Welcome to the latest edition of Android Apps Weekly! This is episode 148 and here are your headlines for this week:
If anyone was curious about why more third party launchers don’t have Google Now integration, the creator of Nova Launcher wrote up a post this week explaining why. The long and short of it is that Google only allows integration with system apps. This explains why Sony was able to do it with their built-in launcher. Regular apps aren’t installed to system and therefore cannot do it. He is hopeful that the API will be expanded someday.
Square Enix Montreal decided to poke some fun at the naming scheme of Pokemon GO and it’s similarity to SE’s Lara Croft Go, Hitman Go, and the upcoming Deus Ex Go. It’s a goofy little video that shows Ash punching Pikachu in the face. Well played, Square Enix, well played.
With the release of Pokemon Go, one of the most common topics of conversation is safety. There have been some unconfirmed reports of people already getting mugged wondering into the wrong part of town, and police and fire departments the world over are reminding people to stay safe, especially while driving and walking, to avoid injury. We’ll join in with that call to safety, don’t drive while playing Pokemon Go. It’s just not a great idea.
Snapchat will be introducing a new feature to the mix here sometime soon called Memories. Memories will introduce the ability to save your snaps and organize them. This includes a My Eyes Only section where you can save your snaps behind a password to prevent snooping eyes from seeing it. The new feature has rolled out to select residents in California with a more widespread released scheduled soon.
Badland 2 is quickly approaching a release date on Android, but that may not be good news. Word is that Cheetah Mobile, makers of Clean Master, have licensed the game. They have turned it from a pay-once game into a freemium game with energy, video ads, and tons of in-app purchases which tinker with the core mechanics of the game. This is depressing and Badland 2 will likely not live up to its predecessor, at least not on Android.
Titan Quest is an action RPG that originally came out on PC in 2006. DotEmu has ported the game to Android in all of its glory and without hardly any changes. The controls have been translated to touch screens, but the rest of it remains faithful. It features a large, open world with over 1200 items, 80 different creatures to fight, a variety of skills, and it boasts a play time of over 60 hours. This is one of the few action RPGs that comes with a price tag and no in-app purchases and it’s worth checking out.
Evie is a new launcher application that tries to make things simple. You’re restricted to two home screens, but one of them is a universal phone search where you can find your apps, games, contacts, and other information. The idea is that you put the most important stuff on your home screen and then use the search for everything else. It’s a bit like iOS minus the Siri integration and it’s great for those who want something dead simple and easy to use. It’s also completely free with no in-app purchases.
It’s been ten long months of waiting, but Square Enix has finally released Final Fantasy VII on Android. It features the full game without any changes to the story or soundtrack. The controls have been made for touch screens and there are some extra features such as the ability to max out your characters with just the tap of a button. It’s having a rough release since it’s only been tested on a handful of devices and people didn’t read the warnings before downloading the game. We also wish it had Google Play Games services, but Square Enix generally adds that stuff in later.
Vysor was officially released to the Play Store this week. For those who don’t know, this is an application that, when paired with its Chrome extension, allows you to mirror your device on your computer screen. You’ll also be able to control it using your mouse and keyboard. It has a variety of uses from app testing to presentations. You can even play some games on it, but that’s not really what it’s useful for. The app is free to download and you can pick up the Chrome extension here.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
The most anticipated mobile game of the summer has been launched. Pokemon GO went live this week in several countries, including New Zealand, Japan, and the United States. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Pokemon GO is an augmented reality, location-based game that was created by the same people who did Ingress. The idea is that you walk around, battle people at gyms, and capture Pokemon out in the real world. The game works pretty well so far, but there have been some server issues along with a few release bugs. Once you get into the game, though, it’s pretty fun.