Every single weekend, we congregate at NextPit to discuss for my selection of 5 free or paid mobile apps and games that caught my eye on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
We try to bring you the best possible apps that do not mine your data or end up as microtransaction hell. In addition to our own finds, we also include gems unearthed by the NextPit community, which were shared by word of mouth on our forums.
Ranging from mobile games to productivity apps, here are the 5 free and paid Android/iOS apps from NextPit this week.
Smart Cursor is an accessibility app for Android that takes the "reachabilty cursor" idea that has been abandoned by Google or Samsung in OneUI.
The whole idea of a smart cursor is to allow you to navigate the interface using a remote mouse cursor in order to facilitate the use of your smartphone with just one hand. In particular, you can define an area at the bottom of the screen from which you can move the cursor and "click" the interactive elements on the screen.
This means you no longer have to stretch your fingers or use both hands to reach the topmost area of the screen. The app works quite well and requires accessibility permissions, including the ability to work on top of other apps properly. There is nothing too intrusive about such an app in my opinion.
The interface is pretty straightforward and options for customizing the slider and detection area to activate it (it disappears after a certain period of inactivity) have proven to be pretty accurate. The only "flaw" is how Smart Cursor blocks its most useful function behind a paywall. That would be the contextual actions function that allows you to scroll, right-click, etc., is effectively reserved for the paid version.
I would strongly recommend you to fork out the asking price of $1.99 to unlock everything or simply skip it since the free version is not very interesting without this feature.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: Yes, $1.99 one-time purchase to unlock everything / Account: Not required.
You can download the Smart Cursor application from the Google Play Store.
Yes, I couldn't prevent myself from introducing you to yet another note-taking app. What I think makes Noto interesting is its interface. I really like the idea of organizing my notes into several folders that are displayed in a visually appealing and accessible layout.
As for the rest, you'll find classic but essential functions for any self-respecting note-taking application: automatic saving, archiving, sharing, and exporting. The application works offline, doesn't require any permissions or account creation, and is free of ads and in-app purchases.
If there is one major drawback, however, Noto does not offer a text editor. Word processing is an indispensable part of the user experience on such of app. I want to be able to change the font, alter the layout, and make modifications to my notes. It's a shame, really, especially since the application is open source and it has a very clean interface. It would also be nice to have a function that can help you secure your notes using a password.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Not required.
You can download the Noto application from the Google Play Store.
I'll warn you right from the top, this application is very, very niche. In no uncertain terms, it's a random character sheet generator. It has been specially designed for role-playing fans or people who write fiction, as the application allows you to "create" a character from scratch by providing an identity, physical, and unique personality traits.
Data generated is pretty basic and doesn't go into much detail. Personally, I see it as a good base to begin with, a structure from which you can let your imagination run wild and fill in the rest of the gaps. It is definitely a good way to get started if you have run out of creative juices and fail to be inspired.
I like to write in my spare time and I often set my stories in Fantasy or Science Fiction worlds. Sometimes, I have a hard time coming up with even a name for a character. If you are a writer, you know how that happens (all too often, I might add!). There are times when you can spend hours, days, and even weeks researching to make even the most insignificant detail in the world more believable and coherent.
On my part, I often begin writing without naming certain characters. In fact, I retroactively embellish their back story as inspiration comes to me. So I really want to test the limits of this application. The catalog of characteristics that it generates is impressive, and there is a wide variety to choose from.
You can select different genres, regions, and other specifics, while it is also possible to adjust the elements of a character sheet individually (except for the name), just to tweak the generated sheet without deleting it completely. It will cost you $20 to unlock all of the possible options or between $0.99 and $29.99 per category.
I would like to declare that the character of Louna Bergeron was completely generated automatically without any modification or input on my part. Any resemblance with anyone who is alive or dead is purely coincidental.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: Yes, $0.99 to $29.99 / Account: Not required.
A free open source weather app without any ads or in-app purchases to irritate you while offering a very clean user interface. The app supports the French language as well, and offers almost all features available in a modern weather app.
Weather data is obtained from the OpenWeather API while geolocation data is taken from the MapBox API. The app offers 24-hour and 7-day forecasts, while featuring a handy radar option if you're planning to travel to find out about the local weather (temperature, precipitation, wind, pressure, etc).
I really have nothing else to say about Pluvia Weather except that I would have liked it to come in a widget, but the developer explained that he is currently working on it in one of his Reddit posts so who knows what the future will bring?
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Not required.
You can download the Pluvia Weather app from the Google Play Store
In Unimime, you play a mime who rides a unicycle on rooftops of what could very well be Paris, since mimes are often associated with the city in collective imaginations worldwide, with the soundtrack of the movie Unimime being an excellent example of such a line of thought. The game's soundtrack and its accordion loops remind me of music that a typical tourist in France would normally hear.
The goal of the game is to cross from one area to another other while maintaining his or her balance on your unicycle. You must swipe to the left to right with your left thumb in order to balance back and forth while sliding your right thumb left to right to move forward and backward.
If you've played the various Trials on a console, you already know the principle behind this game. Graphically, the game has a very nice "pencil drawing" feel to it. However, it contains ads and a lot of in-app purchases that does get rather irritating. You will have to pay $0.99 (a one-time fee) to remove the ads, and another $7.99 to unlock new characters.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: Yes, $0.99 to $7.99 per item / Account: Not required.
What do you think of this selection? Have you tried out any of the apps on this list already? What would be your apps of the week? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments section! If you're looking for a particular type of application, don't hesitate to let me know so I can orient my research and selection according to your needs!