When it comes to listening to podcasts in 2021, the options are limitless. From dedicated software like Pocket Casts or Podcast Addict to Spotify's endless pursuit to make you listen to its exclusives (whether by accident or by force), you probably have three different methods for listening to podcasts on your phone right now. Placed alongside every other app fighting for your attention is Google Podcasts, the free and feature-limited experience built to sync your library between Android, smart speakers, and any web-connected device. Less than five months after hitting 50 million installs, the app has hit a new milestone: 100 million installs since its launch in 2018.
Mighty Doom is a new mobile game from Bethesda, and it's currently in testing in select regions like New Zealand. Since this shooter is still in Early Access, thus unavailable in most territories, I've sideloaded the title (v 0.5.0) to take a closer look to report on my findings. Now that I've spent some time with the game, it's clear that Mighty Doom is basically a clone of Archero, and so it's a free-to-play casual top-down shooter that has little to do with the Doom franchise beyond the ham-fisted skin. As you can guess, Bethesda is looking to cash in, and so I'm here to let you know if this blatant shovelware is worth playing.
The OnePlus Watch goes on sale tomorrow, though its early reviews are less than glowing. As mentioned in previous coverage, the Watch uses the OnePlus Health app to track steps, calories, sleep, and other various data. The Health app was previously available in India for the OnePlus Band, but in preparation for this launch, it's been given an update and rolled out internationally.
Feral Interactive has just announced that it will bring the Opposing Fronts expansion to the mobile version of Company of Heroes next year. This expansion is expected to arrive on Android (and iOS) in early 2021, and seeing that the studio brought Company of Heroes to Android back in September, it makes sense that the game's expansions have been spaced out, which is how Feral has handled many of the previous expansion for its other ports. So while this news isn't unexpected, it's nice to see a confirmation that the studio will be bringing more content to one of the best Strategy games on mobile.
Brave is just one project among many looking to change the status quo of privacy and tracking on the web. While you would expect that a company like it would welcome Google's supposedly privacy-centric third-party cookie replacement FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), you might be surprised to learn that it actually thinks Google's new tracking mechanism is even worse than the previous implementation. The browser is heavily lobbying against FLoC and has removed all code related to it from its latest Nightly version on both desktop and Android and is looking to make the move within the next week for all other releases.
The transition from Google Play Music to YouTube Music has been a rocky and contentious one. But Google isn't finished axing its media apps just yet. According to updated support documentation, the Google Play Movies & TV app on smart televisions is the next one to get the chop. The phone app was replaced with the newer "Google TV" app in October, but the app will disappear from smart TV platforms as well starting in June.
That all-hands meeting in the office may have been traded in for a Google Meet call from wherever thanks to the pandemic-driven uptake of remote work, but for some people dialing in from their phones, they may not have enough juice or be able to even plug in to a power source. The good news now? Meet's addressing the need for conservation.
Last week, Google finally made it possible to bring third-party navigation apps to Android Auto without requiring a beta version. The company promoted a list of new driving services coming alongside the change, including TomTom AmiGo. If you're looking to switch away from Google Maps or Waze, a new update to AmiGo adds Android Auto support to display on your car's infotainment system.
Welcome to Monday, everyone. We have a solid list of sales today, including a few standouts I'd like to highlight. First up is Kingdom Rush Origins, an enjoyable tower defense game. Next, I have Icewind Dale, a fantastic CRPG that is often on sale but is easily worth the sale price. Last up is ½ Halfway, a minimal puzzler that offers a short but refined experience. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold green text in order to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 29 temporarily free and 30 on-sale apps and games for the beginning of the week.