Welcome to the 254th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines this week:
- Fortnite is allegedly launching sometime in August. However, there may be a big caveat to that. There’s a rumor that the Galaxy Note 9 is getting exclusive access to the game for about 30 days. Fortnite would be available to the masses after that. Additionally, the rumor claims that Samsung is adding virtual currency for use in the game. This definitely isn’t a sure thing, at least not yet. The source of the information is anonymous. Thus, take it with a grain of salt for now.
- Yet another report confirms Google Assistant’s superiority this week. They measured a variety of stats with a variety of questions. Siri only took two categories and that’s percentage of improvement and direct smartphone commands. The study doesn’t take a few things into consideration. Thus, it’s about as good as every YouTube video you’ve ever seen on the topic. Siri is still the most popular personal assistant app on smartphones. However, Google seems to do better with the basic stuff like the stuff shown in this study.
- Sega teased a Phantasy Star mobile game. This week they confirmed it. The game seems to be a gacha RPG similar to games like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius or Fire Emblem Heroes. It should fit well within that genre. We don’t know a lot about the game yet. However, we’re sure more will come out before its launch.
- Google Play is banning repetitive content on Google Play. There are also some other new rules as well. Apps that sell firearms, apps that don’t do anything, and kids apps with adult themes also get the boot. Ironically, Google’s plethora of messaging apps and their Gmail/Inbox duo aren’t affected by this somehow. That’s disappointing. However, Google Play Music doesn’t list in the Play Store as having in-app purchases either (even though it totally does), so we’re guessing this is Google not practicing what they preach.
- VLC for Android and Huawei are having a bit of a tiff right now. Huawei has some fairly strict background process cleaning. This has routinely kicked VLC from memory while it was playing media in the background. VLC blacklisted all modern Huawei phones because of it. The argument goes back and forth. VLC works perfectly fine on every other phone, so Huawei’s background cleaning is definitely more aggressive than most. However, other media apps get around it just fine, so it’s something VLC could fix as well. We’ll let you know how it turns out.
Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 is an unnecessarily long name. However, it's not a bad game. It's a mobile gacha RPG. That means it has many of the same elements as games like Fire Emblem Heroes or Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. You collect characters, upgrade them, and fight various bosses. The game features a campaign, some social elements, some augmented reality elements, and various special events. In terms of mechanics, it's fairly run of the mill. However, those who enjoy the genre (or the Shin Megami Tensei series) should enjoy this one just fine. It is a freemium game, so prepare for that.
Sharedr is a fairly unique app. It replaces the stock Android native share dialog. That's the box that pops up whenever you want to share something. This app removes Android's Direct Sharing feature, sorting, and you can pin apps to the top of the dialog box. That makes them easier to find more often. This adds a bit of stability to a usually clunky and randomized menu. It has a few issues here and there, but this one has a ton of potential. Keep an eye on this one. It's currently free with no in-app purchases or ads as far as we can tell.
Asphalt 9: Legends is the next big launch in the popular racing franchise. This usurps Asphalt 8: Airborne. It feature a lot of the same basic mechanics. It also includes car customizations, 50 unlockable cars, a metric ton of events, and more events coming as time goes. Asphalt games have a ton of in-app purchases and freemium content. This one is no different. However, despite that, it should still among the best arcade racers of 2018 and potentially longer.
Notes by Firefox is a new app from Mozilla. This one takes notes instead of browsing the web. It offers a simple UI, a few customization options, and to-do list functionality as well. It syncs with your Firefox account with end-to-end encryption. This is basically Mozilla's variant of Google Keep. It's just a basic note taking app with syncing functionality with your browser. Those who use Firefox should also try this. It's completely free as far as we can tell.
Alto's Odyssey is the sequel to Alto's Adventure. It has a lot of the same mechanics and graphical elements as Alto's Adventure. That includes colorful, flat levels and simple 2D sideways runner mechanics. This one also includes 180 goals and challenges, secret areas, six unlockable characters, and more. Each character has their own abilities. This is about as good as it gets for time killers. This should be right up with Crossy Road, Fruit Ninja, and others as the best mobile arcade games.
If we missed any great Android apps or games releases, news, or updates, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out the Android Authority podcast!