Welcome to the 271st edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:
- YouTube had a trio of big announcements this week. YouTube is testing the idea of not showing comments by default. You would hit a button to load comments every time. The company may also move all kids content to the YouTube Kids app and away from the main app. Finally, YouTube is remastering a bunch of older music videos, including videos by No Doubt, Beastie Boys, Smash Mouth, Soundgarden, and others.
- Genius, the lyric site, accused Google of copying its lyrics. It used some fun little tells in its lyrics, including different comma types. Google’s lyrics had those little tells and Genius now believes Google copies the lyrics. Google says they have agreements with third party platforms and those platforms are the ones lifting the lyrics.
- Google plans to roll out RCS messaging in the very near future. It won’t wait for carriers any longer. Google plans to launch in France and the U.K. It also won’t feature end-to-end encryption upon launch but should gain the feature eventually. This is Google’s ninth attempt at a messaging service. Let’s see if this one sticks.
- Facebook revealed Libra, its very own cryptocurrency along with Calibra, a digital wallet. The idea is a cryptocurrency you can use to buy things through the Calibra digital wallet. Facebook wants to avoid fluctuations in value by backing up the cryptocurrency with real assets. In addition, Facebook boasts a simpler use. We should learn more in the coming weeks.
- Nintendo’s Dr. Mario is available on the Play Store for preregistration. The game officially launches on July 10th of this year. It should feature hundreds of stages and similar puzzle-style game play to the console versions of Dr. Mario. It’s a freemium game, but Nintendo tends to do those quite well.
Nonstop Knight 2 is a new arcade beat 'em up game. It follows a lot of the same game play elements from Nonstop Knight and Nonstop Chuck Norris. You drop in, beat up bad guys for as long as possible, and then try again with upgrades. Players collect armor and weapons to improve their chances of survival and you level up like an RPG. It's not bad for a freemium arcade game.
CalorieCap is a newer dieting app. It helps you find items on restaurant menus that work with your diet so you don't have to. The app can sort by things like meal types such as lunch or dinner as well as by macros and lifestyle considerations like allergies. It's fairly new so there aren't a ton of restaurants there yet. However, you can find some fairly popular ones there already. It works a lot faster than simply Googling the nutritional facts.
Shop Titans is a new strategy-simulator. You move into town, build a shop, and sell the gear you make to various heroes and townsfolk. It works a lot like city builders except from the scope of a single shop instead of a whole town. You can create your shop, customize it, craft things, and there are social elements as well. The game is playable for free, but there is an optional subscription and some add-ons if you want things to get done quicker. We don't recommend the subscription, though, because it's frankly not worth it.
Sphaera is a newer wallpaper app. It creates wallpapers with map images and the wallpapers look pretty decent. The app features a variety of maps with a variety of gradients. You can very likely find something that works with your theme. There are AMOLED friendly wallpapers as well for those who like mostly black images. It's good, it's minimal, and it's cheap.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the next big AR game from Niantic. It feels and plays a lot like Pokemon Go. Players explore the real world to find Traces of magic similar to how Pokemon Go players visit Pokestops. There are even various tasks and missions to complete very much like Pokemon Go. The game still needs just a little bit of work and the beta testers don't like some of the changes in the official release, but overall people seem to like this one.
If we missed any big Android app or game news this week, tell us about it in the comments!