Welcome to the 250th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big topics from the last week:
- The Walking Dead: Our World is the next game about the popular zombie series. It’s also the next AR game for mobile. You walk around the world fighting zombies and doing all kinds of Walking Dead stuff. The game features co-op challenges, a collecting element, and a real world element similar to Jurassic World Alive or Pokemon Go. The game officially launches on July 12th. It’s available for pre-registration now.
- MX Player, the iconic video player app, is getting a huge overhaul. It might not be a good one, though. India’s Times Group purchased a majority stake in the app this week. They want to turn it into an streaming service for India. That’s a far cry from the rock solid local video player app that it is today. We have a lot of questions and not a ton of answers yet. For instance, MX Player is popular all around the world for its video playing capabilities. If it transitions into an India-only streaming service, what happens to the rest of us? We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
- Monument Valley 2 made a ton of money in its first year of existence. The game boasted over $10.4 million in revenue. That’s almost double what the first Monument Valley had. Of course, iOS sales were higher than Android sales and we imagine piracy was still an issue much like the first one. However, it doesn’t seem to have affected the game that much. The budget for the second game included $2.3 million along with $516,000 in marketing. That means ustwo made a great profit out of the game. We’re happy to hear that.
- Google Duplex is apparently ready for prime time testing. Google announced that testing is beginning soon earlier this week. Duplex will introduce itself at the beginning of the call. Businesses can opt out of the call immediately if they want a real human being on the phone. Additionally, a human can take over the call if the AI starts messing up. It’s going to be an entertaining next few weeks as this starts rolling out. We’ll have more details as they surface.
- Niantic is working on its next proof-of-concept AR game, Codename: Neon. Niantic posted a YouTube video with people playing the game. It’s apparently a real-time, competitive multiplayer experience. Players engage with one another in the real world with their phones. It looks like a simple shooter. The video is quite remarkable and the game looks like fun. Niantic plans to let developers use this tech to build their own games similar to how they did with Ingress and Pokemon Go. We recommend hitting the link above to check out the video.
Epic Skater 2 is the sequel to one of the more popular skateboard games on mobile. It's a 2D side-scroller where you make massive jumps, do a bunch of tricks, and earn a bunch of points. The game also features 25 tricks, many trick combos, an upgrade and level up system, and leaderboards. It's a time killer game through and through, but it's also pretty fun. Tony Hawk Pro Skater this is not. However, it's still fun for skateboard fans.
WHExperience is an app by the White House Historical Association. Political leanings aside, this is actually a semi-decent educational app. It gives you details about most of the rooms in the White House, the surrounding area, and some additional pieces. It works best as a companion app for real life tours. You can go room-by-room in a sort of virtual tour. That part could be better, but it's still rather educational. Each room description comes with points of interest like portraits and artwork. You can click on each one to learn more about it. There aren't any partisan politics involved here. It's just a history app.
Brawl Stars is the latest app from Supercell, makers of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. This one is a mix between a battle royale and a MOBA title. You can play solo or against other real people. The goal is to collect gems, defeat opponents, collect stars (because of course), and more. The game also features a variety of events and challenges along with unlockable characters. That helps keep it fresh. We imagine this is Supercell's next smash hit success story. It's a freemium game like most other Supercell games.
Instagram is the latest social network with a lighter version of their app for developing markets. It keeps most of the basic functionality. You can view images that people post, apply filters to your own images, share your photos, and all that jazz. It even includes Instagram Stories still. The app is not widely available yet, though. Some Google Play reviews also lament regional and device restrictions. However, like Facebook Lite, we expect support to expand to other territories and devices over the course of the coming weeks and months.
Pokemon Quest originally launched for the Nintendo Switch a while ago. However, it's on mobile now. It's a different type of Pokemon game. You walk around with Pokemon and explore various areas. It uses simple controls and features some customization and the Pokemon from the classic Red and Blue games. It's a freemium game.l However, the microtransactions are some of the least aggressive that we've seen. This one should be mega popular over the coming months.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, releases, or updates, tell us about it in the comments!