From mobile games to productivity apps, here are five free and paid Android/iOS apps from NextPit this week. We publish this pick every week, and you can also see the top 5 apps from the previous week. Pull the world from the brink of nuclear annihilation with Sigma Theory! It’s a paid game, but it should be worth every penny.
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Substack Reader (iOS and Android)
Tailoring news and online reading content to your preferences can be a lot of work, so why not let an app do it for you? This app can be defined as an aggregator where you can subscribe to individual writers as well as newsletters. That way, every time a new article or story appears in your subscription feed, all you have to do is read them without having to actively refresh the website to see if there’s anything new to eat.
The user interface is clean and minimal with a basic feed that you can scroll down. You won’t have to turn to another app or site to read those articles, because all the articles can be read within the app, packed with the same minimal and basic feel. As of now, there is no way to create a “playlist”, but that may change in the future. Well, one can’t have too high hopes for a free app, right?
The Substack Reader is still a work in progress, so there may be some niggles that need ironing out. The interface takes some time to get used to. For example, when I archived articles, they were permanently lost, and I had to re-add them. Also, it would be very useful to have the option to resize text or zoom into photos in subscriptions, the latest version of which features a full-screen image viewer that offers zoom and pan functions. This is a good sign because the developer is working on improving the application, and it makes my daily reading volume more manageable.
- Price: free / Notice: nothing else / In-App Purchases: nothing else / Account: required
Plotter aims to be a cloud library that stores your collection of e-books. All you need is to own the .epub version on your smartphone and then upload it to the plotter. The app displays your collection of eBooks in the main channel. The upload only works once, after which you can continue reading your electronic tome without worrying about where you left off. Now, if you’re using the Windows app, it can sync with Kobo.
Currently, there is enough space to store 200 plus e-books based on the free 500 MB cloud storage. Ideally, this app is great for people who want to bring their eBooks from different repositories and store them under one roof. There is still a lot to be desired in the user interface, but it is intuitive enough. You can read in dark mode or normal mode, and the font size can also be adjusted for your reading comfort.
Note that this app is still in Early Access, so there’s still a lot of work to do. If you can live with the pain and the emotion, Plotter is a pretty decent app that can curate all your favorite eBook titles under one umbrella. It will be interesting to see if there will be an iOS version as I think both academics and students would love to have a central repository for e-books.
- Price: free / advertisement : No / In-App Purchases: no / Account: required
The answer! (Android)
If you have an eidetic memory, you’ll definitely love trivia games because that’s when you can keep your wits about you. Of course, lesser mortals like me always like to tease our minds with trivia, so give it back! It’s a perfect, meaningless game to keep us occupied. You can play against yourself or use it as an ice breaker, it doesn’t matter. Although the interface is extremely simple, the most important thing is the game content which has loads. Questions and answers are pulled from an open trivia database.
There are many categories to choose from, and no one can control everything. The categories include General Knowledge, Books, Movies, Music, Musicals & Theatre, Television, Video Games, Board Games, Science & Nature, Computers, Maths, Mythology, Sports, Geography, History, Politics, Art, Famous People, Animals, Vehicles, Comics, Gadgets, Anime & Manga, and Cartoon & Animation—24 categories in total. Phew! In addition, you can choose the level of difficulty: it can be easy, medium, hard or random. Each question has a time limit of 30 seconds.
The only major drawback of this free app is the ads, where it interrupts the flow of the game after completing a set of questions before starting the next round.
- Price: free / advertisement : yes / In-App Purchases: nothing else / Account: It is not mandatory
Flex: Multi-speed auto-scroll (Android)
Have you scrolled through Instagram or Facebook feeds for hours until your thumb goes numb? Why not let the app do it for you? Flex is unique in this way, a very simple and functional idea. It was so fun to be able to see what others posted without having to literally lift a finger! In addition to scrolling speed (by the way, it goes both ways – it can scroll up and down), there are various options in this application, besides the viewport.
In addition to up and down, you can scroll from left to right, and vice versa. The on-screen slider stays on the side of the screen without being too cluttered. Note that the slower speeds have a different scale compared to normal speeds to compensate for the way our human eyes work. If you only want to see headlines on your social media feed, feel free to switch to Faster. Note that this app requires accessibility services, so you need to enable all necessary permissions for this app before using it.
With this feature you have the freedom to choose the different apps you want to use, so choose wisely!
- Price: free / advertisement : No / In-App Purchases: nothing else / Account: It is not mandatory
Neko Golf – Anime Golf (iOS and Android)
One of the earliest golf games that caught my attention was Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color where I was introduced to the world of birdies, putts and eagles. How times have changed these days with extremely realistic graphics! Neko Golf Anime Golf brings the golfing experience to a decent level. While the title is free to play without requiring an account, you can still do better by making in-app purchases—the same model as most new game titles these days. But, don’t let that tactic spoil your experience, but the same goes for people who are used to paying top dollar for the best clubs in real life.
All the principles and basics of golf games are there in Anime Glory where you can enjoy clear 3D images. Your player avatar is fully customizable. After all, everything has to look good before you get down to the green, right? Designed specifically for the mobile platform, I found the touch controls particularly intuitive, and despite the lack of a gamepad attached, my golfer responded beautifully, meaning I had no room to blame my poor scores on input when interpreting my flaky motor skills. In real life to a digital avatar.
Controls include taps and hints, and it’s easy to pick up in a few minutes, but managing it is a completely different proposition. It’s also very easy to hook and loop, especially with zany images. It really is a way to get ‘outside’ without getting tanned and sweaty.
- PriceFree (iOS and Android) / advertisement: no / In-app purchases: yes / Account: It is not mandatory