Welcome to the 276th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- We finished our our 2018 app coverage with a couple of polls to see what you thought the best apps and games of the year were. The winners included Sam Reston’s Bouncer and PUBG Mobile. Some honorable mentions were Firefox Reality Browser, Fortnite, YouTube Music, Alto’s Odyssey, and Bloons TD 6. We also showed you the apps you clicked on most often in 2018. They included PUBG Mobile Lite, Emubox, Hello Neighbor, and Asphalt 9: Legends. Hit the link to see all of the stats!
- Sega is working on a new real-time strategy game. It’s now out on Google Play for pre-registration. Revolve8 is a mix between real-time strategy and card dueling. You have a deck of eight cards and you take out the enemy tower in three minutes. The short battles work well with casual mobile play. Additionally, the card collecting element gives players some options when assembling decks. It has freemium written all over it, though, and that may sway some people away from the game.
- Epic Games had a pretty decent 2018. The company boasted $3 billion in profit thanks mainly to Fortnite. The mobile versions of the game did surprisingly well as well. The iOS version of the game reportedly made $1.23 million per day. Epic Games should have a decent 2019 as well. The company opened a game store similar to Steam, but with an 88% cut going to developers instead of the usual 70% like on Steam or Google Play. Of course, Steam and Google Play have a stranglehold on that market so we’ll see what happens.
- We did another user poll about the biggest blunder of 2018. Your response was basically everything that Facebook did. The company saw a host of big scandals over the year. Cambridge Analytica was the biggest one by far, but there were other, smaller issues as well. They resulted in Congressional hearings that became one of the biggest memes of 2018. On its tale at 25% was the Red Hydrogen One phone and Huawei’s problems in the U.S. Some other controversial stuff included the shutdown of Google+ and Allo along with Samsung and Huawei’s fake phone photos.
- Google’s Fuchia OS will run Android apps. A report this week spotted a change in the AOSP code. It specifically mentions Fuchia using ART to run apps very similar to how Android does. We also know that apps come in a new FAR file type instead of the usual APK like with Android. It supports x86 as well as ARM architectures. An educated guess would be that Fuchia is the next big OS for Google and it plans on taking the Android app ecosystem with it. That’s a smart move since new operating systems live and die by its app ecosystem.
S4GE Beta is the beta demo release of Playtra's upcoming game. It's a strategy RPG similar in mechanics to games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem Heroes. Players do combat on a chessboard-style map with one of four playable characters. There is a story line as well so it's not just a combat-driven game. The beta version lets you play some of the game with some of the characters so you can get a feel for how the game works. Think of it like the beta demos you see for console and PC games all the time. We don't know when the full version is coming, but it'll likely make this weekly roundup when it does. It seems like a very promising strategy RPG.
MiXplorer Silver is a rare new file manager app and it's pretty decent. It's not from Xiaomi as the name might imply. The file manager has all of the basic features you'd want, including the usual copy, paste, file browsing, folder making, and all of that. You also get USB OTG support, theming, support for popular archive file types (ZIP, RAR, TAR, etc), and support for cloud storage providers as well. What really sets this apart is its ability to do a bunch of media stuff. There are video codec plugins to make it a full-fledged video player, a PDF plugin for full PDF support, and native support for EPUB and other ebook formats. There are also plugins for additional archive file support and some other stuff. This is surprisingly powerful for a file manager.
Quantum Contact is a space exploration game with adventure elements. You pilot a ship and explore the various planets and caverns of the solar system. The game features three difficulty modes, randomly generated maps, and graphics inspired by NASA images. How the ship behaves depends strongly on your difficulty, but the easier the setting, the more assistance the game provides. The controls worked fine during our testing and some of the visual elements are actually quite good. It runs for $4.99 with no additional ads or in-app purchases. It's not bad for a single indie developer working on a game title.
Apex Weather is a new weather app from the developers of Apex Launcher. It features your usual weather stuff like real-time temperatures, forecasts (up to seven days), severe weather alerts, and hourly forecasts. The app also includes a handsome UI as well as a radar along with more specific weather details like UV index, humidity, air pressure, and wind speed. Of course, it also comes with some weather widgets, global weather, and weather news as well. It competes favorably with full weather apps like Weather Channel, but does so in a way that doesn't feel bloated or slow. It's currently free with some rather annoying ads. However, the developer plans on adding a premium version with no ads eventually.
Heroes of Flatlandia is a fun new game with a catchy name. It's a real-time strategy game with some adventure and kingdom builder elements. Players build up armies and kingdoms. You then do battle with AI opponents. The game boasts 14 playable units along with four playable heroes. Players also have an online multiplayer option as well as a single player versus the AI. The game is a little shallow at this time. There are only two armies and a handful of troops. However, the game is in active development. If you're not into it right now, check back in a few months when more content comes out. Real-time strategy games with no micro-transactions are rare in the mobile gaming space so we hope this one ends up really good.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our weekly podcast!