Each weekend, we at NextPit meet to check my selection of 5 free or paid mobile applications and games that caught my eye on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Each week, I will try to bring you the best possible apps that are not data traps or microtransaction hells. In addition to my own discoveries, I also included apps discovered by the NextPit community and shared over our forum, which I invite you to check out.
Madhur AI: Text to speech TTS (Android)
We begin with an accessibility Android app that allows you to read text via voice synthesis in several languages. You can scan or import your text in print, PDF, eBook, or other formats, and easily transcribe them via OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
You can then choose from 127 female and male voices in 27 different languages (take note, the app itself cannot translate your text). You can also choose the speed of speech when it comes to the voice over. The application is free and contains no ads, but you have a limit of 400 scanned words. In order to enjoy an unlimited number of words, you will have to pay $2.49 monthly, $19.99 annually, or agree to a one-time purchase of $25.99.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($2.49 to $25.99) / Account: Not required
- Download Madhur AI from the Google Play Store
Sofa: Downtime Organizer (iOS)
This iOS productivity app is here to optimize, not your efficiency at work, but your recreation time. Yes, the gaming or reading sessions spent on your couch or bed, that can be organized as well.
What a life to have if you cannot decide on what game to play this weekend, huh? We've got some first world problems, don't we? Don't worry, with Sofa, you can schedule your relaxing moments by listing, prioritizing and programming which book you want to read, which movie you want to watch or which video game you want to play.
The paid version also allows you to customize your lists (cover image, description, etc.), create notes for certain items, have more accurate statistics on your activities, have a news feed with all your listed items, etc. But at $3.99 monthly or $35.99 annually for a 1 person subscription, I find it way to be way too expensive.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($3.99 to $35.99) / Account: Not required
- Download Sofa from the Apple App Store
This Android application claims to be able to "calculate" your nostalgic musical period and offers you several cult songs that supposedly reminds you of the good old days.
Concretely, the app simply considers a time period of 10 and 20 years following your year of birth. The idea is this: we are more likely to be nostalgic about songs that were released when we were teenagers or in our twenties.
Unfortunately, the application didn't offer me anthems from the 2000s such as Hey Ho! by Tragedy, Façon Sex by Tribal King or Femme Like U by K.Maro.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required
- Download Backtrack from the Google Play Store
Coffee Ratio (Android)
Everything, and I mean everything, can have a niche with its community of purists. To each his own, and who am I to judge anyway? Coffee Ratio is for espresso aficionados and other elite baristas who want to perfectly measure their beverage.
The app calculates the amount of coffee based on the total brew (oz, ml) even if you mix two different types of beans. It also features an easily accessible timer at the top of the screen. You get an estimate of how much coffee you'll need if you're in a hurry and don't have access to a scale.
This is a paid app, without any ads or in-app purchases and its interface is very easy to understand. At the same time, taking someone for granted because he has a Nespresso machine with capsules while you grind by hand your seeds that were directly imported from Colombia by a toucan with a cast iron grinding machine bequeathed by your great-grandfather, is priceless!
- Price: $0.99 / Ads: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required
- Download Coffee Ratio from the Google Play Store
Love is... in small things (Android & iOS)
As a single person, my great passion is watching other people be happy. It's really great and so good for my morale. Oh my, how beautiful love is! But I don't have time for that, I have a golden camouflage to unlock on a machine gun in Call of Duty Mobile. In short, I have a life.
But I'll make an exception in my busy day-to-day life for the game Love is... in small things or "Love is made of small things." It's a puzzle and visual game in a comic book done watercolor-style. The story is centered around love, couple, emotional health. I find the game's soundtrack to be very soothing.
You follow a series of paintings that represent black and white pencil drawings that you have to "color". In order to do so, you will have to locate a series of elements that come in the form of numbers, shapes or symbols which are scattered in the board. Some of them are well hidden, while others are more noticeable. Imagine a "Where's Charlie?" scenario. Each time you find a hidden element, you bring a part of the board to life and advance the story.
The game offers 300 levels that are divided into 30 chapters, but the game contains ads that you can get rid of by buying the full version at $4.99.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($4.99) / Account: Not required