Welcome to the 227th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines for this week:
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery got more hype this week. A new trailer launched this week along with more details about the game. Players create their own character. That character exists in the Harry Potter universe. Additionally, the game launches here in a few months. The trailer doesn’t reveal much. However, it does show some in-game graphics along with some explanation of the game play.
- Google Arts and Culture is doing a fun thing this week. People can submit selfies to the app. The app tells them what old paintings they kind of look like. It gives you several options with percentages. Google uses machine learning to make similarities. This is such a Google thing to do and it’s currently all over social media. The app is free if you want to try it yourself.
- Square Enix is about to launch a new game. Final Fantasy Opera Omnia arrived on Google Play today for pre-registration. Registering early gets you free in-game content when it launches. The game features JRPG mechanics along with freemium mechanics. It pairs with the new Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. The launch should be sometime this winter.
- Twitch launched a rather large update this week. Included is new video creator tools. It lets creators air pre-made videos, re-runs of older content, and more. That gives creators more power over their videos. More importantly, it gives creators a reason to leave videos on Twitch. We don’t think it’ll usurp YouTube. However, it may help keep some viewers on the service. These tools are rolling out over the next little while.
- YouTube is raising the bar for monetization. This week they announced new policies for content with ads. YouTubers now must have 1,000 subscribers and 400,000 hours of watched content every year. That’s quite a bit more than the previous requirements. It definitely makes it harder for new YouTubers to monetize. That has angered some people. However, it carries the benefit of making it harder for trashy, recycled content to monetize as well. In either case, the changes take effect at the end of February.
Mapapers is an interesting new wallpaper app. It turns part of a map into a wallpaper. It’s not quite as elegant as Google Pixel wallpapers. However, it does add a bit of flavor to the home screen. It has a bunch of varieties and colors. You just pick the location and add the style. The app should make decent wallpapers for most themes. The app is $0.99 with no in-app purchases (yet).
Rusty Lake Paradise is the latest game from Rusty Lake. It’s a point-and-click adventure game with a bunch of puzzles, simple (but not retro) graphics, and a story about the ten plagues of Egypt. Each plague introduces new game play elements and themes. The game also includes achievements, easy mechanics, and other stuff. This is a low-key great game. It’s easily among the best games released in 2018 so far.
Nwsty is a new news app. Most news apps try to aggregate as much news as possible. Nwsty goes in the opposite direction. It finds about two dozen highly curated stories about the day. The news stuff happens Monday through Friday with breaks on the weekend. It also has sharing features, access to a bunch of sources, and more. It’s a surprisingly refreshing news app that doesn’t overwhelm if you don’t want it to. It’s also totally free with no in-app purchases.
Jellynauts is the latest game from Yodo1 Games. It’s a hack-and-slash combat game with some MOBA elements. Your team and the other team do battle until one team loses. The graphics are simple, but not as retro as Yodo1’s other games. There are also customization elements, various upgrades, and various multiplayer modes. The game is unreleased. That means there are bugs. Otherwise, it’s quite a good experience. It shouldn’t remain in beta for very long.
ProtonVPN is kind of a unicorn in the VPN space. It’s a totally free VPN with unlimited service. Some of the app’s features include a strict no logging policy, a no sharing policy, multiple countries to connect to, Tor integration, and more. The company brags about its Swiss roots in terms of privacy. It works surprisingly well and it has almost all of the most desirable features. Again, it’s almost like a unicorn. Apps like this don’t launch every day.
If we missed any big Android apps or games news, updates, releases, or anything else, tell us about them in the comments below! Check back next week for more!