Fortnite Season 8 guide: Start date, Battle Pass, skins, map changes, and more!

Fortnite Season 8 guide The Prisoner

Fortnite Season 8 is almost here and it looks like pirates and a world of fire are about to invade the shores of Epic Games’ hit battle royale game! Season 7’s cold snap is melting away and the Fortnite team is expected to make major changes to the map and gameplay for the Spring season.

Below we’ll be running through everything we know so far about Fortnite Season 8. Here you’ll find the Fortnite Season 8 start date, Battle Pass details, map changes, new skins, and more! Check back frequently to stay up to date on the ever evolving world of Fortnite!


When does Fortnite Season 8 start?

Fortnite Season 8 will start on Thursday, Feb. 28 a day after Season 7 ends on Feb. 27.

Fortnite Season 7 and the Season 7 Battle Pass had been expected to end on Feb. 14, but Epic extended the event by two weeks to give the team a holiday break. To tide players over until the start of Season 8 we got the Valentine’s Day “Share the Love” event complete with overtime challenges.

When will Fortnite Season 8 end?

The Fortnite Season 8 end date should fall ten weeks after the start on Thursday, May 9.

How much does the Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass cost?

In a bit of a change from previous season, the Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass is free. Sort of.

If you can complete all of the Overtime Challenges before Season 7 ends on Feb. 27, you won’t have to pay a cent for the premium Battle Pass.

Editor’s Pick

For those that don’t manage to complete the Overtime Challenges, the Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks. You can buy 1,000 V-Bucks for $10.

While there’s a free Battle Pass for players who don’t want to spend their hard-earned cash, you’ll only unlock the most sought-after exclusive skins, emotes, and other cosmetics by completing challenges to progress through the premium Battle Pass’ 100 levels.


Fortnite Season 8 Theme and Map Changes

Fortnite Prisoner Skin

Things got a little chilly during Fortnite Season 7 with snow and ice invading the map and whole bunch of winter- and holiday-based skins.

While Season 7 had clues stretching back for months, Fortnite Season 8 has been a little harder to predict until very recently.

The first clues began with the melting ice around Polar Peak which revealed a large castle. This was all sparked by a sudden appearance from the Ice King and Season 7’s secret character, The Prisoner, who was apparently being held deep within the castle’s walls. It seems likely that The Prisoner will be responsible for the melting snow and ice as he’s basically a fire version of the Ice King.

Related: Fortnite vs PUBG: Which one is right for you?

You can see this progression as you unlock stages of The Prisoner skin (above) as he melts the cold ice off his skin and appears to have fire and magma coursing through his body.

Fans have speculated that the Ice King trapped The Prisoner within the castle, something backed up by the shackles on The Prisoner at the start. Season 8 could be sparked by The Prisoner getting his revenge — a plan that may already be in motion.

In the past few weeks, Fortnite players have started experiencing tremors that are causing fissures in the ground.

If the Ice King can control ice and snow from the sky, perhaps his opposite number can control the molten rock below the surface to cause earthquakes?

So far the cracks are just cosmetic, but if the earthquakes continue and increase in scale there’s a good chance we’ll see the Fortnite map change dramatically.

Major earthquakes could even split the map into separate islands and give away to water. It would certainly explain the aquatic-themed skins we’ve started to see added to the game.

It could also explain the pirate theme the official Fortnite Twitter account has started teasing with pictures of hooked hands, skulls, bones, and cryptic hints about treasure and loot.

That doesn’t quite explain another teaser hinting at snakes slithering their way to the Fortnite island, however.

The image and an accompanying poem references hissing creatures that “shimmer” within a cave, which is most likely a reference to the mysterious eggs in Polar Peak. Epic’s creative director Donald Mustard further hinted that the two are connected with a quote tweet containing an egg emoji.

More puzzling, however, is the latter part of the poem which warns of “those who arrive on waves.” Could this be the pirates? How do they fit in with snakes? Is The Prisoner secretly a pirate king? We’ll know for sure when Fortnite Season 8 starts!


Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass – Skins, Wraps, Pets

Fortnite water skins

A new Season in Fortnite means new cosmetics!

As well as the usual batch of new skins, Season 8 should also feature new Wraps and Pets.

Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass Skins

We’ve yet to see any of the new skins for Season 8. As soon as we do we’ll post them here!


That’s all for this Fortnite Season 8 guide. What are you most looking forward to this season and what would you like to see in Season 9? Let us know in the comments!

Put down your Llama Bell and check out the rest of our Fortnite content:

10 best earthquake apps and earthquake tracker apps for Android!

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Earthquakes range from mildly annoying to destructively terrifying. However, there are some apps out there that give you an advantage. We noticed two different types of hurricane apps. The first tracks them worldwide. You can see if any took place near you and get alerts for your area. The other type are actual vibration meters. They use the accelerometer in your phone to measure vibrations where you are. We have a healthy supply of both on this list! Here are the best earthquake apps and earthquake tracker apps for Android!


American Red Cross Earthquake

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The American Red Cross has a bunch of apps for a variety of natural disasters and that includes earthquakes. This one includes support for Spanish out of the box. In addition, the app notifies you when earthquakes happen in your area, provides a history of earthquakes in your area, and it gives you a bunch of informational resources for better preparation. The app has a bunch of tips for dealing with things during and right after an earthquake along with long term recovery advice. This one is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads. However, the app does have a few bugs.
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American Red Cross Earthquake

Earthquake Network

Price: Free / $2.99
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Earthquake Network is kind of an all-in-one type of earthquake app. It alerts you to nearby earthquakes, uses your phone to detect earthquakes, and acts as a network of sorts. There were roughly 8,800 devices on the network during our testing and we assume the alerts are generated from those people. The app uses the accelerometer in your phone as a seismograph of sorts, but only when your phone is charging. The free version includes that, an earthquake history guide dating back to 2000, and some other features. Those who get the premium version also get some additional notification options and a chat room for emergencies.
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EarthQuake Alerts and Monitoring

Price: Free / $3.49
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EarthQuake Pro is a a fairly basic earthquake app. You can view earthquakes from around the world in the recent past. In addition, the app provides details about the event, provides alerts for earthquakes in your area, and it has a seismograph function built-in. The UI is Material Design. That means it looks nice and it’s easy to navigate. The premium version removes advertising and adds a few additional features. It seems like a newer app and it needs a little work to correct a few bugs. However, it’s otherwise competent.
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EarthQuake Alerts and Monitoring

Earthquakes Tracker

Price: Free / $3.49
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Earthquakes Tracker is one of the older earthquake tracking apps. It does what most tracker apps in this space do. Some of the features include alerts, an interactive map of earthquake activity, customized alerts for your area, and various charts for data. You can see things like how many earthquakes happened and how strong they were. The app could use a visual makeover, but it works well regardless. The premium version removes the advertising, but we noticed no other significant differences. You can go with either one.
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Earthquakes Tracker

Little Panda Earthquake Safety

Price: Free (with ads)
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Little Panda Earthquake Safety is a neat little game for kids. It’s also a bit of a wild card app on this list. The app is a series of scenarios around earthquakes. Kids play through the scenarios to keep the little panda character safe. The mechanics use actual earthquake safety tips as its base. Thus, kids learn what to do in the event of an earthquake in a fun, safe environment. There is some content that feels a little weird, like treating the open and bleeding injuries of a cute cartoon animal, but it’s an educational experience either way. It’s also totally free to play.
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My Earthquake Alerts

Price: Free / $1.99
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My Earthquake Alerts is a solid, simple app for earthquake detection. It shows earthquakes all around the world. In addition, you can create custom alerts with no restrictions just for your area. Some additional features include a history that dates back to 1970, a Material Design UI for easy navigation, and more details about any given earthquake. A lot of people started using this app after the 7.0 earthquake in Alaska back in December and they seem to be quite happy about it. There is a premium version for $1.99. The only difference we could see is the lack of advertisements. Otherwise both apps should work about the same.
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My Earthquake Alerts

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Price: Free / $5.99
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Volcanoes and Earthquakes is a decent app for those who want to keep track of both phenomena. It shows both earthquakes and volcano eruptions on a worldwide scale. In addition, you can see volcanoes that are expected to erupt or are showing other types of activity. There are push notifications for earthquakes near you and the app pings multiple data sources for both types of events. It even has stuff like tectonic plate boundaries so you can see where such activity is expected. The premium version is a tad pricey at $5.99. However, you get more information, no ads, and slightly more granular controls.
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Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Vibration Meter by ABC Apps

Price: Free (with ads)
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Vibration Meter is a very simple app. It uses your device’s accelerometer to detect vibration. It is made specifically for earthquakes. You also get the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale) for quick reference. The app is otherwise simple, clean, and effective. What you see in the screenshot is basically what you get. A simple UI with a meter at the bottom and the MMI at the top to show you how much the vibration is. The app is free with no in-app purchases although there may be ads. It’s good for what it does and it’s a decent app to pop onto a second device in case you don’t want to use your daily drive for this.
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Vibration Meter by ABC Apps

Vibration Meter by Gamma Play

Price: Free (with ads)
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Vibration Meter by Gamma Play is another excellent vibration meter app. Like the one by ABC Apps above, this app measures vibration. It includes the MMI scale right above it for easy reference and highlights the appropriate level based on the readings that it takes. It uses a simple UI. We don’t think anyone will have problems using it. This one hasn’t seen an update in a couple of years at the time of this writing. Thus, if you experience bugs, you may want to just try a different app. This one is free with no in-app purchases. You may see the occasional ad or two.
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Vibration Meter by Gamma Play

Wikipedia

Price: Free
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Wikipedia is a decent option for learning about earthquakes. It has all of the major terminology, including information about tectonic plates, earthquakes, terms surrounding earthquakes, and details about historical earthquakes, like the Kobe earthquake in 1995, the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, and even popular media about earthquakes. There are better and more thorough reference materials available from sources like Amazon Kindle or Google Play Books. However, Wikipedia offers a decent introduction into the topic. Plus, the app is free and it’s easy to search and find stuff.
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Wikipedia

If we missed any great earthquake apps or earthquake tracker apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

10 best NFL apps and football apps for Android

best NFL apps and football apps featured image
American Football is vastly popular in North America. The NFL is, by extension, among the most profitable and popular professional sports organizations out there. Most enjoy the sport either via television, live events, or playing pickup with friends outside. Football season is long, and includes both professional and college level sports. Your smartphone can help make sense of all of the action. Here are the best football apps and NFL apps for Android! It’s not listed, but of course, YouTube is an excellent app for football fans as well for highlights and such!


ESPN

Price: Free / $4.99+ per month
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
ESPN has a ton of content for football fans. In fact, it’s probably the sport that ESPN takes most seriously. It covers the basics, such as scores, schedules, news, rumors, trades, and stuff like that. ESPN also has a fairly decent fantasy football option. Their newer streaming service, ESPN+, also streams a variety of sporting events. They don’t do NFL streaming, sadly. However, you can see some college football there. The app is a little heavy. Those looking for a more minimal experience won’t enjoy this. However, if you don’t mind that ESPN has a ton of stuff, it’s not a bad way to go.
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ESPN

Feedly

Price: Free
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There are a ton of NFL and football news sites. Most of them have dedicated apps with a ton of extra features. Feedly helps simplify the experience. It’s an RSS news app. You can add all of the football blogs and sites you enjoy. The app provides a single feed for all of those sites. It can’t do stuff like schedules, live scores, or anything like that. However, it’s probably the best way to get news from everywhere without downloading a bunch of apps for each website. Plus, Feedly is free and cross-platform. It also works with iOS devices.
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NFL Mobile

Price: Free / $99.99 per year / $24.99 per quarter
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NFL Mobile is the NFL’s official app. It has a decent amount of content. You can find schedules, news, stats, highlights, trades, rumors, and more. The app also lets you follow specific teams and news for only that team. It’s a little clunky, but nothing too bad. This is also the home of NFL’s Game Pass streaming service. It costs $99.99 per year or $24.99 per quarter of a year. You can watch every non-blackout football game. That means you can’t watch home team games, but you can watch anything else. There are other options for live streaming, but the content and news is fairly top notch.
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NFL Mobile

Sling TV (or similar apps)

Price: $20+ per month
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Sling TV (and similar services) stream live television. They don’t stream football specifically. However, all of them come with football packages and most of them come with local sports channels at the very least. You can watch home team games this way as well as college football. Plus, there are all of the other cable channels for the days of the week without football. There are five major options in the United States. They include PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, and DirectTV Now. We have a comparison video linked just below if you want to see what they can all do.
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theScore

Price: Free
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theScore is a decent sports news app. It offers up news on a variety of sports, including the NFL and NCAA football. It shows the usual stuff, including scores, stats, schedules, lineups, and news. You can also customize the experience with your favorite teams and/or sports. It’s a solid source of news. The app’s UI is in the middle of a revamp at the time of this writing. Some people like it while others don’t. The app is entirely free, though.
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Thuuz Sports

Price: Free
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Thuuz Sports is another excellent sports news app. It comes with the basics. You can find schedules, scores, stats, and more. The app also rates live games on a scale from 0-100. The hotter and more exciting the game is, the higher the rating. It also has a fantasy sports tracker, alerts, social features, and more. It covers far more than just football or the NFL as well. The app is free with no in-app purchases. It does have advertising, though.
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SofaScore

Price: Free / Up to $2.99
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SofaScore is a sports scores app and one of the best. It covers sports from all over the world, including hockey, soccer, football, and many more. The app even covers niche stuff like rugby, volleyball, and others. It’s a fairly simple app. You pick the sports you want to keep track of and the app does the rest. You check scores and schedules as needed. This is an excellent football app for fans that also like other sports. It’s also relatively cheap, easy to use, and it even looks nice.
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TuneIn Radio

Price: Free / $9.99 per month
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TuneIn Radio is one of the better radio apps. It has a variety of stations, including talk radio, comedy, AM radio, FM radio, audiobooks, and more. That includes sports talk radio stations, local sports radio stations, and even live games. There is an optional subscription service. It boasts live football and NFL games. It has other sporting options as well. The UI is nice and the streams are high quality. This is an excellent way to catch a game while driving or at work. However, it does not do video streams. There are other apps for that.
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TuneIn Radio

Twitter

Price: Free
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Twitter can be a horrible place. However, if you can avoid the terrible parts, it’s a great way to check the news. Most NFL teams, NCAA teams, and sports writer personalities have Twitter accounts. You can follow them to get up-to-the-minute scores, news, and updates. There are hundreds of Twitter profiles that deal almost exclusively with sports. You follow them and you’ll see what happens in football before the 11 o’clock news. It’s about the only social network worth using for football and NFL news.
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Yahoo Sports

Price: Free
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Yahoo Sports is among the largest NFL and football news sources out there. It has all of the stuff you’d expect. That includes lineups, stats, schedules, news, scores, trades, rumors, and more. Yahoo also has one of the best fantasy football options, but that does require a different app. Yahoo Sports streamed the Super Bowl in 2018. We don’t know if it will in 2019 also. However, it should be an above average experience for football even without it. Plus, it works well for other sports too.
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If we missed any great NFL apps or football apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

10 best to do list apps for Android

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Staying organized is one of the toughest things to do. It’s okay if you can’t keep track of it all because most of us can’t either. That’s kind of why to do list apps exist. They can add some organization to a hectic lifestyle and keep you from forgetting important stuff. They also usually work great for stuff like grocery lists and recurring tasks like taking the garbage out every week. Those with good memory probably don’t need something like this. However, in a world where multi-tasking is an increasingly important life skill, a good to-do list app can help you keep everything in order. This is one of those apps we recommend to everyone. There are a bunch to choose from, so here are the best to do list apps for Android!


Any.do

Price: Free / $2.99 per month / Up to $2.24 per month (billed annually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Any.do is a popular to do list app that gets the basics right. You have the usual array of tasks, sub tasks, and notes that you can add to help remind yourself of what you’re supposed to do. There is also cloud syncing so you can access your tasks on a variety of devices, including desktop, web, and tablet. It has a sleek interface and built-in support for Cal Calendar if you want to kill two birds with one stone. It’s powerful, it’s simple, and most of its features are free. Any.do is also one of the few to do list apps with support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
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Any.do

Asana

Price: Free / $9.99 per month (per person)
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Asana is a business-oriented to-do list app. Those looking for individual solutions should probably steer clear of this one. This one works best for groups of people. It features task categories, various sorting and tagging options, and tons of ways to add info to a task. Additionally, each task has its own comment thread for communication purposes. The app also has a decent free option for those who want to try it first. This is one of the better business solutions and works best in a work environment rather than for personal use.
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GTasks

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
GTasks is a popular and highly rated to do list app and one of the few that adhere to a simple free-paid system. The free version has a ton of features, including the basics along with widgets, quick adding for tasks using voice, and syncing with Google Tasks. If you go pro, you’ll also get batch task adds, a pattern lock for security, and theming. You can even add tasks using Google Now if that’s a thing you like to do. The app even has integration with TickTick (if you use TickTick). It looks good and it works well, especially if you’re in the market for something simple and effective.
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Memorigi

Price: Free / $3.99 / $1.99 per month / $15.99 per year
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Memorigi is one of the newer to-do list apps. It features a beautiful Material Design UI along with a bunch of other stuff. The basic features include tasks and lists, cloud syncing, recurring tasks, notifications (reminders), and more. The more unique stuff includes floating actions (like Facebook Messenger’s chat heads), integrated weather, and theming. It gets the job done and looks good doing it. The organizational structure takes a bit of time to get used to, especially if you’re used to things like Todoist, TickTick, or GTasks. The free version includes some features. There is a single $3.99 for the plus version that adds most of the basic features, and a monthly subscription for the rest of it. Most should get by fine with the free or plus versions.
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Microsoft To-Do

Price: Free
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Microsoft is eventually going to kill off Wunderlist. That’s bad news because Wunderlist is easily the best to-do list app ever. However, the team working on Microsoft’s new To-Do app are the same people that did Wunderlist. Thus, we expect for Microsoft’s To-Do app to be as good as Wunderlist someday. The app can already do a bunch of stuff. That includes recurring tasks, notes, smart suggestions, and cross-platform support with Windows 10. Recent updates added task sharing with other people and some other, smaller features. It’s not as good as Wunderlist yet, but it’s certainly getting there. Plus, it’s one of the few decent options that is also totally free.
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Microsoft To-Do


Tasks

Price: Free / $1.49
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Tasks is one of the newer to do list apps. It features a gorgeous UI, plenty of customization options, and a decent set of features. Functionally, it works like most other to do list apps. You simply put in the tasks, add due dates and reminders, and complete the tasks when necessary. Some of the other features include multiple lists, a dark theme, and a simple layout. It doesn’t have more popular features like list sharing or cloud syncing. However, not everyone needs those features. It’s still very much in active development, so check the Play Store to see what’s changed between now and when we update this list again.
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Tasks

TickTick

Price: Free / $2.79 per month / $27.99 per year
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TickTick is another simple, but powerful to do list application. This one has the basic features along with cloud syncing so you can keep track of your tasks between devices. It also includes a tag system so you can easily sort your tasks, widgets, priority levels to differentiate more important tasks, and location reminders. The free version also comes with up to two reminders per task. If you go pro, you’ll also get improved task management, improved collaboration support, and more reminders per task. It’s another solid, simple option that can work very well. In fact, we routinely recommend this app to people who left Wunderlist and don’t want Microsoft’s To-Do list option yet. The premium version adds more features, but the free version should be more than good enough for most.
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TickTick

Todoist

Price: Free / $28.99 per year
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Todoist is a powerful to do list app that can do pretty much whatever you need it to do. On top of its mobile apps, you can get native apps on Google Chrome (as an extension), desktop, and other places for full cross-platform support. It covers the basics and also includes offline mode, tags and inboxes for easy task sorting, Android Wear support, integration with a ton of other apps (including Google Assistant), and a unique karma system that helps you visualize how productive you’ve been. We aren’t a fan of reminders being a premium-only feature when most other to do list apps don’t do that. Otherwise, this is easily among the best in its category and one of the most flashy.
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To Do List

Price: Free / $2.99
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To Do List is perhaps the least inventive name of any app on the list. However, it’s actually pretty good. It covers the basic to do features, including the ability to get reminders to make sure you get your stuff done. The interface is reminiscent of Wunderlist but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s very clean and easy to use. It has plenty of tertiary features like adding tasks through voice commands, widgets, and more. This is a simple to do list app for simple needs. Those looking for something more complicated may need to try another option. You can download it for free to try it out. The full version costs $2.99.
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To Do List

Trello

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Trello is a big name in the to do list game and it’s one of the few options that’s entirely free. At least for right now. It comes with all of the basic features as well as a unique, card-based interface where you create your tasks on “boards”. It also comes with Google Drive and Dropbox support, Android Wear support, collaboration features, and scaling so you can do something as simple as a grocery list or as big as a multi-person group project. The app is powerful, it looks cool, and the price tag is great for a lot of folks. It was purchased in early 2017 by Altassian. We don’t know how that’ll affect it in the long term, but right now it works the same.
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If we missed any of the best to do list apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments!

10 best Disney apps for Android!

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Disney is quite the large media property these days. They own ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and, soon, Fox. That means there are a bunch of ways to interact with Disney stuff. However, we think that people looking for Disney apps want the more classic Disney characters and experiences. We can definitely help with that. Disney is, again, massive. They have movies, TV shows, and music across plenty of genres. We can help you find what you’re looking for. Here are the best Disney apps for Android!


DisneyNow

Price: Free (with TV provider login)
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DisneyNow is Disney’s current streaming service. You log into the service with your existing TV cable provider info and gain access to a bunch of Disney TV content. That includes kids shows, cartoons and live action stuff, classic and new Disney characters, and even Radio Disney. This is, admittedly, kind of holding the slot here until Disney+ comes out sometime in 2019. That will definitely be the streaming app to get from Disney. Until then, as long as you have cable, DisneyNow should be good enough to stream current shows to your smartphone. The app itself is otherwise free.
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DisneyNow

Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Price: Free (with ads, usually)
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Fandom by Wikia is a community of enthusiasts that create these little wiki pages for various media properties. You can find Fandom apps for Disney (linked at the button), Star Wars, Marvel, and tons of other stuff as well. They generally provide information about characters, movies, TV shows, and even some games. It’s a neat way to learn some trivia about basically any Disney movie, show, or character. Of course, it’s a bit of a niche product. Not everybody wants to read about Aladdin, they want to watch Aladdin. We’ll cover that shortly, but trivia buffs should definitely start with the Fandom Disney apps.
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Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Giphy

Price: Free
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Giphy might seem like a weird pick for Disney apps, but hear us out. Disney has a GIF app with a bunch of reaction GIFs. It’s a fun little app, but it lacks some really basic features and it makes the app hard to use. Thus, we recommend Giphy instead. It has a great search, tons of Disney GIFs, and the app is very easy to use. It’s much better than Disney’s GIF app. Other than that, there isn’t much else to talk about. You simply search for the reaction GIF you need and the app finds it. It has non-Disney stuff too in case you want that. It’s otherwise completely free to use.
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Giphy

iHeartRadio Family

Price: Free / $9.99 per month
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There are a few different versions of iHeartRadio. However, for Disney stuff, we recommend iHeartRadio Family. It has 80 stations of family-friendly music from a bunch of popular kids’ shows and movies. Of course, that includes plenty of Disney content. You can go with a station dedicated to Disney princess songs or just hit up the standard Radio Disney for a big mix of music from Disney. Of course, the full version has all of these stations as well so current fans of iHeartRadio just need to hit up the search button to find these stations. The premium version adds unlimited skips and a bunch of other features as well.
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iHeartRadio Family

Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)

Price: Free / $7.99-$39.99 per month
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It’s easier (and cheaper) to watch TV than ever before. TV services like Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now all have a bunch of excellent child-friendly content. Consequently, they also all have access to the Disney Channel along with a bunch of back-logged Disney content. For instance, on Hulu, if you subscribe to the live TV service, you get the Disney Channel, but also access to movies like Pocahontas. The amount of Disney content per streaming service varies, but you can at least get the actual channel on all of them. Honestly, this is probably better than cable for Disney stuff because you do get those on-demand titles as long as you’re subscribed to the live TV service. You can go with whatever one you want. We simply linked Hulu because Disney owns 30% of it.
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Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)


Movies Anywhere

Price: Free
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Movies Anywhere is probably the best app for movies on Google Play. It isn’t its own standalone streaming service. It’s actually a collection of other movie streaming services. You sign in with your iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, or Google Play. All of the movies you purchased on all of those services are now available in one spot. The service boasts over 7,500 movies and that, of course, includes tons of Disney movies along with basically every Marvel and Star Wars movie as well. Disney is likely going to have all of those movies on Disney+ when it comes out. Until then, though, this is probably the best place to actually buy a Disney movie and watch it. The app is occasionally buggy, but it’s otherwise quite good. It also comes with Chromecast support.
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Movies Anywhere

My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Price: Free
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Disneyland and Disney World are two of the most popular vacation spots in the world. They also both have official apps. The My Disney Experience app focuses primarily on Disney World. You can use it to plan your vacation, as an interactive map of the park, and you can even buy your tickets and merch there. The Disneyland app is much the same way. The app shows you information like estimated wait times, browser restaurant menus, and interact with the park’s map. There are apps for all of Disney’s parks individually, including the ones in Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Those headed to Disney World or Disneyland should definitely have these apps on hand.
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My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Reddit

Price: Free / $5.99 per month
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Reddit is good for a lot of fan bases and Disney fans are no exception. The site has dozens of subreddits for Marvel properties, Star Wars movies, and, of course, classic Disney properties as well. You can talk to other people who like the stuff that you like and post stuff that you care about. The Reddit app keeps everything under moderate control, although people who haven’t used Reddit before may have a tough time acclimating at first. In any case, this is a great way to read up on news about Star Wars, Marvel, or other Disney properties and discuss those things with other fans. The premium subscription removes advertising and gives you some additional features as well.
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Reddit

Official apps for Disney media

Price: Free (usually)
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We’ve said it over and over again that Disney is a huge company. As it turns out, there are a variety of official Disney apps for most of those properties. Some examples include the official Star Wars app, the official Marvel app, the ESPN app, ABC’s official app, and the list goes on and on. These official apps are among the best ways to interact with Disney’s massive list of media companies. For instance, you can watch ABC’s programming on the ABC app or read about the latest Star Wars news in the Star Wars app. You can even read old Marvel comics in the Marvel app. It really depends on what kind of content each property makes, but it’s all still Disney.
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YouTube

Price: Free / $12.99 per month
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YouTube is an excellent, albeit obvious, choice for a great Disney app. You can find basically any Disney song ever made there along with a ton of clips and memes from various movies and TV shows. That’s also the place to see trailers for upcoming movies or shows, reviews of various toys or games, and basically anything else you can think of. Disney has an official VEVO channel with over 11 million subscribers. But, again, you probably already knew all of this so this part of the list is really just some confirmation bias. Yes, YouTube is among the best apps for Disney fans. You can optionally pay $12.99 per month to remove ads, download videos for offline use, and you get a few other features.
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YouTube

If we missed any great Disney apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

5 most controversial Android apps and games from 2018!

This is the featured image for the most controversial Android apps from 2018 Shop Catalog

Android apps and games took huge leaps in 2018. We saw AAA game titles like Fortnite and PUBG hit Android. We also saw excellent new apps and services like Bouncer and YouTube Music. However, some apps and games simply didn’t have such good luck. There were a number of scandals and mistakes made in 2018. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal immediately comes to mind, but that was more Facebook the service rather than Facebook the app. Some apps were removed from Google Play for silly reasons (that actually happens a lot). In any case, some incidents simply stand above the rest. We are happy to report that Uber managed to not make this list for the first time in this list’s history. Congratulations to Uber! Here are the five most controversial Android apps and games from 2018!


The Cheetah Mobile Play Store page.

Ad fraud served two ways

Google Play had not one, but two big ad fraud problems in 2018. The first used bots to simulate real people. Here’s how it worked. A group of developers would purchase popular apps on Google Play from developers for Bitcoin. They would keep the app maintained and track user behavior. The developers would then create bots that emulated the human behavior they observed, except these bots also viewed ads along with doing the other stuff. The bots managed to avoid Google Play bot detection for a very long time.  Hit the link above to find the full list of all 129 apps that did it. The reason this probably didn’t hit harder was because it didn’t actually affect any end users. It was essentially a bunch of developers defrauding advertisers. Still, that’s not great and many of those apps were available in the Play Store at the time the report took place.

The second ad fraud case was by several Cheetah Mobile apps. This one is a little less creative. Several Cheetah Mobile apps, including Kika Keyboard and CM File Manager, would read the apps installed on a user’s phone. CM would then take credit for all the apps the user installed and collected the advertising money. Cheetah Mobile swears up and down that it did not do anything and the advertising SDKs were to blame. However, Cheetah Mobile has pulled some deceptive ad tactics before so we don’t necessarily trust them. Google is still investigating as of the writing of this article so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.


Fortnite - most controversial android apps 2018

Fortnite bucks the trends for better or worse

The biggest Android game narrative of 2018 was PUBG Mobile versus Fortnite. PUBG Mobile’s launch was fairly typical. It came out in Google Play, people enjoy it, and everything went as normal. Then Fortnite came around. To start, the game is not available on the Google Play Store. Instead, it opted for a launch on Epic Games’ own website  along with Samsung’s app store. People lost their minds about it. The CEO called it a move to promote a free and open platform. It also stands as the biggest mobile game to do this. The installer had its share of problems, including a massive security issue early on. There was also that pesky problem of all the fake Fortnite APKs. The PUBG developers even sued Fortnite for stealing content, although that suit was eventually dropped.  Things have smoothed out for now, but goodness Fortnite’s mobile game had a rough first six months.


Google shuts down all the things

The Google app library had a surprisingly rough year. Let’s start with Hangouts and make our way around the circle. Google Hangouts is reportedly changing from a single chat service to a group chat service similar to Slack or Discord. That reporting prompted a surprisingly aggressive Twitter conversation with a Hangouts developer. This puts an end to one of the few consistently decent chat services that Google had and the closest it ever came to a true Android version of iMessage. Google then shocked everybody by announcing the end of Google Allo. Many of Allo’s features are headed to Android Messages for now, but Allo is now officially circling the drain. Finally, Google is shuttering Google+ in 2019 after not one, but two major data breaches. It all leaves Google in a bit of a hole after it announced no major new apps in 2018. They did re-brand a bunch of stuff for no apparent reason, though. It’s been a surprisingly rough year for Google.


The best walking dead games featured image

Telltale Games had an epic crash and burn

Telltale Games had some of the best point-and-click adventure games on mobile. They usually work with existing titles like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Minecraft, Borderlands, and others. Well, 2018 is probably its last year in existence. The company announced a massive layoff in mid-September that spared only 25 employees. The layoff also doubled as the announcement that the company was shuttering its doors. Telltale Games’ CEO Pete Hawley cited poor sales as the primary reason and that makes sense. The company simply didn’t generate as much buzz this year as they did in previous years. To make matters worse, the employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Telltale Games for unlawful termination, citing WARN laws. That lawsuit is in progress as of the writing of this article.


An image of an Amazon Echo Show on a night stand. Amazon

Google and Amazon are seriously still fighting

Amazon and Google have been competitors for a while. However, late 2017 saw things take a nasty turn for consumers when Google yanked YouTube from all Amazon Fire devices, starting with the Echo Show. This turned into a year long trench war that is only making things suck more for consumers who use both Amazon and Google products. Initially, Amazon promised to start selling Chromecasts again, which it only started doing again in early December 2018. That certainly didn’t help things. Both companies announced that talks were underway to restore YouTube to Amazon devices along with possibly some other stuff. While we definitely don’t mean to pry, we would love it if Amazon Prime Video received Chromecast support as well.

In any case, the companies broke off talks early into 2018 after Google intentionally made YouTube worse for Silk Browser, Amazon’s default browser. In March 2018, Amazon stopped selling Google’s Nest products. Of course, YouTube TV never made it to a Fire device either, so you can add that to the list too. This has gone on long enough and is now bordering on the absurd. We’re really hoping that Amazon selling the Chromecast helps bring an end to this ridiculous and long-winded problem sooner rather than later. Until the dust settles, we highly recommend just buying Roku or Nvidia Shield. Those devices don’t seem to be affected by this preposterous pissing match.


If we missed any controversial Android apps and games, tell us about them in the comments! Check out all of our Android app and game lists by clicking here!

15 best Android games released in 2018!

Here we go, folks. Mobile gaming always seems to take great strides year after year. Last year, we saw a huge push in niche genres like text games and indie puzzle games. This year, we saw a bunch of excellent games in the shooter, tower defense, rhythm, indie puzzle, and simulation genres. In fact, this might be the best year of mobile gaming that we’ve ever seen. There was just a bunch of new content from PUBG to Fortnite, Kingdom Rush Vengeance to Bloons TD 6, and even some excellent new RPGs. This is a long list, so let’s get right down to it. Here are the best Android games of 2018! We don’t have them ranked in any specific fashion. However, the last game on the list is our choice for the very best of the year.


Alto’s Odyssey

Price: Freemium
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Alto’s Odyssey is a 2D, side-scrolling infinite runner and Noodlecake Studios’ biggest launch of 2018. The game features gorgeous, simple graphics, easy mechanics, and smooth game play. Players ski down hills and make massive jumps for points. They also collect coins for unlockable content in the game’s shop. You also get a Photo Mode because the visuals in this game make for perfect wallpapers as well as a zen mode where you just play to relax. It’s certainly not treading any new ground. However, it’s as solid of an infinite runner as you’ll find these days and it’s also kid friendly. Everybody wins!
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Asphalt 9: Legends

Price: Freemium
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Asphalt 9: Legends is arguably the most popular new racing game in 2018. It features above average visuals, solid racing mechanics, and a metric ton of events, missions, and challenges to complete. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode, online social elements like clubs, a campaign mode, and over 50 unlockable cars. This is a game you can play for a very long time before you get everything. It’s a freemium game and you deal with that a lot. However, Gameloft’s long-running racing series is popular for a reason. Those who are more into hardcore racing sims may need something a little extra, but this is great for casual racing game fans.
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Bloons TD 6 and Kingdom Rush Vengeance

Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases (each)
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Tower defense is alive an well on mobile with the releases of both Bloons TD 6 and Kingdom Rush Vengeance. Both games are continuations of the popular franchises and both bring new features, new game elements, and fresh ideas to the table. Bloons TD 6 is a slightly deeper game with 19 towers and a bunch of upgrades. Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the slightly more casual friendly game but it still gets pretty difficult. Both games support offline gaming and have optional in-app purchases for power-ups. We couldn’t choose between the two because they are both excellent tower defense games. Maybe you’ll have better luck. We have Bloons TD 6 linked at the download button above.
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Cytus II

Price: $1.99 / Up to $9.99
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Cytus II is the latest rhythm game from Rayark International, Rayark makes exceptional mobile rhythm games and this one is no exception. The game uses tap, swipe, and tap-and-hold mechanics and players use the entire screen with this game. It’s colorful, intense, and surprisingly smooth for how many on-screen elements there are. Players get a story mode with 30 songs in the $1.99 base game with more songs available as in-app purchases. There are over 300 total step charts between the songs and the various difficulties. We also recommend the first game in the series if you need something a little easier to start with.
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Friday the 13th

Price: Free / Up to $9.99
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You don’t see a lot of horror games on best of the year lists, but Blue Wizard Digital found a way with Friday the 13th. The game features both horror and puzzle elements, decent mobile controls, and tons of optional gore and violence. You get over 100 levels, a PG mode in case blood makes you squeamish, and plenty of unlockable customizations for the venerable Jason Voorhees. The game also comes with offline gaming support. It might only be truly fun during the Halloween season, but the mechanics are just that good in general. The somewhat retro style graphics also helps take a bit of the edge off of all of the gore.
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HQ Trivia

Price: Free
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HQ Trivia has the distinction of being the first Android game launched in 2018. We know that because it ran its very first live game seconds after midnight on New Years Eve. HQ Trivia is one of the most unique quiz games on mobile. It features live quizzes conducted like an actual game show. That includes a real, actual host. Games run every day at 9PM EST with additional games on week days at 3PM EST. Players even win actual money if they last long enough. The game is occasionally laggy, but shoving a few hundred thousand people into a single game show can do that. Those wanting something a little more typical can also try Trivia Crack 2, another new quiz game in 2018.
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Monster Hunter Stories

Price: Free / $19.99
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Monster Hunter Stories is an excellent new RPG. It has the same core experience of every Monster Hunter game. Players travel the world, collect monsters, train them, and fight with them. You get action, adventure, and RPG elements. It uses a turn-by-turn battle structure and you also get colorful graphics. Perhaps our favorite part is the demo version of the game. The demo version is actually its own self-contained game that acts as a prologue for the actual game. We think that is a genius idea. The demo version’s data ports to the main game upon purchase. It’s really expensive at $19.99 so we don’t blame you if you want to skip this one.
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Part Time UFO

Price: $3.99
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Part Time UFO is a puzzle game by HAL Industries, developers of the first Super Smash Bros and most of the Kirby series. The developer’s first mobile game is a rousing success. It features boss fights, puzzles, and a fun little adventure with plenty for players to do. The puzzles are delightful, if somewhat easy and the story is charming and inoffensive. You also get a fun soundtrack, some social sharing features, and more. The game rocks a 4.9 rating on Google Play. It may not be the most popular game ever, but virtually nobody who plays it dislikes it. That’s a rarity for mobile gaming.
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Pocket City

Price: Free / $3.99
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Pocket CIty is a city building simulator much like SimCity. You start with a plot of land. Players then build a functioning city. You must achieve balance between business and residence, expand in a smart way, and deal with things like natural disasters. Players unlock more buildings and land as they progress and they must manage things like population happiness and traffic. The game also comes with support for portrait and landscape modes as well as offline support. The free version contains ads. For $3.99, you get no ads and more features. It might be the best non-freemium city building sim on Google Play right now.
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Reigns: Game of Thrones

Price: $3.99
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Reigns: Game of Thrones is an interesting card game. Players get cards with various scenarios on them. You choose one of two options by swiping the card left or right. Some choices are simple like selling wood and others involve more serious matters. The result is your continued reign or ultimate downfall. This version of the game also includes Game of Thrones characters, story elements, and themes. It’s not a deep game with a deep story and that may disappoint some Game of Thrones fans. It is one of the better time killer games on mobile, though, and it goes for a single $3.99 purchase with no freemium elements. We appreciate that.
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Returner 77

Price: $4.99
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Returner 77 is an indie puzzle game with a sci-fi story line. The story involves an alien invasion with humanity on the brink of extinction. You work your way through an alien ship while solving puzzles and making progress. The game features beautiful graphics, enjoyable puzzles, and an interesting story. It’s one of the few indie puzzle games over the last few years with a narrative that drives the game forward. It rounds out the experience with live action video clips, voice overs, and a reasonable price tag. It’s easily one of the more under-rated games on 2018.
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The Room: Old Sins

Price: $4.99
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The Room: Old Sins is the latest game in one of mobile gaming’s most critically acclaimed puzzle franchises. This is an easy choice for best mobile games of 2018. It comes with outstanding graphics, a narrative to follow, and simple mechanics. Players make their way through a dollhouse full of puzzles to solve. The game also supports cloud saving and Google Play Games achievements. It maintains a lot of the elements of previous games, so many people already know what they’re in for with this one. Is it the best of the year? No, but it’s definitely up there and that’s why it’s here.
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Shadowgun Legends

Price: Freemium
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Shadowgun Legends is one of the top three shooters from 2018 without question. It’s a fairly standard mobile shooter. Players get a campaign to play through with sci-fi and action elements along with online PvP, an RPG-style progression system, and tons of loot to collect. Of course, you get good graphics and as good of a game play experience as a shooter can be on mobile. By and large, there isn’t much in this game that isn’t a positive experience, although we would appreciate some tweaking of the inventory space. We’re quite happy to see a new Shadowgun game and Madfinger Games delivered. This is a great shooter.
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Square Enix (Life is Strange, Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition)

Price: Free / Varies
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Square Enix always has a host of mobile game releases every year and many of them are candidates for this list. This year was no exception. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, Life is Strange, and the Valkyrie Profile Lenneth port are all outstanding new games for 2018. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition avoided the port label by being designed from the ground up for a mobile experience. Life is Strange is one of Square Enix’s more thought provoking point-and-click adventure games in recent memory, and Valkyrie Profile Lennth is a decent RPG for fans of old PlayStation games. The games vary in price, but they are all quite excellent. Well done, Square Enix.
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Game(s) of the year: PUBG Mobile and Fortnite

Price: Freemium (each)
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PUBG Mobile and Fortnite orbited around the mobile gaming scene for pretty much all of 2018. Both games brought the battle royale shooter to the forefront in a way that no other game ever has on mobile. PUBG Mobile represents a more serious feel while Fortnite gives players a more animated experience. Both games have solid mechanics, but both still need some work. PUBG Mobile is easier to obtain in the Play Store with a Lite version for lower end devcies. Epic Games launched Fortnite on its own website instead of Google Play. However, Fortnite has account linking between it and the console and PC version. Both games have pros and cons, but you didn’t see anyone talk about a mobile game more than these two in 2018. Thankfully, they are both excellent games. If we had to choose one, though, it would be Fortnite. The account linking is such a cool feature.
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Honorable mentions

The list for 2018 was so huge that we wanted to list a few honorable mentions so we didn’t leave any of the great games out. We did narrow down this list from a master list of over 120 games. Here are our honorable mentions for 2018:


If we missed any great Android games from 2018, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

15 best Android apps released in 2018!

The year 2018 has come and gone. However, it left us with a ton of excellent products to play with. We already did our best Android phones of the year. Now, it’s time to do the best Android apps from 2018 as well. It was a solid year for new apps. We saw a big push in new launchers, security apps, and browsers. There were also a couple of keyboards and even a new game console emulator. It’s always nice to have such a varied list. This year also features fewer Google apps than in prior years and that’s encouraging as well. The list is quite long, so let’s just get right into it. This was narrowed down from a total list of over 120 apps. Here are the best Android apps from the year 2018!


Cake Web Browser

Price: Free
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Cake Web Browser is one of the more solid browser options from 2018 and also in general. It has the basics like multiple search engine options, bookmarks, and stuff like that. This one also includes a pop-up blocker, an ad-blocker, an incognito mode for private browsing, gesture controls, and even some news and RSS features. The UI relies heavily on those gesture controls and gives the browser a fresh, new feel compared to the usual style. It’s a lot of fun and something a little different in the mobile space. That’s why we chose it for this list. It’s also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases as of right now.
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Carrot Weather

Price: Free / $3.99 per year
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Carrot Weather is one of the few actually fun weather apps we’ve used. It works like most other weather apps. You get rain predictions (in certain regions), forecasts, current temperatures, and stuff like that. It even includes some witty commentary on the current weather conditions like WTF Weather and similar apps. However, this app also gives you up to 70 years of previous weather data. It also includes secret places like the Moon. The premium version of the app also includes widgets if you’re a fan of widgets. It had some early issues, but the app works quite well these days. There’s a monthly subscription price. However, at $4 per year, we really just recommend going with that.
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Carrot Weather

Dolphin Emulator

Price: Free
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Dolphin Emulator technically isn’t new. However, it is back on the Play Store after a few years of abandonment. The developers promise more consistent updates and stability improvements this time around. That’s good news because it’s the only actually decent Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube emulator on the Play Store. The Google Play reviews are extremely promising and it functioned just fine during our testing. Most people who have issues use low end devices, so we suspect their complaints are because of the specs rather than the emulator. Of course, we do not condone stealing games, but if you have some laying around, this is the emulator we would recommend.
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Dolphin Emulator

Firefox Reality Browser

Price: Free
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Firefox Reality Browser is probably the biggest and best virtual reality browser launch of 2018. It introduces a real competitor to the space and we hope that encourages developers to improve their offerings more quickly. Firefox Reality Browser supports both 2D and 3D content along with a basic, but serviceable web browsing experience. You need the Google Daydream app to download this one. Otherwise, it should work as normal with your VR headset (namely, Google Daydream). It could use a few more basic features and some stability improvements, but VR as a platform is young so we’re just happy Mozilla jumped on board.
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Forest

Price: Free / Up to $1.99
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Forest is a new style of productivity app. It encourages people to not check their phones constantly by killing plants whenever they do. They are digital plants, of course. The app works by planting a tree. Each time you turn your device screen on and leave Forest, the tree wilts and you must start again. There are a variety of trees to collect with more coming in future updates. There is a whitelist so you can do stuff like answer important phone calls or test messages. However, it’s a neat little app to get you off of your phone for a while. It’s almost like a widely available version of Google’s Digital Wellbeing, except with trees.
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Forest


Grammarly Keyboard

Price: Free
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Grammarly Keyboard is arguably the best new keyboard launch in 2018. It helps users type with better grammatical accuracy. It looks at what you type and suggests changes if something goes wrong. The app also delivers explanations about the changes and the rules of grammar. It omits some of the flashier features, like gesture typing, themes, and stuff like that. You do get a dark theme, though, and we expect some of the other features to appear eventually. It’s surprisingly smooth and the grammar lessons should help just about everybody. The app is also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases.
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Grammarly Keyboard

Haven

Price: Free
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Haven is a niche security app that we really like. It installs on a user’s secondary device rather than their primary one. You then toss that second device in with your luggage, a hotel safe, or a similar situation. The secondary device alerts your primary device when it is moved, opened, picked up, or otherwise tampered with. This is mostly a tool for journalists, travelers, and people in places where stuff may be stolen. Thus, it’s obviously not for everybody. Still, it’s one of only a few apps that do things like this. It’s also open source, completely free, and has no advertising.
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Haven

Heimdall Parental Control

Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $9.49 once
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Many new apps aren’t the most exciting releases ever. However, they are still excellent apps. Heimdall Parental Control fits that description. You install it on your child’s device and then on yours. From there, you can monitor your child’s usage, limit them on things like app use and phone calls, and even track their location and block websites. Some of those features require the premium version. You can get it for either $0.99 per month or a single $9.49 payment. We really appreciate having that option in an app market overly reliant on subscription-only business models. It’s easily among the top two or three best kid monitoring apps on Google Play.
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Heimdall Parental Control

Hyperion Launcher

Price: Free / $2.99
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Hyperion Launcher immediately illicit memories of shooting robots and a horse made out of diamonds, but once you get beyond the Borderlands 2 references, it’s actually an excellent new launcher from 2018. It hits a lot of the positive elements for a modern smartphone browser. That includes a stock-ish Android experience, plenty of basic customization options, theming, and third party icon pack support. You also get Google Feed as a separate plugin, gesture controls, a font changer, and more. It’s nice to see a new launcher that could actually challenge the big dogs in the industry already with Nova, Apex, Lawnchair, Action, and ADW launchers. This really is that good and it’s also fairly inexpensive for the premium version.
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Khan Academy Kids

Price: Free
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Khan Academy is one of the best educational apps for adults. Thus, it didn’t shock us at all when Khan Academy Kids came out and it was actually good. This one focuses on a lot of early education for kids, including problem solving, social and emotional development, and more basic stuff like math, reading, and language. It uses bright colors and cute characters to convey the information since kids enjoy cartoons. It all makes sense to us. This is arguably one of the few major learning apps for kids by a company that knows about learning stuff. It has the occasional bug because it’s still in beta. However, we have no doubt that this is one of the best in its category.
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Navigation Gestures

Price: Free / $1.49
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Navigation Gestures is a neat new app from 2018. It gives any phone gesture control support even if it doesn’t naturally have it. You can set it to measure swipes from basically any direction along with single and double tapping as well as tap-and-hold gestures. Those who are knowledgeable in ADB or root can also completely hide the navigation bar. The system is simple enough for just about anybody with the exception of the ADB bit, but that is just one feature. There’s another app in this category from 2018, Fluid Navigation Gestures. It does about the same thing, and people seem to like it more. However, XDA’s version came first by several months. Frankly, you can go with either one. We’re not trying to sell you anything here.
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Poco Launcher

Price: Free
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Poco Launcher is the official launcher app of the Pocophone. We’re a little shocked it made our list this year. However, Xiaomi made a surprisingly decent launcher app. It features customization options, third party icon pack support, and even some privacy and security settings. For instance, you can hide app icons from your app drawer if you want them kept a secret. It also has an app drawer and that’s interesting because Xiaomi phones usually don’t. In any case, it’s light, fast, and serviceable. It’s also entirely free. We wish Google launched its launcher apps like Xiaomi does.
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Poco Launcher

ProtonVPN

Price: Free / $4-$24 per month
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ProtonVPN is an easy pick for a top app of 2018. It simply checks all of the boxes that we would want in a VPN, something most VPN apps don’t do. That includes a strict no-logging policy, full encryption, a good list of servers, and it’s based in Switzerland. Swizterland, in case you didn’t know, has some fairly hardcore privacy protections. ProtonVPN also includes a completely free experience with no data caps. You don’t get full speed, but unlimited free use is extremely rare in the VPN space. You can unlock more servers and higher speeds with one of its three subscription plans. They start at $4/month and range up to $24/month. There really isn’t much wrong with it. It’s also friendly for those who don’t know much about VPNs.
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ProtonVPN

YouTube Music

Price: Free / $9.99 per month
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YouTube Music the app technically isn’t new. However, YouTube Music, the service, definitely is. The app saw a major evolution this year into its own music streaming service. It includes both video and audio-only streaming content. You also get playlists, direct integration with normal YouTube, and a toggle to turn music videos into audio-only content. That alone makes it one of the most unique music streaming apps on the market. However, its lackluster audio quality, lack of obvious features (like Android Auto support, gapless playback, etc), and confusion with consumers between it and Google Play Music certainly isn’t helping its case. It has the potential to be one of the very best, but it still has a long way to go.
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YouTube Music

Bouncer: The best new app from 2018

Price: $0.99
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Bouncer is a new security app from Sam Reston, former developer of the popular Weather Timeline app. This is perhaps one of the best security apps we’ve seen in recent years. The app lets users temporarily grant permissions to applications. For instance, you can enable location in Facebook and Bouncer helps you remove that permission later so Facebook doesn’t have it all the time. Frankly, that should be a stock Android feature and we certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if it became one someday. Bouncer itself requires no permissions and doesn’t require Internet access either. The app works as advertised, it’s super cheap at just $0.99, does not require ADB or root access, and it even won our best apps of the year fan poll. Yes, it is that good. In fact, this is one of those rare apps that everybody should at least try if they care at all about privacy and security.
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Bouncer: The best new app from 2018

Honorable mentions

There are always a ton of apps every year that are great but don’t always make lists like this. Here are a list of great apps from 2018 that probably should be on this list, but couldn’t be because 15 is kind of our limit here:


If we missed any great Android apps from 2018, tell us about them in the comments! Apps are a massive market and sometimes we just don’t see everything there is to see, plus your comments will help other readers find even more interesting apps! Of course, you can always click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists as well!

Cast your vote for the best Android games released in 2018!

This is the featured image for fan vote Android games 2018
We started our 2018 app and game voting with a fan vote for the best Android apps from 2018 last weekend. This weekend, we continue the fun with the best Android games from 2018. We’re taking a similar approach to our game vote as we did with our apps vote. We narrowed down a list of over 120 possible competitors down to just 20 and you can choose from there!

Android gaming took a massive step in 2018. We saw some truly big name releases with PUBG Mobile and Fortnite along with some new games from previously outstanding mobile gaming franchises. The list is varied and includes shooters, RPGs, tower defense games, puzzle games, big cross-overs, and even a quiz game. This list is truly a representation of modern mobile gaming from HQ Trivia’s launch on the first second of 2018 to the predictably positive launch of The Room: Old Sins. There were just a bunch of great titles this year. Our criteria for this list include:

  1. The game had to be from 2018 or the last few weeks of 2017 because we cut it off during December.
  2. It had to be a totally new mobile game. For instance, Distraint: Deluxe Edition was new in 2018 and also an outstanding game. However, it’s a re-release of a game from 2017.
  3. Mobile ports are tricky business. Some people don’t like them and others don’t mind them. We decided not to micromanage things here. They are right in the fray with every other game within reason.
  4. We did take popularity into consideration but only as a consideration. Obviously, PUBG Mobile and Fortnite are extremely popular for a reason. On the other hand, freemium games get more downloads than premium games because they are a free download. We obviously don’t want a list of games with only 50 downloads. However, this is also not just a list of the most popular freemium games of 2018 either.

This poll is massive just like our apps poll. Make sure to give it a good look before casting your vote! There aren’t any special rules or anything like that. Just vote for the one you like the most! We have basic descriptions and links for each game below the poll if you want to learn more.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

As promised, here is a brief description and link to all 20 games in the poll above:

  • Alto’s Odyssey – Alto’s Odyssey is a gorgeous 2D side-scrolling runner. Players ski down hills, make huge jumps, and collect little rings to unlock stuff. It stays within the runner archetype. However, any given moment in this game is a screenshot worthy of a wallpaper. It also a Zen Mode with no coins, power-ups, or scoring for a relaxing runner experience.
  • Asphalt 9: Legends – Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the most popular new arcade racing games of 2018. It has everything. That includes tons of content, unlockable cars, online multiplayer, above average graphics, and fun, simple controls. Its freemium elements are a little obtrusive occasionally, but it’s otherwise a solid racer.
  • Bloons TD 6 – The latest game in the popular tower defense series is just as good as the previous five. It includes a bunch of levels, plenty of towers, an excellent upgrade system, and it’s completely playable offline. Tower defense isn’t as popular these days, but this title shows there are still some great game releases, even in 2018.
  • Bridge Constructor Portal – Bridge Constructor Portal combines the fun mechanics of a Bridge Constructor game with the quirky personality of a Portal game. The game features rock solid mechanics, plenty of Portal cameos, and even some Portal elements in the game play. You also get achievements, hardware controller support, and achievements. What’s not to like?
  • Cytus II – Cytus II is easily the best rhythm game release of 2018. Players use taps, swipes, and other gestures to the beat of the music to survive the level and achieve a high score. The base game includes a campaign mode with a story line, 35 songs, and multiple step charts per song. You can buy additional tracks and step charts as DLC. The first Cytus game is good too.
  • Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition – Square Enix did a couple of excellent games this year, but we particularly liked Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition. It follows the same story as the console and PC version of the game. However, the graphics and game play mechanics were changed for an easier mobile experience. We consider it one step up from a straight port. Square Enix also did Life is Strange, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and Valkyrie Profile Lenneth. All notable mobile game launches.
  • Florence – Florence is a slice of life narrative game by some of the same development staff of Monument Valley 2. You play as 25 year old Florence and players navigate her life as she conducts it. It focuses primarily on her relationship with a man named Krish. The game is definitely something different from what we normally see, even if the genre itself isn’t overly popular as a mobile game.
  • Fortnite – Fortnite is one of the two big name battle royale shooter releases of 2018. This one mimics the console and PC version. Players drop into a battlefield, craft various things, shoot the competitors, and become the last person standing. Epic Games tread a lot of unexplored ground with this one, including a non-Google Play Store release. It’s still a beta, but it’s improving all the time.
  • Friday the 13th – Friday the 13th is a gory puzzle game for adults. Blue Wizard Digital launched the game on a Friday the 13th and it was a beautiful day. The game features over 100 levels, tons of pixelated gore, a PG mode for a less gory experience, some minor RPG elements, an offline play support. It’s definitely not for everybody, but the animation style helps take the edge off of the gore.
  • HQ Trivia – HQ Trivia was literally the first new Android game of 2018. It ran its first quiz show literally moments after midnight on New Years. The addictive game plays like a real life game show and includes actual cash prizes for winners. Games take place every day at 9PM EST and every week day at 3PM EST. The game occasionally suffers from lag issues, but it’s otherwise a good time.
  • Kingdom Rush Vengeance – Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the latest game in the venerable tower defense franchise. It uses a lot of the same mechanics as previous games, but also includes boss fights, more towers, more heroes, a bunch of new levels, offline support, and new achievements. Like Bloons TD 6, this game serves as a reminder that tower defense games are alive and kicking on mobile.
  • Monster Hunter Stories – Monster Hunter Stories is a port of the popular Nintendo 3DS game of the same name. It’s a turn-based RPG with monster collecting mechanics. It’s not quite the same as other Monster Hunter games, but the premise and feel is there. This one is surprisingly expensive. However, Capcom launched a free demo that also serves as a sort of prologue into the main game. We thought that was an absolutely genius idea.
  • Part Time UFO – Part Time UFO is an adorable puzzle game by the developers of most of the Kirby games as well as the first Super Smash Bros. You play as an alien who crash landed on Earth. Players complete missions, unlock customization gear, and enjoy the fun banter between characters. Almost nobody hates this game.
  • Pocket City – Pocket City is a city-building simulator similar to SimCity. You build a city with various buildings, roads, and businesses. Players collect money, fix the town after natural disasters, and unlock new buildings and territory for building. It’s basically the mobile SimCity fans asked for, except it’s not actually SimCity. The game also has offline support as well.
  • PUBG Mobile – PUBG Mobile hit the ground running in 2018. It’s arguably the most popular game of the year and a good shooter to boot. It features classic battle royale mechcanics, a lite version for lower end devices, and decent graphics and controls. It and Fortnite redefined the mobile shooter in 2018 and we don’t use that word lightly.
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones – Reigns: Game of Thrones is a surprisingly addicting mobile card game. Each card has a scenario and players swipe left or right to make a decision. The decision can mean the end of your rule or the continuation of it. This one also contains a bunch of Game of Thrones characters and references for added entertainment value.
  • Returner 77 – Returner 77 is another gorgeous indie puzzle game. This one takes place in a sci-fi future where humanity is nearly wiped out by aliens. Players ascend the alien ship in hopes of saving humanity. The graphics are quite good and the puzzles are fun and enjoyable. It also boasts a non-freemium experience and a decent story line.
  • The Room: Old Sins – The Room: Old Sins is a shoo-in for this list. It’s the fourth game in arguably the best puzzle game franchise on mobile. The graphics are outstanding and the puzzles are fun and clever. This title also features cloud saves, achievements, and some other neat ideas. It’s also one of the few premium games with over 100,000 downloads.
  • Rusty Lake Paradise – The Rusty Lake series is a long running series of point-and-click adventure games similar to the old Telltale Games titles. It features a dark story, plenty of fun puzzles, and simple game mechanics. You’re really into this one for the story more than any challenge, but it’s an entertaining narrative so we don’t mind.
  • Shadowgun Legends – Shadowgun Legends is the long awaited sequel to the popular mobile shooter from years ago. It features a sci-fi theme, excellent graphics, a story mode, a co-op mode, and an online multiplayer mode. There’s a ton of loot to collect, some RPG elements mixed in, and a fame system for online players. It’s a great mobile shooter, even if some other titles stole the show this year.

There were plenty of other great mobile games from 2018. If we missed one you think should be here, tell us about it in the comments! Of course, you can also check out all of our best Android app and game lists!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

This is the featured image for Android Apps Weekly 12-08-2018
Welcome to the 272nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Microsoft has some big plans for Microsoft Edge. For starters, it’s replacing EdgeHTML for the much more popular Chromium. Microsoft claims the change helps them release more updates and work better cross-platform. The good news is that it might allow some serious developments like support for MacOS. However, it also means that Chrome has gobbled up yet another competitor. Opera also uses Chromium as a base for its operation too. In any case, you can hit the link to learn more.
  • Google’s chat apps are having a pretty bad week. Google Hangouts is turning into a chat platform similar to the likes of Slack or Discord. The change should take place by 2020. It was once a couple of features away from being the iMessage of Android so it’s a staggering change. Then, Google announced the shuttering of Google Allo. Google is transitioning many of the features to Android Messages, an SMS app with RCS support. It seems like Google believes RCS to be the future. Those are two more Google social platforms to bite the dust in 2018 along with Spaces and Google+.
  • Epic Games had an exciting week. Fortnite received a new game feature. There is now a creative mode similar to the creative mode in Minecraft. Additionally, the company announced a competitor to Steam and the Google Play Store. The Epic Games Store houses PC and mobile games in the same place. This could be a big deal because no other store covers both platforms. It’s also not a half bad idea with how many indie games get both PC and mobile releases. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Google announced Hummingbird officially this week. The Hummingbird platform is a simple idea with a complicated execution. It lets developers build a single app that runs on a variety of platforms, including iOS, the web, and Android. All-in-one toolkits are usually bogus with support for a single platform with a few features for a second. Hummingbird has the opportunity to be the first of its kind to not be awful. Hit the link for more details!
  • Google announced its picks for the best of 2018 in the Google Play Store. There were a lot of winners across a range of categories, including PUBG Mobile (fan favorite and best game), YouTube TV (fan favorite), Avengers: Infinity War (fan favorite), Drops (best app), Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (best ebook), 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson (best audiobook), and The Walking Dead (best TV show). You can hit the link to see all of the selections and check them out on Google Play!

Gorogoa

Price: $4.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Gorogoa is a new indie puzzle game. It features elements similar to Noodlecake Games’ Framed series. The game features a bunch of comic book style panels that players arrange and combine into a full story. It features hand-drawn graphics, a fun story line, and simple mechanics. The game itself is fairly fun to play. However, the carefully crafted animations and story are the real story here. Those who enjoy thoughtful narratives should enjoy this one quite a bit. The game is a little bit short, but most people don’t seem to mind. It runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or advertisements. This is also from the same developer of Florence, a slice-of-life narrative game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Yahoo Play

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Yahoo Play is the latest app from, well, Yahoo. It’s a pop culture app and has tons of celebrity, pop culture, and entertainment stuff. It also does a bunch of other stuff. At its core, it’s a news app with news about the pop culture scene. However, it also includes original video series along with trivia and quiz games. There is honestly quite a bit to do in this app. However, it does suffer from bugs and slow load times. It definitely needs some work. This could be fun for those enjoy entertainment, but we recommend maybe waiting a bit until Yahoo sorts out the issues.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Yahoo Play

Command and Conquer: Rivals

Price: Freemium
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Command and Conquer: Rivals saw its global launch earlier this week. It’s a duel-style battle game. Players choose a hero, build an army, and battle other players online in one versus one battles. The game mechanics also include strategy elements as well. Players must control the battlefield and resupply their troops in order to win. Of course, your army is customizable as well. The game has some serious balancing issues right now. Low level players get matched up with players significantly more powerful and it’s a little annoying. Otherwise, it’s actually not a half bad game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Google Santa Tracker

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Google’s yearly Santa tracker app is live in the Play Store as well as on the web. It has about the same content as it did last year. That includes a bunch of kid-friendly min-games, a countdown timer to the big day, and some other little bits of fun. The app then tracks Santa on Christmas Eve to the delight of young children. The min-games aren’t awe inspiring or anything, but they’re good enough for most younger kids. It’s a colorful, fun way to track Santa every year. It’s also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases. Thanks, Google!
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Absolute Drift

Price: $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Absolute Drift is the latest game from Noodlecake Studios. It’s a decidedly mobile game with a racing theme. Players drift around corners, avoid obstacles, and collect little red balls for points. The game isn’t fast, but it’s surprisingly intense anyway. Plus, there’s a relaxing soundtrack to bring it all together. The game also features six cars, three game modes, a night mode, leaderboards, and even Bluetooth controller support. It costs an extremely reasonable $2.99 and has no ads or additional in-app purchases. What’s not to like?
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, or releases, tell us about in the comment section below! Also, check out our weekly podcast here!