In terms of mobile apps, the month of January has been mainly punctuated by the manuevers of WhatsApp to get rid of third-party mods and launch its desktop client, but it wasn’t all emoticons and photos. There was also space in the month for new games, the launch of new Microsoft products of the caliber of Microsoft Office and a new Outlook client, and curiosities such as a brand-new lighter version of Facebook.
Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, to die in a big splat, obviously. Crossy Road brings back the gameplay of the iconic Frogger and swaps the pixelated graphics for equally ‘rustic’ 3D models (as usual, with a Minecraft aesthetic noted in the mix). As you get through levels you’ll find coins to buy new road-crossers and start all over again.
The Witcher Battle Arena
With the third installment of The Witcher role-play saga right around the corner, it seemed an opportune moment to launch a game starring Geralt de Rivia and the other characters from his universe within the rather overpopulated MOBA genre that has League of Legends and DOTA 2 at its forefront. Luckily, the controls have been fully adapted to touch screens and the battles with other players are actually very fun. A real treat to play on tablets!
In the eyes of a child (or a fully grown man), the WWE players might as well be immortals. The developers at NetheRealm Studios, creators of the Mortal Kombat saga, clearly had that idea in mind when they released this 1vs1 game with controls adapted to mobile devices, with many similarities to the mobile version of Injustice: Gods among Us from the same studio. Dave Bautista as a supernatural being made of stone and Big Show dressed up in Viking costume … why the hell not?
Leaving aside all this action ruckus now for something a bit more conceptual: Skyward is a skills game where you just have to tap the screen at the right moment to advance up the nicely decorated isometric shapes that comprise it. Nice, attractive, and free – right in line with the mantra of the thrifty smartphone gamer.
Leaving aside games now to mention, even if briefly, the new web version of WhatsApp that lets you sync your account with a web version of the app to chat from your computer. The registration process involves scanning a QR code from the mobile app, as we explained a few days ago in another post.
It seems impossible that it’s taken Microsoft so long to take its popular office IT suite to the mobile market in a set of decent apps, but finally they’re now available in Android versions for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, released first in a preview and now in their final versions. All of them let you both view and edit most of the formats supported by the desktop version, covering everything from text documents to spreadsheets to multimedia slideshows.
This is in fact a veiled launch, as officially this lighter version of the official Facebook client has only been released in certain emerging markets to adapt to the less generous mobile connections prevalent in those areas. Nevertheless, nothing stops you from downloading the Facebook Lite APK on your own device if you want an app that takes up 10 times less space than its big brother.
It seems Microsoft has gotten on the ball this month since, besides Office, it’s also released a new Android app for its official Outlook email client. It’s totally different from its predecessor and aims to get you to use it to manage even your external email accounts, such as your Gmail, thanks to its automated setup wizards and division of your inbox into two: one for important emails and another for ads.