A new week is ending, a new selection of five Android and iOS apps is coming. My app week has been somewhat spoiled by the imminent withdrawal of the game Area F2. This excellent unofficial clone of the tactical FPS “Rainbow Six: Siege” shut down its servers on Wednesday, May 20, after Ubisoft filed and won a lawsuit at Qookka Games studio for plagiarism.
So much for my honorable mention. But for all that, I have tried to make a quality selection. There is a better alternative to Mario Kart Tour, one of the most beautiful mobile games I’ve seen, applications to customize your interface, and an alternative to Google Search made by Huawei. Here are our five new applications of the week.
Rotation Manager, to better manage your screen orientation
Rotation Manager allows you to manage the orientation, portrait, or landscape, of your applications independently. For each application of your choice, you can disable automatic rotation or choose to set the default vertical or horizontal orientation.
Of course, you can do this in portrait or landscape mode from the native settings on your Android smartphone. But then it’s a global setting applied to all applications. Here, you can choose to keep Twitter in portrait mode to roll out your news feed while you’re wallowing on your side in bed (I’m talking from experience). But you can also set YouTube to landscape without changing the orientation of Twitter.
Rotation Manager allows you to change the orientation without going through the application. You can change the rotation from a tab in your notification drawer that appears as soon as you open a selected application in Rotation Manager. It’s really intuitive and easy to use.
You can download Rotation Manager for free via the Google Play Store.
Huawei Petal Search, an alternative to Google Search and the Play Store
Huawei has just launched in stable version Thursday, May 21 the Petal Search application. This app is an alternative to Google Search and the Play Store. The interface is very similar to that of Google Search with its search bar centered on the screen.
With Petal Search, you can perform web searches with results from the Qwant search engine, with which Huawei has signed a partnership. You also have a “For You” tab that works like Google Search with information on weather, news (based on the Microsoft News aggregator),…
Petal Search also acts as a search engine for Android applications. Like the previous version “TrouvApp” launched with the release of the Huawei P40, Petal Search redirects you to the AppGallery or the alternative application stores (like APKPure).
You still won’t be able to use the mobile applications of Google’s services, for which you’ll still have to go through the web version, by creating a shortcut from your browser, like a PWA.
You can download Huawei Petal Search for free via the Huawei AppGallery.
KartRider Rush+, Mario Kart Tour at its best with (real) multiplayer
If like me, you didn’t give in to the aggressive marketing techniques of Mario Kart Tour with pay-to-win mechanics, premium passes, and fake multiplayer, KartRider Rush+ is a breath of fresh air. KartRider Rush+ is a “gacha game” (the word gacha refers to lootboxes, game of chance mechanics that condition random rewards on in-app purchases).
But unlike Mario Kart Tour, your progress isn’t too limited if you don’t have the right vehicle, for example. The game features a story mode, an arcade mode, and a (real) multiplayer mode as well as 45 characters and 20 tracks.
Concretely, yes there is a whole slew of micro-transactions, but after a few games, it seems to me that the purchases are only cosmetic elements, unlike Mario Kart Tour. But the main advantage of KartRider Rush+ is its controls, much more advanced than the Nintendo equivalent.
Forget the autopilot and the too basic swipe turns, here you can control turns and drift manually. The game is very fluid and the graphics, in Japanese tones, are nice to look at and colorful.
It’s another racer and certainly not the game of the year, but at least it keeps all the false promises made by Mario Kart Tour.
One Shade, to customize your drop-down menu
One Shade is an application that allows you to “replace” your Android notification drawer. The application requires a lot of permissions (because it overlays the native notification drawer). And unfortunately you have to pay a couple of bucks to access the most interesting visual options, such as adding a wallpaper to the drop-down menu.
So I went through the checkout for you and I must say the result is pretty nice. You can change the color of each element, from icons to tabs and animations. The wallpaper applied to the drop-down menu is a nice customization option.
The application is a real gas factory, you can change almost everything regarding the layout and color of your icons. You can even save “customization profiles” to try several combinations and save them to alternate when you get tired of the display.
You can download One Shade for free via the Google Play Store.
Sky: Children of the Light, the big indie slap in the face
First exclusive to iOS, “Sky: Children of the Light” is a very nice indie game from Thatgamecompany studio, to whom we owe the excellent “Journey.”It’s just been released for Android, almost a year after being released on iOS, and should even be adapted for Nintendo Switch.
The music is soothing, the graphics beautiful and the overall atmosphere impressive. I found similar sensations to those I felt when playing Shadow of the Colossus, but less creepy. We play a tiny character, a Child of Light, who progresses through gigantic and magical landscapes.
The object of the game is to collect spirits and send them to the stars. But on the whole, it is a game of contemplative exploration. You wander through vast expanses. But the special thing about this game is its “social” dimension.
As the developers of “No Man’s Sky” originally (and deceptively) promised, you may encounter other players or other “Children of the Sky.” Sometimes you’ll have to call on them to overcome certain obstacles. So you will be able to communicate and even interact through a range of gestures (quite limited).
It’s frankly a nice slap in the face for a mobile game. I really like the atmosphere and can’t wait to get back into it this weekend.