Your phone might be cool, but it could be a lot cooler with the right apps. So what? Spend like mad until you find the apps that suit your needs? Nah, just read the weekly Google Play App Roundup here on Tested. We strive to bring you the best new, and newly updated apps on Android. Just click the app name to head to the Play Store.
Buying things on the internet can save you a lot of money if you wait for a good deal to come along, but you could be out of luck if you don't hop on a hot deal fast enough. Fluctuate is a new app that tracks prices for things you want to buy, and pushes alerts for pricing changes. The basic functionality is free, but several advanced features will cost you.
There are two ways to add items to Fluctuate. You can either share a URL to the app via Android's built-in permission system, or you can open the app and tap the floating action button to paste a URL manually. Fluctuate reads the page and looks for a price, which it usually finds. You have the option to tell the app that the detected price is not the correct one. In that case, the app loads the page, and you can tap on the name of the item and the price to correct the record.
With your item set up in the app, you'll see a notification in the event the price changes… at all. Depending on the site, that might mean a lot of notifications. You can, instead, set a threshold at which you'll receive a notification. Each item on your Fluctuate list shows the current price, and tapping on it lets you buy or view the product. When selecting "Buy now," the app will track how much you've saved based on the price drop since an item was added to the list. That running tally appears at the top of the app.
All of this functionality is free, and there are no ads in Fluctuate. The app will track pricing data over time for your saved items, but you can only see the graph if you upgrade to the pro version for $3.49. There's a separate $1.99 IAP for backup and restore support. That lets you save your tracked items so you won't lose them when migrating to a new device. If you want both, there's a single $4.99 everything upgrade.
Fluctuate has performed well for me with a variety of sites including Amazon, the Google Store, and B&H. I think the IAPs are a bit high, but the free functionality is already very solid. It would have been easy to toss some contextual ads in Fluctuate, but the devs didn't do that. Thumbs up there.
I have a tendency to get excited about new MOBA games on Android, only to be annoyed at the mechanics, balance, or in-app purchases a few days later. Consequently, I rarely include them in the roundup. After an extended testing period, the new Arena of Valor deserves a place here. It gets a lot of things right for a MOBA, and it already has a huge player base.
Arena of Valor is the international version of Honor of Kings, one of the most popular games in China. It just recently expanded to North America on both Android and iOS. Like other multiplayer online battle arena games, your goal is to take out the enemy team, reach their base, and destroy it. There are several different game modes, but the main one is a 5v5 team battle that takes 10-20 minutes to complete.
The on-screen controls are simple. You've got a thumbstick on the left for movement (it's all top-down isometric), and your ability buttons are on the right. There's the regular attack button, as well as special attacks that unlock over the course of a match as you gain XP. Many heroes have abilities that let you manually target, but by default, the game focuses attacks on the enemy in range with the lowest health for both regular attacks and specials.
The game is designed to be fast, so a fight might only last a few seconds before someone dies. You've got to remain aware of what your character looks like in the fray. In addition to the battle lanes, there's a jungle with neutral monsters. Killing these can get your team a big experience boost that'll come in handy as you fight the other team.
The assortment of heroes is one of the best things about Arena of Valor. Not only are there a ton of them, you can get more than 20 for free. The game comes with a handful unlocked, and then you get 19 more by merely playing three matches per day. Each day, you can unlock as many as two more heroes, and many of them are excellent. The in-app purchases go up to $100 if you want to buy more heroes or skins (starting around $5). You can also get most items with gold, which you earn from winning matches.
The visuals are clean with a cel shaded vibe. There are also plenty of lighting effects from hero powers, although that can sometimes make the action hard to follow. The performance is good on all the devices I tested, but some people with low-power phones do complain of some lag. My only complaint is the lack of support for taller aspect ratio devices (it has black bars).
This is a free-to-play game, but I don't see any issues with the balance considering all the free content you can get. There are a ton of players, and most of them are at least trying. You do get a few people who drop from matches, but less so than many other MOBAs.
Google has its own reminder system integrated with Assistant, but you can't add context or links to that. It's just a text description of what you need to remember. Remindee (yes, that's really the name) is an app that lets you create a reminder from any app. They can include links, images, and more.
How can Remindee do this? With the magic of Android's share menu. To enter a reminder in Remindee, just tap the share button in your app of choice, and find the correct "Remind me" icon. That triggers a popup where you can add a title and a note. The title is what appears at the top of your notification, and the notes are the expanded text. This works with anything, which is really cool. You can share a URL to Remindee or even a photo from your gallery app.
At the bottom of the Remindee popup are the actual reminder settings. You can pick a time for the reminder and toggle the ringer on and off.
The actual Remindee app is pretty barebones. You have a list of your pending reminders in one tab and all your archived reminders in another. You can swipe away a pending reminder to cancel it. The only setting in Remindee is to have the app offer a reminder whenever you copy something. That's potentially useful, but also rather annoying.
It's a simple app, but it doesn't need to be complicated. Remindee does what it needs to do.