Welcome to the 261st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from last week:
- It turns out that a lot of our readers listen to podcasts. However, your favorite podcast app is actually fairly difficult to track down. We polled our audience on three platforms and got different answers on all of them. Google Podcasts was consistently popular as was Pocket Casts and, to a lesser extent, SoundCloud. However, answers were simply all over the place. That’s nice to see because the podcast market is booming right now and it’s great to see so many different apps work so well. Hit the link to see the poll results for yourself.
- Disney shut down Star Wars: Rivals before its actual launch this week. The game was going to be the next in a long line of freemium Star Wars games. It saw some press in early 2018 upon its announcement. The beta came later. It apparently didn’t go very well. There isn’t much more to tell, really. The reactions to the game were decidedly negative, even for a freemium game in 2018. However, there were likely other reasons aside from that. Plenty of freemium games get negative reviews and then go on to make millions of dollars, after all.
- Daybreak Game Company announced a couple of new mobile games this week. They are ports of popular PC and console games. The first was EverQuest, an iconic game in the MMORPG genre. The other is H1Z1, one of the games that popularized the battle royale genre currently dominated by Fortnite and PUBG. The press release didn’t mention anything about a release date so we don’t know that right now. However, these are two big names that should make quite the splash when they arrive.
- Square Enix has a hit on their hands with their Life is Strange mobile launch. They plan on continuing the moment with another one. Life is Strange: Before the Storm is coming to mobile on September 19th. It’s a prequel to the original series and focuses on the relationship between protagonist Chloe and Rachel Amber. It should share similar graphics, game mechanics, and style from the main game. There are three episodes in this game. We don’t know much else about the release like its cost. However, we can’t imagine it’s going to cost more than the main game.
- Google is shutting down Inbox by Gmail in March 2019. The popular and unique email client started as an experiment for new features, new email delivery styles, and more. However, most of its features are now in the Gmail app and that’s where Google wants to focus its energy. On the one hand, a lot of people liked Inbox a lot. On the other, Google is finally starting to narrow down the number of messaging apps they support. We hope this attitude continues to their other properties as well. Rest in peace, Inbox. We will miss you.
Teen Titans GO Figure is a newer mobile game. It features gacha elements, popular cameos from a ton of properties, and simple game mechanics. The game boasts over 90 characters to collect, three on three combat, and a bunch of stuff to do. That includes story mode, special events, and some other stuff. It's a weird game in this space. It costs $3.99 and the in-app purchases only go up to $9.99 unlike most gacha style games. However, it is still a decidedly mobile game. It's not half bad and you can find lets play videos on YouTube if you're curious.
DC Universe is probably the best app for DC fans. It comes with a swatch of content, including exclusive shows, a ton of comics, and a way to connect with other DC fans. There seemed to be quite a bit of content during our testing. That's good news because the service for this one is fairly expensive. You can pay $7.99 per month or $74.99 per year for it and get unmitigated access to everything in the app. Thankfully there's a free trial if you want to try it before you buy it. Its price keeps us from gainfully recommending it to anyone other than the biggest DC fans. That's probably by design, though.
Booster Raiders is a new game from Halfbrick Studios, developers of Fruit Ninja, Dan the Man, and Jetpack Joyride. This one is a sort of racing runner game. It's also kind of an all-stars tour for the developer. There are a bunch of characters from previous Halfbrick games. It also features a few environments, a few different game modes, and some other stuff. It's a fun little arcade game. This one isn't launched fully yet. It's still in the beta stages. Thus, you should expect some bugs while the developer polishes things up.
Rootless Launcher had an interesting week. It launched a couple of weeks ago, was taken down by Google Play, and it's back again this week. It's a fairly basic, minimal launcher. It features the Google Search bar, themes based on your wallpaper, icon pack support, and some super basic settings features. It also comes with a few additional features, although those need to be installed separately (check the Google Play description). In any case, it's a good, basic launcher with a low, low price tag. We liked it and, with a few changes, so does Google Play now.
Chaos Reborn: Adventures is a new tactical strategy game from the creator of X-COM. It features a lot of similar mechanics from X-COM. That includes a grid-style movement and combat system, 3D graphics, and a lengthy single player story line. There is also an online multiplayer mode with a competitive edge. This one has magic and various types of weapons and abilities. That's in stark contrast to X-COM's more militaristic style. It's likely the best premium mobile game in its genre in 2018 so far. The price tag is a bit high, but the game features no additional in-app purchases or advertisements.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or launches, tell us about them in the comments! Also, check out the Android Authority Podcast!