This week we’re talking about Google Trivoli, OEM discussions, and other Android app news!
Here are the headlines of the week:
- Google wants developers to call OEMs for app bad practices. Developers have a form to fill out that allows them to discuss OEMs with excessive battery optimization. This is a persistent issue with Android phones where OEMs shut down apps in the background when they are supposed to continue to run. Hope this helps prevent the problem from continuing.
- On a happier note, Google also rolled out end-to-end encryption in its Google Messages app this week. It’s limited to one-on-one chats with other Google Messages users, so it’s not comprehensive at this time. The update only contained this functionality, so there isn’t much else to say. Still, it’s an even better reason to use Google Messages.
- Tim Cook blew up Android this week. He said malware was more prevalent on Android than iOS. He blames the act of sideloading, something Android users have been able to do from the very beginning. Cook claims Android contains 47 times the malware and sideloading would ruin the security of iPhones. Unfortunately, the numbers are a bit outdated, so take them with a grain of salt.
- A new Pokemon game is coming to Android. Pokemon Unite is a five-on-five multiplayer game that will launch on Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch. Nintendo says the launch is in July for the Switch version of the game and in September for the mobile versions. It is a MOBA style game where players compete against Pokemon. Click the link to watch a trailer and learn more.
- Google is working on a new language learning service. It aims to take on Duolingo, one of the most popular language learning apps of all time. It goes through Trivoli. Word is that it will integrate with YouTube and Google Search, two of Google’s most powerful and popular platforms. Click on the link to find out more.
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Godzilla Fight Line
Price: free to play
Godzilla Battle Line is a mobile strategy game taking advantage of the hype surrounding the latest Godzilla movie. Players take their monsters into battle and fight other monsters and players. Monsters act alone, so the strategy aspect is limited. Most of your victory is determined by the strength of your monsters. You can upgrade and equip them before you send them into battle. It is not the most complex game. In fact, we only recommend it from the perspective of being an occasional waste of time.
Price: Free trial / $ 2.99 per month / $ 19.99 per year
Chatterbug Streams is a language learning app with cool ideas. It mixes traditional language learning with Twitch streaming. Basically you are watching a native speaker live streaming lessons on the language you want to learn. You can ask questions in the chat anytime to help you learn difficult things more easily. The whole experience needs a coat of polish, but it’s a great idea so we hope it will continue to mature. It currently supports Spanish, German and French. We expect more languages to come eventually.
The Witcher Tales: Throne Breaker
Price: Free / $ 9.99
The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker is a spiritual successor to Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. It is a single player campaign that takes place in the universe of this game. It is mainly story driven with duel style card combat. You can play for free in the early hours of the campaign, then the developers ask for $ 9.99 to unlock the rest. It is an excellent port of the PC version. The reason for its low rating on Google Play is that it encountered download issues on launch day. It has since been corrected.
Opera GX is a new browser from Opera. The app supports Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. It claims to be a browser for gamers. It has a very gamer aesthetic with custom skins and colorful themes. Additionally, the browser includes game news in its feed, a release schedule and ad blocker, as well as the ability to sync with a desktop browser via a QR code. Of course, the main reason to try this is aesthetics. However, the gaming news feed is also very useful. Its use is completely free on each platform where it is available.
Price: Free / $ 10.99 per month / $ 99.99 per year / In-app purchases
The official RuneScape game has finally been released after months of beta. The game itself is nothing new. It’s simply a mobile portal to RuneScape, a game that people have been playing for about 20 years. The user interface is designed for mobile use and you play with the same players as on PC. Customizing the HUD is a bit of a pain and the whole experience takes some getting used to. Otherwise, it’s basically RuneScape. Despite its extended beta, the game still has some bugs. The developers have been doing this for 20 years, so we would expect it to improve and stabilize over time.
If we missed any good versions of Android apps or games, let us know in the comments.