The 248th edition of Android Apps Weekly is out! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- La Liga’s official app caught some flak this week. It turns out the app used a device’s microphone to monitor for illegal streaming. It’s an effective method to root out piracy. However, it’s also a massive breach of one’s privacy. Spain’s data protection agency is investigating the app right now. La Liga defended the action stating that users have to enable mic permissions for the “feature” to work. We don’t think anyone’s buying it. It’s not a great story to kick off this year’s world cup.
- Minecraft: Story Mode is coming to Netflix sometime this autumn. This sparked reports that Netflix was getting into the game streaming market. Netflix denied these claims and called Minecraft: Story Mode (by Telltale Games) an interactive narrative rather than a game. We also got confirmation that the Stranger Things project (also by Telltale Games) is a mobile game only and also won’t appear on Netflix. Misunderstandings aside, having the game on Netflix should be fun and the upcoming title should be pretty good as well.
- A new Command Conquer game was announced at E3 this year. EA plans to bring the popular RTS game to mobile with what it calls console quality game play. However, the reaction to the announcement was mostly anger. EA has a habit of turning popular franchises into shameless cash grabs and fans believe Command and Conquer: Rivals is no different. We’ll see when the game comes out. You can register for the game now on Google Play.
- Microsoft and EA both had big mobile presentations at E3 this year. Both companies are working on new game streaming platforms. There aren’t a ton of details yet and previous streaming service attempts have been (mostly) failures. We imagine that EA and Microsoft have a lot of work ahead of them in order to make it a successful endeavor. Oh, and Microsoft also announced Gears Pop, a Gears of War game for mobile.
- Bethesda arguably had the best week at E3 for mobile gamers. They announced a new mobile RPG. The Elder Scrolls: Blades promises a first person RPG experience with decent graphics, various quests, online PvP, and tons of exploration. We expect a freemium experience much like Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter and Elder Scrolls: Legends titles. Oh, and they also launched a port of Skyrim on Alexa. We’re serious.
ARK: Survival Evolved is out, finally. The long awaited game hit the Play Store earlier this week. It's a massive game with over 80 dinosaurs to find and catch. The game also includes crafting and building elements, single and multiplayer modes, and even guilds (or tribes in ARK). The game looks decent and plays well. However, its most unique feature is its price. It opts for a subscription service in lieu of a freemium model. It's an interesting way to do it. The subscription service removes ads, gives you an XP boost, and preferential server treatment. We'll see how that goes.
Sojourn is a new journal app. It does what any journal should do. You can write down your daily activities, emotions, events, thoughts, and whatever else you feel like sharing. It features a simple UI with some customization features. It encourages short format writing to undo the stigma that every journal entry needs to be a short story in terms of length. It's a beta release and still has bugs. However, this one has a lot of promise. It's currently free with advertising.
Silly Walks is a goofy, simple little adventure game. It features one-tap mechanics, colorful graphics, and some fun puzzles. It's reminiscent of platformers in the 1990's with the types of puzzles and mechanics it has. The game also includes boss levels, a racing mode, an endless mode, and more. Advertising supports most of the game, although you can buy stuff with real money as well. It's a fun little game for what it is. Just don't expect too much or you might be disappointed.
AirMirror is the latest app from the developers of the popular AirDroid. It's a remote control app that lets you control various Android devices. It's most for families with multiple devices. Parents can control child devices without actually getting on the device. However, it's useful for a variety of other things as well. The app features real-time monitoring, camera access, and more. It's early so there are still bugs. However, it worked well for us during our testing.
Bloons TD 6 is the latest game in the popular tower defense series. It's also one of the largest. The game features 20 maps, 19 towers (each with three upgrade paths), various improvements over prior games, and a variety of game modes. That includes an offline single player mode. Mechanically, the game is a fairly standard tower defense game. You build towers, they take down bad guys, and you rinse and repeat until the level is done. The various difficulties also afford lighter or heavier challenge if needed. The game goes for $4.99 with some additional in-app purchases if you want extra stuff.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments!