For Christmas, as well as all year long, I offer you my weekly selection of 5 recently released apps for Android and iOS that caught my eye. And since it's the holidays, I've exceptionally found a bonus app for you. Happy reading and happy holidays to everyone!
Every week I try to bring you the best possible apps that are not data traps or microtransaction nests. In addition to my own finds, I also add the gems unearthed by the NextPit community and shared on our forum.
Luna Reading Habit Tracker (Android)
Luna Reading Habit Tracker is an Android activity tracker application for those of you who love to read. You can track the progress of a current reading or simply search and add books to your wishlist. Do you know what I mean? That backlog of books that piles up and you never get around to opening and makes you feel guilty every time you watch a movie on Netflix instead.
The search tool is pretty powerful as you can manually query via Google Books or simply enter the ISBN number or even scan it, and the app also offers an analytic component with a counter of books read, minutes spent reading, or the number of pages you've turned. Luna Reading Habit Tracker contains no ads or in-app purchases. It does require an account, though.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Required
- You can download Luna Reading Habit Tracker on the Google Play Store
ColorSlurp is an iOS app that allows you to extract colors (and their precise references) from your photos or any image captured with your iPhone or stored on the Camera Roll. You can also create different palettes, save them, edit them or export them in different formats (PDF, CSS, Sass, Swift, CLR, HTML, JSON).
The application is very limited in the free version and doesn't even allow you to save a color extracted from a photo directly (you'll have to add it manually from the resulting HTML color code). The Pro version is unlocked with a one-time purchase of $2.99 and the free version of the app does not contain ads or other in-app purchases other than the pro version option.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: Yes (pro version) / Account: Not required
- You can download ColorSlurp on the Apple App Store
Inure App Manager (Android)
Inure App Manager is an Android application manager. A utility app that allows you to manage the permissions of each application, to follow more precisely the use of the different sensors of your smartphone, or to have analytical data on the use of your apps.
It's a more advanced control panel than what Android offers natively. Inure App Manager is still in Alpha, but that doesn't stop the developer from making it paid. Everyone has their own opinion about paying for an application under development. But I don't find the $2.49 (one-time purchase) price exorbitant.
The app does not contain ads or in-app purchases. It does require a number of intrusive permissions to work, such as access to your storage and usage data.
- Price: $2.49 / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Not necessary
- You can buy the Inure App Manager app on the Google Play Store
Karen Photo Cleaner (iOS)
Karen Photo Cleaner is an iOS photo utility app that sorts through your gallery and removes duplicates, similar images, or screenshots. In short, all those files that take up space in your storage for nothing and can be quite laborious to delete manually.
Karen Photo Cleaner makes it easier to mass delete your unwanted images. The application works completely offline, everything is done locally and you can select which folders the application has access to (all your photos, everything except iCloud, etc...). The application is free and contains no ads. You can donate to the developer from the home screen, but Karen Photo Cleaner doesn't offer any other monetization mechanism and doesn't collect any data, according to its listing on the App Store.
So much for all the Karen's in the world! Strength to you all.
- Price: Free / Ads: No / In-app purchases: Yes (donations to the dev) / Account: Not required
- You can download Karen Photo Cleaner on the Apple App Store
One Hand Clapping (Android and iOS)
One Hand Clapping is a musical platform and puzzle game for Android and iOS. You have to go through 2D levels like in a normal platformer and solve riddles or puzzles but - little twist - everything is done with your voice.
Yes, like in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat on Gamecube (shoutout to all true hardcore gamers in the audience), One Hand Clapping asks you to sing or hum a melody more or less accurately to progress through the levels. The concept is not revolutionary since it has been done before, but it is rare enough, at least in the West, to be original.
I find the concept very nice as well as the graphics of the game. And the absurdity of listening to me singing out of tune on my smartphone reminds me a bit of the Attic Player's video on YouTube and his test of Takeshi's Castle. On the other hand, you still have to pay 9.99 USD to play the game, which does not contain ads or in-app purchases.
- Price: $9.99 / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Not required
Bonus Application: Alien Isolation (Android and iOS)
Since it's Christmas and since mobile game publishers have spoiled us for the holidays, I'm offering you a bonus app this week, which is none other than the game Alien: Isolation. A game released in 2014 (it's crazy, I was convinced it was from 2017 but no, it came out EIGHT YEARS ago) and I never dared to play it for fear of having a heart attack.
You're Ellen "Badass" Ripley's daughter, and you find yourself alone on the space station Sevastopol with an alien filth on board. The game is kind of designed like the Outcast series and all those other trendy horror games from the early 2010s. The overpowered monster kills you as soon as it catches you, so you have to play cat and mouse by staying as hidden as possible and moving stealthily and mostly strategically in the environment.
The game costs a whopping $14.99 but has the merit of including all the 7 DLC released over the years. The mobile port is made by the studio Feral Interactive, a true specialist in this kind of conversion and a sure bet on the mobile market. The game also includes controller support.
The only problem is compatibility. Only a handful of smartphones can run the game. They are listed on the Play Store and the App Store and my OnePlus Nord 2 was for example not part of the lot. The developer also recommends having 22 GB of free space on your storage to install the 11 GB of the full game (including DLC).
- Price: $14.99 / Ads: No / In-app purchases: No / Account: Not required
NextPit's app central
What do you think of this selection? Have you already tested some apps on this list? What would be your Android and/or iOS apps of the week?