Welcome to the 198th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:
Square Enix was on a roll with their Final Fantasy freemium games. However, that streak seems to have ended with Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. The new game has drawn widespread criticism. It’s basically a Final Fantasy themed clone of Machine Zone games like Mobile Strike and Game of War: Fire Age. This isn’t the first time something like that has happened. After all, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is similar to Brave Frontier. However, the developers definitely didn’t do enough to make it feel like a Final Fantasy game. They deserve their criticism.
Google lost a big court battle this week. The case revolved around Google Search. Here’s what happened. Google has a shopping comparison feature. Unfortunately, companies can buy their way into that comparison tool. Google shows this with a sponsored logo. However, that still manages to break the anti-trust rules under EU law. Google now has to change its ways and pay $2.7 billion USD as a fine.
Silicon Valley is a fun TV show. Every now and then, the show reaches outside of its confines and joins pop culture. We saw clips shot for Google I/O in 2016. This year, we got a for real Not Hot Dog app. It came out on iOS back in May after the original episode aired. However, it’s nice to see the joke play out on Android as well. The app is available now in Google Play.
Google is finally going to stop scanning Gmail content for ad personalization. The act of doing so has been under fire essentially since they started doing it. It does, after all, raise plenty of privacy concerns. Gmail will still have advertising. It’ll instead revolve around your browsing and search habits rather than the contents of your Gmail. Expect the change to take place later in 2017. We think this is a good move.
Google has officially kicked off their Google Play Summer Sale. You can get discounts on tons of Google Play stuff. That includes movies, TV shows, books, music, apps, and games. You can even rent one movie for $0.99. Some of the games on sale include Final Fantasy Tactics, Square Enix’s GO games, Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition, Ticket to Ride, Bloons TD 5, and more. It’s a huge sale that lasts until July 6th.
For even more Android apps and games news, releases, announcements, and more, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you can find a ton of stuff that we didn’t have space for here. That includes a new type of malware app that scams advertisers, Assassin’s Creed Rebellion, and the death of Google Talk. You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below if you’d like. You can also check out the Android Authority app to get more frequent updates.
Oxenfree is a new horror-adventure game. The story goes that you're on a sleepover on a creepy island. You and your friends unwittingly open a rift. After that, it's up to you what happens. Your decisions affect your relationships with the other characters and the story at large. You'll also have to explore the island and figure out what happened and how to survive it. It has received criticism for not having Google Play Games support. Otherwise, it seems to play fairly well with minimal bugs.
MALClient is a third party client for My Anime List. It's a site where fans of the genre can keep track of what they've seen. The app will show you all of that stuff. It'll also give you recommendations, let you search for new stuff, update your lists, and even search for things like characters. There is also support for the site's news feed, forums, private messaging, and comment sections. It's a rock solid app with Material Design. The log in doesn't utilize the same methods as the site, but otherwise it works okay.
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow is the latest TV tie in to the cult classic series. This one follows a similar premise to The Simpsons: Tapped Out. You'll be in charge of building a new New New York. No, that's not a typo. There is also combat mechanics although to be honest they're not overly robust. This is a time killer kind of game. It just so happens to feature a funny story and Bender. It'll keep you busy during those breaks at work. However, don't expect too much out of it.
Holo is a nifty new AR app. On the surface, it's a video recording app. However, you can add things like things like lions, tigers, or even Spiderman to your videos with you. It's not overly powerful. In fact, it feels like a proof of concept app more than anything. It's a lot of fun when it works right, though. The app does have some bugs that need worked out. It is completely free to download with no in-app purchases. That makes it hard to complain too much about it.
Fate/Grand Order is a new freemium RPG. The game bases its theme and story around the anime of the same name. The hero ends up in the past after a terrible accident. Your goal is to save humanity from its inevitable extinction. You'll recruit allies much like you do in other gacha games. The game play mechanics are typical freemium RPG. There are no surprises there. It really could use some Google Play Games services, but otherwise it seems to work as intended. Much like the Futurama game, it's a fun time killer, but not much more.