Welcome to the 270th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
- Huawei is preparing an app store in case the U.S. ban never lifts. The company sent a bunch of emails out to developers to encourage them to publish their apps in Huawei’s store. It’s not an unusual practice. Plenty of third party app stores email developers for the same reason. It’s a pragmatic move from Huawei and a half decent contingency plan.
- Google quietly changed the wording of the Play Store’s refund policy this week. It now says that decisions for a refund can take up to four days. This is much longer than the previous 15 minute window. Google didn’t announce anything so the move just kind of happened. It doesn’t affect the time it takes to process an approved refund or the refund window itself.
- There were a bunch of mobile game announcements at E3 2019. We’ll briefly go over all of them. Microsoft put Gears POP! up on the Play Store for pre-registration this week. It should launch in the next month or two.
- Bethesda announced a Commander Keen mobile game to mixed reactions. Some people are excited for a nostalgia trip while others don’t like that it’s a mobile game The game should launch on June 27th of this year.
- Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad for mobile. It’ll feature a third person shooter perspective and it should launch sometime in 2019. You can pre-register for it here.
- Square Enix announced two mobile games. The first is a remastered edition of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The classic GameCube game should launch in winter of 2019. Additionally, Square Enix announce a port of Romancing SaGa 3.
- A Netflix executive talked about a Stranger Things mobile RPG during E3 along with a potential Fortnite crossover. We don’t know a lot about this one. It should have a 1980’s newspaper comic animation style and its set to launch in 2020 at some point. That’s all we know for now.
Planet Sling is an arcade runner with some unique mechanics. You spin around planets and launch at the right angle to hit the next planet. You earn points for each planet you hit. The game features a couple of game modes, some unlockable content, and simple controls. There are also in-app purchases. However, it's for unlocking ships and has no bearing no game play. Thus, it's not free to win. It's a neat little free gem.
MIUI-ify is a customization app. It offers a MIUI 10 style quick settings menu and notification panel. The app has a lot of the same functionality, like toggles for various system settings and a brightness slider. It comes from the bottom of the screen instead of the top and that's a good idea for larger phones. The menus are customizable as well. It should also work well with most themes. The free version is on a trial so you do eventually have to buy the app.
Knights of Tartarus is an open world RPG style game. It features a retro look, early 1990's style game play, and plenty of places to unlock and explore. The controls are simple on-screen buttons and you shouldn't have trouble learning how to play. The very retro styling isn't for everyone, but the game is still fun. It runs for $7.99 and that's a bit pricey. However, there are no in-app purchases or ads to drag down the experience.
Luminary launched recently to varying levels of criticism and praise. It's a podcast platform with a bunch of shows. However, users have a choice to pay a subscription service for ad-free content or just listen to the ads. It's caused quite a stir in the podcast industry and some outlets, like Spotify, don't offer content on Luminary. The app is a neat idea if you don't mind yet another Netflix-of-something idea, but this one may take a lot longer to see its potential than most. Still, there is a free version of the app if you want to try it.
Breaking Bad: Criminal Elements is a new freemium game. It's a re-skin of most mobile strategy games. You craft a work area to make meth, upgrade it to produce even more meth, and use the money to upgrade stuff even further. The premise isn't anything new, but the execution is decent. You defend your lab from (even worse) negative elements and expand your territory as you go. It's definitely a cash grab and it's definitely not original. However, fans of the series and people who like these types of games may enjoy playing it.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or launches, tell us about it in the comments!