Welcome to the 176th episode of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • It was announced this week that the team behind the intensely popular Alto’s Adventure is coming out with a skateboarding¬†game¬†called Skate City. Based on the footage, it’ll be a 2D runner with 3D graphics. It also appears as though you’ll be able to perform tricks. The game should be out sometime in 2017 and it’ll be one of the better free-to-play games if Alto’s Adventure was any indication.
  • Google is currently fighting a new set of ads that automatically download apps. Google removed a few thousand of these “self-clicking” ads in 2015, and then had to remove over 23,000 in 2016. That’s a pretty clear indication that the problem is getting worse. The report went on to show that Google removed 1.7 billion bad ads in 2016. It’s a fight that’ll take some time to fix, but at least we know about it.
  • An interesting piece of ransomware made its way to the Play Store. The app would open, ask for permissions to your contacts and SMS messages, and then give you a message that the info was up for ransom. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a great experience. Thankfully, the app is no longer available. It goes to show that some trouble can still appear in the Play Store. However, these occurrences are still exceedingly rare.
  • As it turns out, VPNs on Android really need to step up their game. A research study came out this week that shows a lot of VPNs aren’t doing a great job. To give you an idea of how bad it is, 18% of VPNs don’t encrypt traffic whatsoever, 84% leak traffic, and most of them use third-party tracking. Considering that people use VPNs to avoid literally all of those things, this is highly disappointing.
  • Google’s Daydream platform is now open season for app developers. That means it won’t just be the select partners that can release apps anymore. There will be an approval process for Daydream apps to make sure they are up to Google’s standards. That should help keep the experience consistent between apps. This should also increase the overall selection quite a bit.

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you can find even more stuff that we didn’t have the space for here. You can sign up for the newsletter by using the form below and we’ll send it to you every Sunday! Don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app for faster updates!

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realmyst Android Apps WeeklyrealMyst

[Price: $6.99]
realMyst is a port of one of the most unique PC games of the 1990s. The port features the entire game of Myst along with the Rime Age expansion. For those who haven’t played the game, you are essentially dropped into an open world and left to your own devices. There are puzzles and riddles to solve to make it to the end. It also comes with improved graphics, a better hint guide, and more. It’s $6.99 with no in-app purchases. It has some early bugs, so you may want to wait for the game to update before getting it.

core Android Apps WeeklyCore

[Price: Free]
Core is a multi-media platform for those who like to watch video games being live streamed. It features prominent streams from a variety of hosts that are easily accessible. You can also find streams from Twitch, YouTube, and other sources without having to switch apps. The app design is a bit cluttered, but it isn’t too difficult to learn how to use. It’s a good spot to find some popular game streams very quickly if you like that sort of thing. The app is also free.

core Android Apps Weekly

sky dancer Android Apps WeeklySky Dancer

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Sky Dancer is a beautifully done infinite runner. The game has you jumping from platform to platform while also making dramatically large jumps down on to other parts of the level. It features simple controls, minimalist graphics, and a fun little soundtrack to keep you in the mood. It also has ten characters, various challenges, leaderboards, and more. It’s a bit simple, but it’s excellent for killing a few minutes. It’s also a freemium game just in case you wanted to know.

fender guitar tuner Android Apps WeeklyFender Guitar Tuner

[Price: Free]
Fender released their first Android app. It’s a guitar tuner app which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The app is very simple with clear controls and functionality. It has 22 available tunings, including standard, DADGAD, Drop C, Drop D, as well as half steps and full steps up and down. There are also some tuning tips, manual tuning (if you tune by ear), and more. It’s not the most innovative guitar tuner we’ve ever seen. However, it’s simple, clean, and completely free to use.

fender guitar tuner Android Apps Weekly

pokemon duel Android Apps WeeklyPokemon Duel

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Pokemon Duel isn’t really a new game on mobile. It was originally released in Japan under a different name. It was then given an English translation and released in international markets last week after about a year of being out. This game is a strategy board game where your goal is to move your characters into the opponent’s goal. You’ll have six Pokemon, various tactical options, and more. It’s a freemium game and it has some issues, but it’s free to download if you want to try it out.

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If we missed any big Android apps and games news for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.