- Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company, is making all carrier bloatware optional. This gives customers a cleaner experience from the beginning. Additionally, it makes updates easier for device producers. Without the bloatware, companies can push updates directly to the phone without carrier involvement. Should T-Mobile adopt its parent company policy, it could mean huge changes in the US mobile industry.
- Google rolled out a new feature for Google Play. Google Play Instant lets you play games before downloading. It only works with a few games right now. It’s also in closed beta. Thus, new titles may not reach the service for a while. However, it should expand quickly upon public release. This adds to Instant Apps as a great way to try stuff before you even download it.
- Telegram has a hard choice to make. Russia’s Supreme Court mandated that Telegram give up its encryption keys if Russia asks for them. The company now must choose whether to comply, break the law, or pull out of Russia. Telegram has some of the best privacy of any chat app. Giving away the encryption keys would betray all of its users. We don’t assume they’ll do that, so that puts them in quite the pickle. The service boasts 9.5 million Russian users right now.
- Subway Surfers had outstanding news this week. The game became the first ever mobile game to amass one billion downloads in Google Play. It took the popular infinite runner about five years to hit the mark. That’s a really long time to remain consistently popular. Additionally, the developers did a great job of keeping it updated and visible over the years. Congratulations!
- The massive Facebook meltdown continued this week. People are deleting their profiles left and right. Many high profile people, like WhatsApp’s former CEO, agree that deleting one’s Facebook page is the best option. Some people, including one our writers, believes that decision may be too hasty. In any case, you can read the full thing by clicking here. Those who keep Facebook may want to update their privacy settings, though, just in case.
For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! You can also subscribe with the form below. Emails go out once a week!
Messenger Home is a decent new launcher app. Its basic look isn’t overly interesting or unique. It provides home screens and an app drawer. However, it does dedicate an entire home screen to text messaging. This is the big draw with this app. It lets you access SMS messages the same way Pixel Launcher users access Google Now. Some other features include support for 3,000 emoji, voice search, and some light customization options. The app is currently free with no in-app purchases. There may be some ads, though.
Shadowgun Legends is among the biggest FPS releases in recent memory. It’s also by MADFINGER Games, developers of Unkilled, Dead Trigger, and, obviously, previous Shadowgun games. This one is a sci-fi shooter with a campaign/story mode, online multiplayer, co-op raids, and more. It also features RPG elements, customization stuff, and more. It’s jam packed with content and the graphics look nice too. It’s a freemium game, but MADFINGER Games generally aren’t too bad with freemium content.
IKEA Place is one of two new ARCore apps this week. This one places virtual furniture if your house. The app scans your house with your camera. Don’t worry, there are instructions on how to do that. The app puts furniture in the room once it has the scan. This is a little buggy and glitchy right now. However, it has the potential to let you plan out whole rooms without leaving the house. It’s also free to use with no ads or in-app purchases.
PUBG is one of the biggest mobile shooter releases ever. It’s basically a port of the popular PC game of the same name. You drop onto an island with 100 other players. The winner is the last one standing. The player finds various items, weapons, and hiding spots to help facilitate victory. The game plays surprisingly well, even on older hardware like the LG V10 (my test device). The mechanics are a tad clunky but usable. Watch out, this one is definitely among the best Android games of 2018 so far.
Just a Line is a new ARCore app from Google Creative Lab. It basically lets you draw things in augmented reality. You don’t have a lot of options when it comes to things like colors. However, once you draw something, it moves around as though you drew it in a specific spot in front of you. That gives way to some really fun illusions and creations. We encourage you to watch the demo video below. The app has some bugs and issues. However, it’s also free with no ads or in-app purchases. It’s a great way to play with ARCore.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! Check back next week or click here to see older editions!