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5 Android apps you shouldn't miss this week and all the latest app news - Android Apps Weekly
Welcome to the 519th edition of Android Apps Weekly, where we discuss the latest in mobile news and take a closer look at some of the most interesting new apps and games. Let’s jump right in and take a look at some of the biggest highlights from the last week:
- Google may soon enable voice prompts for quickly drafting emails in the Gmail app, as successfully demonstrated by SPAndroid. Although there’s no official announcement regarding its activation for all Gmail users, its release is hopefully not too far off in the future.
- Google Messages may soon allow users to add captions to images shared in RCS chats. This new feature was uncovered during a code analysis, although its exact release date remains unclear.
- WhatsApp is developing a file-sharing system akin to Android’s Quick Share, at least according to a recent code analysis of the WhatsApp Beta. This functionality will enable users to share files with other WhatsApp users in close proximity through the ‘People Nearby’ option. Additionally, these transfers will be secured with end-to-end encryption for enhanced safety.
- Photo Stacks is now rolling out to Android users. This new feature allows users to group similar photos taken within a short timeframe. Initially announced in November, Photo Stacks is already available in the iOS version of the app. It’s nice to see the Android version finally catching up.
- A new APK teardown indicates Threads is moving ahead with its plans to introduce direct messages, one of the biggest features missing from the social network right now. Although the feature isn’t available yet, the teardown suggests the DM feature may essentially just use Instagram as a way to further integrate the two networks.
Android Apps Weekly: New apps and games
Google Art Selfie 2
- Price: Free
The original Google Art Selfie feature was introduced in 2018 and it now has a sequel. This new experience brings several improvements but at the heart of the new feature is generative AI that can transform selfies into 25 distinct art styles, drawing from various historical periods and artistic movements. Art Selfie 2 is not a stand-alone application; rather, it’s integrated into the Google Arts & Culture app. While the app is mostly for entertain purposes, it’s still a fun addition and a nice way to get creative with your selfies.
- Price: Free with in-app purchases
Honestly, this game is a bit of a mixed bag. The story is very basic, and it seems pretty obvious that the developers are not native English speakers, so expect fairly basic dialogue. That said, the combat works well, and the graphics are decent. However, be aware that this game is pretty much an exact clone of Rumble Heroes, down to the general feel of the maps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to keep in mind. Beyond that, the game is enjoyable, but be aware that many actions require you to watch lengthy ad videos before you can continue, typically lasting up to 90 minutes.
Primrose Lake 5
- Price: Free with in-app purchase
The latest and final chapter in the time management/mystery game Primrose has arrived. While I haven’t personally played the series, the game has a decent following and a nearly perfect score of 4.8 stars on the app store. The game’s story is set in a small town in the Rocky Mountains. While the setting looks idyllic and peaceful, there are many dark secrets and mysteries to unfold.
- Price: Free with in-app purchases
Livetopia: Party is a new open-world MMO RPG that lets you play mini-games, create your own styles, go on career quests, and more. This one is fairly reminiscent of the game Play Together, but there’s a lot more depth to this one. I only played around with it for about twenty minutes but found the game stable and easy to jump into. It’s also free to play so you really have nothing to lose by checking it out.
- Price: $4.99
PC and console ports are becoming quite common on Android, although they often arrive years after the game’s initial release. However, that’s not the case with ‘Ugly’, which was released in September 2023. This unique game takes you on a journey through a nobleman’s psyche. Yes, it’s as bizarre as it sounds. Essentially, the game is a darkly twisted puzzle platformer that keeps you engaged and thinking. Unfortunately, from my experience, it can be a bit buggy, although your experience may vary. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t encounter any bugs, the game is absolutely worth the $5 asking price.