combo makes for an enjoyable puzzle game that contains the best mechanics of each series. The touch controls are fantastic, and the optional physical controller support works as expected. Oh, and best of all, Ellen McLain, the original voice of GLaDOS, makes an appearance to help guide you through the tutorial. What else could you ask for?