Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous two weeks or so. Today I have a fabulous winter sports tracker that's finally made its way from iOS to Android, the rebranding of DC Comic's streaming app into a competent comic subscription service, and a new Japanese Twitter app that's been gaining popularity as it receives English-language updates. So without further ado, here are all of the new and notable Android apps released on the Play Store in the last two weeks.
Since its switch to Chromium, Microsoft Edge has become one of the more reliable cross-platform browsers available to users. It even trumps Google Chrome in that it doesn't gobble up as much memory — a real boon for systems with limited RAM. To offer an even better experience, Microsoft is now unveiling a major update that adds a bunch of new features to the browser.
Welcome to Friday, everyone. It would appear that a plethora of developers have placed their catalogs of games on sale today, including titles from Plug in Digital, Team 17, HandyGames, and Dotemu (a word of warning, many Dotemu titles won't work on Android 11). This is why the games section of the sales list is so plump today. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold green text in order to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 19 temporarily free and 61 on-sale apps and games for the end of the week.
With WhatsApp's recent Facebook-induced privacy woes, Signal and Telegram are enjoying their time in the spotlight. Signal's privacy focus has specifically appealed to a lot of users who decided to switch away from WhatsApp, with the app seeing unprecedented growth and topping global app charts worldwide. But many of those newly-acquired users have quickly noticed Signal's limited feature set, forcing the app's devs to rush and try to plug some holes to keep everyone hooked. A few new features were promised last week, and now they're live in the latest beta version of the app.
Google introduced a new benchmark named Core Web Vitals for judging website speed last year. It has already had a role in search rankings since May 2020, so it's vital for developers to know how their websites are performing. They've been able to use the Web Vitals extension to judge speed and frame rates on the desktop for a while now, but starting with Chrome 90, Google wants to integrate these live stats right in the desktop and mobile versions of the browser. They're coming in the form of a new Performance HUD overlay.
Google Lens may be an incredibly handy tool that could as well have been science fiction just a few years back, but it looks like Google is having trouble sticking with one branding for its image analysis service. A new icon has popped up in one of our tipster's Google search bar that's more closely resembling a camera than the previous version, suggesting that many folks might find the old icon hard to understand.
Duo and Google Messages are among the best communication apps Google has ever released, so it's no surprise that they're incredibly popular even among people whose phones ship without Google apps. Unfortunately, it looks like those uncertified phones might soon not be able to run Duo and Messages anymore. XDA Developers and 9to5Google have uncovered strings that reveal that the apps will soon stop working on unsupported devices.
Theme Park has been a stand-out Good Lock module since it arrived last year, allowing users to create their own themes for One UI. However, the need to select colors by way of an existing wallpaper has always been a sticking point, as was the lack of finer control of what gets themed and what doesn't. As Samsung continues its 2021 revamp of Good Lock, those two issues are finally being rectified, and we're even getting some new features alongside them, too.
When we discovered that many of Good Lock's modules wouldn't be compatible with One UI 3 until this year, it was interesting to see that NavStar was the one of the most discussed modules in our comments section — many of our readers even said they wouldn't update their phones until the module was working. That time has come: last night, Samsung kicked off the year's first Good Lock updates, and our beloved NavStar has gotten more than a simple icon change. There are some exciting new features to be found here, too.