We have come to the end of the week once again, which translates to the Top 5 apps of the week being featured at nextpit. Having gone through new app releases and revisiting older ones, we would like to recommend a mindfulness app, a language learning app, and of course, a home makeover cum puzzle game, a survival looter shooter by the developer behind WeChat, among others. Are you ready to see our curated list? Your phone will certainly be all the better for it!
Unlike our list of weekly free app recommendations which we do not test and install, it is different here. For our Top 5 apps each week, we made sure we installed and reviewed every single one of them before giving our seal of approval. Through this way, we have peace of mind that what we recommend will be helpful.
We will also share the relevant information that users need to know before performing an installation. Does this app need an account? Are there any pesky advertisements? What does the app's user interface look like? By listing all these down, you will be able to make a more informed decision before installing any of our recommendations. That's all from us for now as we dive deeper into what these apps are about!
Makeover Master (Android)
There is nothing quite like moving into a brand new home with ideas of decorating that living space to suit your personal preference. With that in mind, a digital makeover of a virtual home is not only cheap, it is free! And fun! Who would have thought? Makeover Master presents itself as a home design game that has elements of a match-three game.
The main idea of this game is to solve puzzles. Each puzzle that you solve will let you unlock additional decorations that can be used to spruce up your virtual home according to your liking. Of course, home decoration is not everything, since there are different ways to design your house, too!
Personally, I love FPS titles that are run-and-gun. There doesn't even need to be a good story attached to it, I just want to blow stuff up. However, for home decorators who want a story to go with the game, Makeover Master will not satisfy you since you cannot really go in-depth. It is basically a vehicle to drive the story forward in a somewhat forced manner.
- Price: Free / Advertising: Yes / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: No
If you would like to progress faster, there is the usual "Pay to Progress" model, where you fork out real money to purchase a shot in the proverbial arm and obtain some nice-looking stuff. Basically, if patience is one of your virtues, you can still grind your way through, but think of the amount of time you'd spend on it! All in all, this can be a fun distraction from your daily life and even somewhat therapeutic. If you cannot have nice things in your house in real life, by golly, you can have them in your virtual house!
Based on the level you are at, you can select some boosters before the level begins to help you gain an edge or assist you out of a tight spot. Needless to say, most of us have had exposure to match three games, and this should be easy. I would have liked to see the option to choose your character at first instead of sticking to just the carrot-top protagonist.
- Download Makeover Master from the Google Play Store
Aware: Mindfulness & Wellbeing (Android and iOS)
Let's face it, the world is not getting any kinder these days, and the type of media our younger generation consumes is becoming more and more violent and distorted compared to just a few decades back. In fact, mental health issues have become a major problem in many countries worldwide, and it strikes all layers of society. Aware is a mindfulness and wellbeing app that hopes to bring some sanity into the madcap life of people, and can be specially tailored to the user's needs.
While I do not think that I am under too much stress at work (nextpit is a nice place to work at, the people are great, and so is our resident dog!), having used Aware still made me a better person since it helped me keep my rather sharp tongue in check at times when I wanted to make a snarky remark but was somehow able to avert myself from doing so.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: None / Account required: No
You will be able to choose from different sessions that are listed in the app itself that are led by different trainers or begin your personal journey as and when you like at your own convenience. You may leave each session at any time you like, so do not feel bad by doing so. The sessions are divided into Dive In, Pure Simple Love, and Breathing Anchor.
Since this is a free app and it has no paid sessions, I loved using it without having to be locked behind a paywall. Hopefully, new content will be offered from time to time, and there won't be any paywall in the future!
LinqiApp: Speak English Freely (Android and iOS)
English, the lingua franca of the world, or at least, the Internet, makes it easy to communicate with one another without regard to your nationality or ethnicity. Here's an app that lets you pick up English and get more proficient by the day. LinqiApp is free, and this innovative app lets you practice, practice, and practice more until you get it right.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: Yes
I love the way the app tries to figure out where you are in terms of your English proficiency. For starters, you will have to key in your relevant information, including the types of topics you are interested in, your age, your proficiency level (or at least where you think you stand), and your practice goal. From there, the app will try to match you with others within a similar band.
To practice, you can connect with a list of other people, calling them and actually holding actual conversations with them. These people are from all over the world, and they are rated, so you can have a feel of whether you are a good match for them (and vice versa). There is also a leaderboard to help gamify the entire learning experience. I think this is great for those who want to dip their toes into learning English!
Reflectr AI Journal & Notebook (Android)
Ever wondered what it would be like to write down your thoughts and store them for posterity? Yes, I am referring to journalling, instead of using picture journalism on your social media. I am looking at you millennials and Generation Alpha folks! With Reflectr, you have a cool app where you actually input your thoughts for posterity.
- Price: Free / Advertising: Yes / In-app purchases: Yes ($0.99 monthly, $9.99 annual) / Account required: Yes
To spruce things up, the app comes with AI features that will be able to help you paraphrase your thoughts and reorganize them based on your selection. You can choose from witty to professional, among others, and have unique features like a mood calendar for those who are more emotional, a tag system for easier organization, and a simple user interface.
I think the clean user interface is what appealed to me most. It doesn't have to be mind-blowing, but at least you can add photos as and where you like for more impact. Paying for a monthly or annual subscription will remove ads.
- Download Reflectr AI Journal & Notebook from the Google Play Store
Arena Breakout (Android and iOS)
Do you have a penchant for shooting baddies so that you can survive? If you answered in the affirmative, then the latest looter shooter that is developed by Tencent, the company behind WeChat and PUBG Mobile, will appeal to you. Known as Arena Breakout, the combat system is not too different from PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile.
All damage that you receive in-game depends on which part of your body is hit, and that will ultimately affect your gameplay. Got shot in the leg? Expect to move at a slower pace. Needless to say, getting shot squarely in the head is never a good thing at all.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account required: Yes
Those who are sold on this game will be able to choose from two different game modes. It encourages playing as a team, making this a social affair. Do rope in your gaming buddies and see how your team can come up with the best strategies for winning as much loot as possible!
The graphics are excellent, and even if you have a mid-range handset from 2021, you will still be able to enjoy this title without much lag. I would highly recommend playing this with a connected gamepad since on-screen controls without any tactile feedback never really appealed to me. Yes, I know, I am old, and I just completed Quake II Remastered, so sue me!
Well, we have now come to the end of our Top 5 Apps of the Week article. We hope that you will find something interesting here this week. If you are dying to share an app or game with the rest of the world, just drop us a note in the comments and we will check it out.