Welcome to the 258th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines this week:
- Pokemon Go continued its crusade against root users this week. They actually had been, but now we know for sure. The latest version searches for evidence of root. Users determined that the app uses the storage permission to look around for said evidence. It blocks access when it sees any file that may be part of a root tool. This caused some false positives and that’s what uncovered the app’s activity. It’s a little shady, to be honest, but not unexpected. Many apps are locking root users out these days.
- Reigns and Reigns: Her Majesty are popular arcade style card games. A third one is in the ropes and it’s not like the other two. The third one is a cross-over with Game of Thrones. The mechanics should be fairly similar. However, the game has Game of Thrones scenarios instead of the usual random ones. This is a match made in heaven because Game of Thrones is somewhat unpredictable when it comes to its plot line and character deaths. Reigns is basically the same way. The game launches sometime in October for $3.99. There shouldn’t be any additional in-app purchases.
- Google is working on yet another podcast app. This one goes by the name of Shortwave. We don’t know a lot about it yet, though. So far, it seems to be a cross-platform podcast app with a huge focus on sharing podcasts with friends. This is all from a trademark filing. We don’t know what it looks like, what it actually does, or how it’ll work. However, this would be the third Google app with podcasts behind Google Podcasts and Google Play Music. We can’t imagine what makes this one so different that couldn’t be a part of the other apps as well. We’ll let you know more when we learn more.
- Snapchat has an overhaul coming. You can enable it now if you have root access. The overhaul features some changes. That includes a dedicated screen for Stories, some menu changes, and snappier performance. Snapchat removed some things as well. However, additions and removals may change when it officially launches. Most noted that photo quality didn’t improve much. That’s a shame. In any case, follow the link to find the instructions. They are rather difficult for the inexperienced, though. We don’t recommend rooting just for this.
- Monument Valley is getting a movie! The developers and Paramount Pictures announced the partnership earlier this week via Twitter. The movie should have elements of live action and CGI. We couldn’t imagine a Monument Valley without some CGI anyway. The director is Patrick Osborne. Otherwise, details are a little scarce. This is the latest mobile game with a movie. The last one, Angry Birds, did pretty well. We imagine this one should do pretty well too. We’ll deliver the details when we learn more!
Tasty is one of the most popular sources for recipes. The videos are intensely popular on Facebook. They had an app. It left Google Play and it’s back now, apparently. It has all of the expected features. That includes recipes, videos, favorites, search filters for vegetarians and other such people, and more. It’s cleaner than the previous iteration. However, it’s otherwise much like its previous version. Also, the Facebook videos should continue as normal. Welcome back to Google Play, Tasty! We missed you.
Rowdy Wrestling is a new arcade wrestling game. It’s 2D and 8-bit. Thus, don’t expect the most amazing graphics ever. The game mechanics are pretty fun, though. You use a variety of moves to pound your opponents into submission. It’s pure arcade fun with little depth or story. There are also two game modes, 55 characters, and more. The game is completely free with no in-app purchases. There are ads, but with the price tag, they’re bearable.
App Hoarder is a useful, but sloppy app. It trolls Google Play for free app and game promotions. You open the app, surf around, and download apps for free. It features a variety of filters along with push notifications for new deals. The links go directly to Google Play. There are no third party app stores or anything like that. This is all actually legitimate. You can remove ads for one day by watching a long video ad. You can remove the permanently with an optional donation. This is actually pretty good.
Legend of Solgard is a new mobile gacha RPG. You assemble a team of heroes, fight bad guys, and collect various things. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode, guilds, match-three style combat mechanics, and colorful graphics. It’s an interesting and entertaining mix of match-three puzzler and mobile RPG. However, you might not like it if you dislike either of those genres. It’s good for what it is, but it won’t supplant the industry’s best in these genres. Oh, and it’s a freemium game.
Xbox Game Pass is the official app for Microsoft’s gaming subscription service. The service lets you play a ton of games for a subscription fee rather than buying the game for its full price. It’s not a bad idea if you go through games quickly. In any case, the official apps let you browse titles, start remote downloads to your Xbox One (as long as it’s set to Instant On in the power settings), and you can browser specials if you plan to purchase. The app itself is free, but actually using any of its features requires the $9.99 per month subscription.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about them in the comments! Also check out the Android Authority Podcast every week!
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