Welcome to the 263rd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Trivia Crack 2 is finally almost here. The game was in development for five years. It’s now in pre-registration on Google Play. The core game play should be about the same as the previous game. That includes multiplayer trivia games with a wheel spinner. Most of the differences come in the UI, a few new game play mechanics, and more. The game features hundreds of thousands of questions and it’s available in more than 20 languages. We will tell you more when we get our hands on the game upon its release.
- Slack purchased the Astro email app this week and promptly shut it down. We don’t know for how much money. In any case, the entire tech space knows what this probably means. Slack is a productivity chat app for business. Astro is an email client with AI elements. There isn’t a huge leap in logic here. Astro will officially close down on October 10th. After that, we imagine that Slack will work on their new email client. Slack is pretty spectacular so we have high expectations for its future email services.
- Mozilla launched Firefox Monitor this week and we like it a lot. Firefox Monitor is a new site that checks your accounts for you. It lets you know if accounts become hacked or otherwise compromised. That way you can get them under control before things get out of control. It also features alerts, a simple UI, and plenty of other security features. It’s not an app, but you can access the site on both mobile and desktop browsers. We highly recommend trying it.
- Toyota finally agreed to use Android Auto in its vehicles. That is actually a pretty big deal. Toyota didn’t want any third party apps in its center stack in its vehicles. They claimed that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay asked for too much personal information. That issue is apparently over now. Toyota will announce the vehicles getting Android Auto in the future. While we’re on the topic, Jaguar and Land Rover are using Android Auto from now on as well.
- PlayStation cross-play is finally coming to the world and we couldn’t be happier. Fortnite should be the first game in Sony’s upcoming beta of the cross-play service. We imagine other multi-platform games will get a similar treatment over time. This is a bigger deal in the console gaming world than the mobile gaming world. However, there are many games with console and mobile versions, like Fortnite and many indie games. This should benefit mobile gamers as well as console gamers over time. Good on you, Sony!
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is the latest Harvest Moon game on mobile. It's already out on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch as well. This is a full game. You rebuild a town, restore a lighthouse, complete villager requests, and all kinds of other stuff. There are also the usual Harvest Moon stuff like growing crops, tending livestock, and stuff like that. The game is huge and there is a ton of stuff to do. Additionally, the controls and mechanics are solid. This is exactly the same game as the Switch and PlayStation 4 versions. It goes for $14.99 with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
Insect Identifier is what the name says. It's an insect identification app. It uses OCR technology to do so. You take a picture of the bug and it tells you the species. The app should work for bugs, spiders, butterflies, and most other insect types. Some additional features include a log of insects that you found, information about each insect, and a decent design. This is obviously a niche product for people who really like bugs or want to know what a specific bug is. However, it's nice to know that an app like this is available. It runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.
Monster Hunter Stories is a port of the popular 3DS game. It features most of the mechanics of a Monster Hunter game. You roam around action-adventure style while capturing monsters Pokemon style. It also has JRPG mechanics as well. The game also includes competitive online multiplayer, a full story mode to play, and much more. This isn't a freemium mobile game by any stretch. It is expensive, though. There is a free demo to see how it runs on your device. The full version costs $19.99 with no additional in-app purchases or advertising. It's a full game and probably among the best that Capcom has ever launched on Android.
Tapete is a decent wallpaper app. It has a small, but delightful selection of high resolution wallpapers. They are organized in categorical style with things like nature and abstract. There honestly isn't a lot to this app. You open it, find something you like, download it, set it, and leave. That's basically all it does, but thankfully it does it rather well. Some reported issues with image preview loading speeds, but otherwise it seems to work well enough. The app is currently free with no in-app purchases or ads for right now. All of the artworks is by the developer as well, so this is all 100% original content. We hope it expands over time.
Dragalia Lost is Nintendo's latest mobile RPG. It employs action RPG and gacha style game play. That means you run around hacking bad guys to pieces and you earn new characters by summoning them and then upgrading them. It's surprisingly well made, but we've come to expect that from Nintendo. Additionally, the sound track is fantastic and the story line is pretty decent as well. The controls take a little time to get used to, plus the freemium mechanics are still freemium mechanics. Those who don't like gacha games still won't like this one, even though it's by Nintendo and those that do enjoy gacha games should enjoy this one.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments!