It's Saturday and once again the time has come for me to present my selection of 5 free or paid mobile applications and games that are worth checking out on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
In doing so, I've scoured the web for new applications that aren't personal data mining programs or microtransaction repositories. In addition to my own finds, I also add gems that were recommended by the NextPit community which they so kindly shared on our forum.
From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the 5 free and paid Android/iOS apps that stood out for us this week at NextPit.
- Also read: Forum about Android apps
Battery Full Alarm
Battery Full Alarm is a pretty much self-explanatory app. The name does suggest that you will receive notifications when your battery is full or about to be empty. Over the years, there have been numerous urban legends making their way around cyberspace concerning battery deterioration when your smartphone is left connected to the charger even when the battery is already full.
My colleague Ben has debunked some of them and in a very interesting article that explains how "the level of discharge has a strong influence on the amount of chemical and mechanical stress on the (battery) materials. It is particularly important that the range remains above 10% and hovers between 90 and 100%."
These days, almost all smartphones have safeguards to avoid overcharging a smartphone such as adaptive fast chargers or temperature sensors in the smartphone with a smart power supply. A smartphone's battery never really hits the zero percent mark.
More than just about preserving your smartphone's battery life, this app also plays a huge role in optimizing your phone usage time based on the current load. Via the Battery Full Alarm app, you can set the exact percentage of remaining battery life which that point, you would be notified of.
But if you're in a hurry to head out or play a battery-sapping game and just want to reach a sufficient charge level for the mentioned activity, you can use this app and unplug the smartphone as soon as you are notified.
This app doesn't require an account but does contain some fairly discreet ads and some customization options, where you will need to fork out some money to access options such as sound alerts. The premium version of the app can be unlocked for €1.19, which also removes the ads.
You can download the Battery Full Alarm app from the Google Play Store.
One of Apple's features I would love to have with my Google account is the special feature known as "Connect with Apple."
Upon creating an account with an app or a service, this feature allows you to hide your personal email address and generate a unique, random address in order to protect your privacy and personal account data.
Temp Mail is ABSOLUTELY not as advanced but it does what it is supposed to do in a simple manner: by generating a temporary and random email address. You can't do anything with that email address, including sending emails or downloading attachments.
But the idea behind this is to enable you to subscribe to a trial period, a service, or anything else without risking linking it to your personal account. Not only that, but this also helps prevent you from receiving countless spams in your mailbox later on. The application is free and does not require an account (which would be rather ironic if it were the opposite case).
But you'll have to deal with ads and usage will be limited to just one mailbox unless you pay €6.99 weekly to unlock the Pro version, which will obviously offer far more flexibility. Personally, I'll settle for the one mailbox and the few ads and save myself a handsome amount of money at the end of the year.
You can download the Temp Mail application from the Google Play Store.
I spent a lot of time doing smartphone photo reviews this week, and while I hate snapping selfies, it is still part of my job. In fact, I had a confession to make: I'm fat. Well, I knew that already for several years and lived with my situation quite well, but I really became fat - too fat indeed. The whole year's worth of lockdown has not helped my situation either.
I need to get my act together. While trolling forums and lists of workout apps (doing so wolfing down a tub of ice cream just to cheer me up simultaneously), I came across a Reddit post by the developer of Energy Workout.
The app allows you to generate workouts that are suitable for all levels and requires no equipment. But the most interesting part, at least for me, would be the gamification elements that feature challenges, rewards, and leaderboards. And to top it all off, the application offers a sort of adventure and combat game (it is very basic in nature), with opponents that you have to eliminate using your collected energy points.
The further you advance, the enemy has more life points and therefore, requires a greater amount of energy points to defeat them and to unlock more powerful weapons. As you can see, you have to train hard to accumulate these sought-after energy points.
The concept is very simple and it's not a real RPG game, I'm well aware of that. But I find the principle to be really encouraging. Since the application is free and has no ads or in-app purchases, it is worth checking out but do take note that you will need to create an account beforehand.
You can download the Energy Workout app from the Google Play Store.
Inursus is a to-do list and planning app. Yes, I know, it is another one in an already overcrowded market but hear me out first. This app's interface is perhaps among the most original and coolest that I have come across to date.
The idea is to simplify to-do lists and make them easier to understand for people like me, who are not organized or hate to plan everything in advance in a rigid manner.
With Incursus, you can create 4 types of tasks: Do, Plan, Delegate, and Eliminate. Each time you assign a task, the application creates a timeline of all your tasks and according to the metadata associated with them (date, deadline, location, tags, etc.). Incursus will also over time, learn of your habits and this enables it to anticipate the tasks you need to accomplish now or prepare in advance to avoid being overwhelmed at the last moment.
The application is still in its early development stages and the way it works can be rather challenging to understand immediately. But it does have the merit of being a free app without any nasty ads or in-app purchases to grapple with. However, creating an account is mandatory. The developer touts the merits of machine learning and the "science" behind this app.
Honestly, I'm wary of such buzz words and will wait to see whether the application is really effective or not in the long run. But as it stands, the current interface is neat and compact enough to fulfill its role as a task scheduler.
You can download the Incursus app from the Google Play Store.
I think I'm going to systematically include a game in my list of weekly selections. Blind Drive is my latest discovery and an original mobile game since it is an audio game. The concept behind Blind Drive is this: it works as an arcade action game that is sprinkled with dark humor, where you play the role of Donnie who is behind the wheel, driving against traffic, and is blindfolded for the insane purpose of a "science experiment."
You are given instructions and must navigate through 27 levels filled with obstacles and boss fights, doing so with your eyes closed. The gameplay revolves around 2 "buttons" that are resembled by taps on your screen. But the idea is to play blindly and experience the game's audio cues.
I really like these kinds of games because they don't require you to strain your eyes on a screen and have enough of a passive side to it that enables you to relax and enjoy the audio aspect while keeping you engaged enough with the story and gameplay so that your interest remains piqued.
This game reminds me of another successful title in the same genre: A Blind Legend. If you have a headset with good audio spatialization, the experience is even better. The game costs about €4 and is clearly worth every penny, in my opinion.
What do you think of this week's selection? Have you already tried any of the apps on this list? What would be your apps of the week? Share your opinions and especially your 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 process based on your needs! Till next week, stay safe!