Welcome to the 419th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week:
- Twitter experienced an outage this week. It’s not a big deal and gets done in a few moments. Still, it’s disturbing enough to be noticed by some. Most of the trouble is on the west coast, but people all over the place are feeling the annoyance.
- Google TV seems to be getting restricted mode at some point. The APK breakthrough reveals some of the code pertaining to the changes. Restricted mode is mostly for kids so parents can jump in and then kids can watch whatever they want. Google TV Channels also seems to be coming soon. Hit the link to learn more.
- Signal Private Messenger rolled out a new feature this week. You can now change your Signal phone number, but keep your chats. There is a process for moving your data to your new number and an alert in the chat that will notify your friends that you have changed numbers.
- Google may require Android 12 dynamic theme support on all devices. Not at this point and some OEMs don’t include it. However, this is subject to change. Google may go so far as to provide support for Google Play Services until OEMs support it.
- Google officially announced the first developer preview of Android 13 this week. Some of the changes include a change to the dynamic theme to include app icon themes, a native QR code scanner, Bluetooth LE support, and a tap-to-transfer system. We’ll talk more about that in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Image to PDF Converter
Image to PDF Converter is a simple application that does exactly what it says. You enter an image and the app converts it to a PDF. You can upload multiple images at once, use the built-in file manager to find them, and you can compress them as well. There is a resize option if you need it. The app runs for $0.99 and, oddly enough, has ads even in the pro version. That’s about the only part we didn’t like.
Netflix edition of Hextech Mayhem
Price: Free (for Netflix subscribers)
Hextech Mayhem is a rhythm runner game with some platformer elements. It’s a neat little game to play. You pass the levels and avoid obstacles by tapping the screen with rhythm. The game is developed in such a way that tapping at the given time helps you avoid enemy attacks and stuff like that.
The game also features a freestyle mode where you can play differently. It has a lot of promise but also needs a lot of polish. There are too many loading screens and the controls could use touch. This one is only available to Netflix subscribers, so we think that will limit its popularity more than its lack of polish.
Magic Photo Editor
Magic Photo Editor is a basic photo editor with some social media friendly features. You can do basic things like crop, rotate and adjust the hue of an image. There are also brush functions, photo frames and various filters to beautify your photos. The most interesting feature is the AI-driven tool for retouching old photos which works on different levels.
Like most new apps, this one too requires a bit of work and not too much that you can’t find in other apps. On top of that, we also think the app needs a rather thick coat of polish as it can be tedious to navigate at times.
My Hero Ultra Impact
Price: Free to play
My Hero Ultra Impact is another mobile RPG with gacha elements. You can create a team of heroes and villains to duel others. It also retells the story of My Hero Academia up to where in the anime. Graphics and controls are average for the genre, but definitely suitable for My Hero fans to play. Most of the complaints centered around the initial release’s polish issues as you’d expect from a new game.
Wake on LAN is a simple application. This application allows you to control which devices are set to be active on a LAN connection. The UI is very basic, but also functional. There’s also a Wear OS companion for controlling the device from your wrist. Lastly, you can add quick settings tiles to control things without even opening the app. It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s also quite specialized, so we don’t think it’s going to be very popular.
If we missed any news or a major Android app or game release, let us know in the comments.
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