Welcome to the 150th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Just like last week, we have our news broken up between Pokemon Go and everything else. That way, you can skip the Pokemon Go news if you’d like. Let’s get started!
Pokemon Go news:
- Razer has announced that they’re making a chat application specifically for Pokemon Go. The app, which will be called RazerGo, is a location-aware chat app that will be open to everyone who is in your general vicinity. The idea is to help Pokemon Go players chat it up when they’re near each other and talk about the game. It should be out before too long.
- The first sponsored Pokestops were dropped this week. The winner of being able to say that they were first was McDonald’s. The chain will have most of its 3000 locations in Japan become Pokestops and Gyms for players to flock to and enjoy. We don’t know when it will roll out to other companies, but it should be soon.
- A Redditor did a little research this week and showed that level scaling in Pokemon Go is absurdly high. Getting from level 30 to level 31 requires as much XP as going from level 1 to level 25. This has launched discussion about whether or not the game scales too aggressively and what Niantic can do about it. We’ll let you know how it turns out.
- GameStop has reported that their sales have spiked 100% since the launch of Pokemon Go. They’ve been able to make their establishments Pokestops or Gyms and have been hosting family events. This has brought tons of people which has, in turn, caused sales to spike. It’s a genius strategy, really, and GameStop is one of many companies to see sales go up thanks to Pokemon Go.
- It’s been estimated that Pokemon Go is currently making about $2 million per day. The AppInstitute website has a real-time tracker that shows you a rough estimate of what the game is making. It piles up wicked fast and the game seems to be making a ton of money right now.
- Pokemon Go was actually supposed to release in France earlier this week. However, after the tragedy at Nice, Niantic decided to delay the release there for a little while to respect the events that occurred there. There is still going to be a French release, but it’s going to be a little bit longer. It did launch in Canada along with Japan and 26 European countries over the last week.
- Sprint is jumping onto the Pokemon hype train by giving out a ton of free stuff. Each of their locations will become charging stations for players and they will also offer experts to help in certain locations along with Lures at locations that also have nearby Pokestops. This is after T-Mobile announced free data for a year for Pokemon Go players last week.
The rest of the headlines:
- A while ago, it was announced that a conglomeration of Chinese investors wanted to buy Opera for $1.2 billion. However, this week it was announced that the deal has fallen through due to regulatory issues. Shortly thereafter, a new deal was announced. The new deal, which features all of the same players, is for $600 million for a controlling stake in Opera instead of for the whole company.
- A court ruling this week has set a precedent that uploading videos of people in a bathroom stall to Snapchat without their consent is now a crime. This occurred after a high school student took video of another student in a bathroom stall and uploaded to his Snapchat. The other student later committed suicide because of the video. As a result, courts have ruled that such behavior is now illegal. Why this wasn’t a law sooner is beyond me, but it’s official now.
- Twitter is making verification a little bit easier for user accounts. The idea is to help people get verified accounts even if they’re not as popular. The process is actually very simple. You’ll be asked to make some changes to your profile to accommodate the requirements. After that, you’ll need to submit some links to verify who you are and then submit the form. Twitter will reach out a few days later if you’re verified.
- Everyone is talking about a new photo app called Prisma this week. The app uses artificial intelligence to apply some truly unique filters to your photos. This gives them a unique look that you won’t find with other apps. We have a hands-on video on our YouTube channel if you want to check it out. It was briefly available as an invite-only beta, but that has since closed down. Now we’re all waiting for the public release.
For even more Android apps and games news, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! It’s full of news, updates, and releases that we didn’t have time for here. If you’re interested, you can sign up for the newsletter using the form below and we’ll send it to you every Sunday! For even faster updates, check out our official app!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
It’s been a long time since we saw a good flight sim released on Android and Blue Angels fits the bill. The game is based around the official Blue Angels and you’ll be allowed to perform similar manuevers and aerobatics with these that you may have seen in real life. You’ll have an Airshow Mode, Additive Mode, and more where you’ll be able to fly around and do some really fun stuff. It’s officially licensed by the US Navy and it’s free to download.
Google Arts and Culture is a free app that lets you view all kinds of art, landmarks, and more. It boasts high quality, 360-degree images from over 850 museums and archives along with much more. This is a great app for art aficionados and it’s doubly good as an educational app for youngsters. It also comes with sorting features to help find what you’re looking for and a Collections section where you can organize your favorites. It’s completely free with no in-app purchases.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Suicide Squad: Special Ops is a first-person action game where you play as members of the Suicide Squad. The mechanics are an unusual mix of first person shooter along with a fighting game. That means you’ll be bashing in the faces of opponents in the first person view. It has decent graphics and plenty of gameplay content for you to play with. The only downside is that it can get repetitive after a while since most of your time will be spent mowing down bad guys. Still, it’s a decent game, especially for fans of the series. It’s also a free download.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
A lot of people have been wondering what SwiftKey has been up to since its Microsoft acquisition earlier this year. The answer is Swiftmoji Keyboard. This is a new keyboard that uses Swiftkey’s prediction system to try to predict which emoji you want to use and when you want to use them. It worked alright in our testing, but these kinds of apps usually get better the longer you use them. We don’t know why this wasn’t integrated into Swiftkey directly, but at least it’s free if you want to try it out.
Borderlands 2, yes the actual Borderlands 2, was released on Android this week. Well, technically, it was released on Android TV devices and on the Nvidia Shield Console. The game is a port and contains all of the same story elements, graphics, and gameplay mechanics as its console and PC counterparts. Along with the original game, you’ll also have access to new classes and characters as well as online co-op mode. If you have an Android TV or Shield Console, this is probably worth the $14.99 price tag.
Related best app lists:
- Use that strategic mind of yours to tackle the best tower defense games on Android!
- Or check out some of the best strategy games on Android, period!
If we missed any of the best Android apps or games news from the last week, tell us about them in the comments!To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.