The best free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week

The best free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week

Like every week, I'm going to talk about five free or paid mobile applications and games that are worth a look on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. To my own findings on the app stores, I also add the pearls found by the NextPit community and shared on our forum.

From mobile games to productivity applications, here are the five free and paid Android/iOS applications that have made a mark on us this week at NextPit.

Chai: to empty your bag

Chai is an app I discovered by chance while hanging out on Reddit. According to its developer, the concept is simply to chat with strangers and empty your mind, talk about your worries, or simply change your mind.

"So basically I graduated from college this summer and moved to a new city for my job. I'm pretty much completely alone in this new city, and it's basically impossible to make new friends right now because of the whole pandemic situation. A lot of times I felt like I just wanted to talk to someone about something to feel better, but it's really hard to reach out to people because it feels like they're still living their lives and don't have time for you," the developer explains in his post on Reddit.

Chai is an early access (beta) app and its interface is very simple, minimalist. You need an email to create an account and the app advises you to use a "trash" email since it collects addresses and wants to avoid to link them to your identity (I find the "privacy protection" part quite dubious in the TOS).

You can then simply start a chat, and wait for an illustrious stranger to answer you. I was personally lucky, and after about twenty minutes I was able to have a rather nice exchange with a user that I even managed to convert to OnePlus!

5 apps week 47 chai
Chai is still in early access on the Google Play Store, but I find the concept promising. / © NextPit

You can download the Chai application for early access from the Google Play Store

Solid Explorer: an ultra complete file manager

Solid Explorer is an application that I was able to discover via XDA Developers. According to the site, it's THE best explorer and file manager application on Android.

Personally, I'm perfectly happy with the native file manager on every smartphone I test, and I usually don't spend too much time searching through my folders.

But, if your smartphone's native option doesn't cover all your needs, or you just don't have it, then Solid Explorer may be worth a look. The app has built-in encryption to encrypt your important and essential files, it has Google Drive and Dropbox built-in, it allows you to connect to your own external server, it makes file management easy and allows you to explore other partitions on your device with root access.

The only catch is that you have to pay a single license to use it, but for the power users among you, the sum of €2.99 (and temporarily €1.99 at the moment) may be worth it. In any case, you have a 14-day free trial period to get an idea.

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Solid Explorer is a ... solid alternative to your native file manager. / © NextPit

You can download the Solid Explorer application from the Google Play Store

LastPass: to keep all your passwords

According to NordPass, a password manager, "123456" is still the most used password in the world.

If you're not one of those people who just want to have their accounts hacked, you probably already have your own system to keep all your passwords in case you forget them. But if this is not the case or if, like me, you write them down on your phone in the "Note" application and want to opt for a more secure solution, LastPass may be for you.

LastPass manages everything for you very easily and generates unique and complicated passwords that people and machines won't be able to guess. The app also features a "safe": In your LastPass safe, you can store passwords and login credentials, create profiles for online shopping, generate secure passwords, store personal information in notes and more.

All you have to do is memorize your LastPass master password (which is ironic enough, especially if you forget it or need to store it somewhere other than in LastPass), and LastPass then takes care of pre-filling your credentials into your web browser and apps. It's not a new app, but we added it anyway as it's an important time to get on top of this kind of thing.

5 apps week 47 last pass
LastPass is a good way to secure all your passwords, as long as you don't forget your master password. / © LastPass, screenshot Google Play Store

You can download the LastPass application from the Google Play Store

MO: Astray: an aesthetic puzzle game

MO: Astray is a beautiful action puzzle game with horizontal scrolling. Basically, it's a PC game based recently ported to Android that involves moving around in an environment full of obstacles and scrolling horizontally across the screen as you progress.

It's got a little Metroidvania side to it, with puzzles to solve as you go along. Visually, I really like the atmosphere and the scenery. The gameplay doesn't reinvent the genre in any way, but that's not what the game is asked to do either. The support for Bluetooth controllers is also a big plus, and the game is worth the money, in my opinion.

You can buy the game MO: Astray from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store

Underworld Office: a multiple-choice narrative game

Underworld Office a narrative and interactive game whose story is told through a chat on a messaging application. Your choices during the adventure will affect the course of the story and its conclusion. Enough to allow a certain replayability and thus make the money that you have to pay to acquire the game (a freemium version also exists if you wish).

Concretely, the game has seven scenarios (or scenarios for the purists, it is not only the anglicisms which can hinder, eh) with as many alternative endings. You play as Eugene, the protagonist, who accidentally finds himself in the world of ghosts. When Eugene is about to be killed by monsters, a strange ghost comes to his rescue and asks him in exchange to work at the Office of the Beyond...

Each event is in the form of a message that you receive. As you move the conversation forward, you develop the story interspersed with some 40 animations and nearly 150 illustrations.

You can buy the Underworld Office game from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store

What do you think of this selection? Have you already been able to test some of the applications on this list? What would be your apps of the week? Share your opinions in the comments!

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