Android Authority –
Welcome to the 512th edition of Android Apps Weekly, where we discuss the latest in mobile news and take a closer look at some of the most interesting new apps and games. This week saw Google dominating the news with a new feature drop, as well as some YouTube ad drama. Let’s jump right in and take a look at some of the biggest highlights from the last week:
- Google has started the rollout of its Android Feature Drop for Q4 2023. The new update incorporates several changes, including the addition of ten new free TV channels to the Google TV app, enhancements to Google Messages featuring a new Samsung-style image clipper, improved smart home controls for Wear OS, enhancements to the login process, the introduction of a new reply-by-text feature during calls, and several other significant changes.
- As we mentioned, Google is also in the news for a less positive reason. In November, there were several reports about NSFW adult ads appearing in YouTube ads. These ads resemble normal advertisements but have pornographic videos overlaid on top of them. Google states that these issues are attributed to a few bad actors, and it is actively working to address this problem, although they have yet to fully address all of our concerns and questions. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved for good.
- Whatsapp is also in the news cycle this week as it’s rolling out a few new features. First up, you can now lock sensitive Whatsapp chats with a secret code. The new feature is rolling out now and should hit all devices within the next month or so. Whatsapp is also working to bring audio to its screen-sharing feature and a few other changes, at least according to a code dive of the latest Whatsapp beta.
- The Meta Threads social network has been massively popular so far, with over a hundred million users in less than a week of its launch. Of course, the app is still in the early days and has already shown it will have a tough time competing with Twitter (aka X), despite the latter’s management and reputation issues. In an effort to broaden its reach, Threads is set to expand to Europe as early as this month. Users in the EU may even have the option to utilize the platform without requiring an account.
- A recent code analysis of the Uber app has unveiled a set of code strings indicating a potential new feature: the capability to purchase eSIM plans directly within the Uber app. This feature will likely involve collaboration with specific partner carriers worldwide in order to facilitate the service. The code also hints at a promotional offer, providing users with 100MB of complimentary data for use within the Uber app upon reaching a new travel destination. While the feature does not seem to be active in the app at present, it could very likely rollout in the near future.
- Telegram is getting a new voice transcription feature for all users. While this version works similarly to the Telegram Premium option, the latter offers unlimited access. The feature is expected to rollout gradually.
Android Apps Weekly: New apps and games of the week
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