Top 5 Android & iOS Apps of the Week: Productivity and Games!

If you have a Netflix account, you might want to check out Paper Trail, a puzzle game that will require you to wear your thinking hat. Mindfulness and wellness apps seem to be all the rage these days (apart from AI), which is why Balance hopes to help you achieve its namesake in your life, and Evolve takes a closer look at your self-care. Be My Eyes and Stamurai are accessibility apps that will make life easier for those who are visually challenged and need some assistance in speaking smoothly, respectively. 

In this fast-paced digital era, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon apps that bombard you with in-app purchases or pesky advertisements. However, fret not, dear reader, for we go above and beyond to ensure a level playing field and shield you from any unexpected expenses. Our mission is simple yet crucial: to provide you with apps that elevate your smartphone experience and bring forth added advantages.

If you find yourself yearning for incredible app deals, search no more, for we present to you our meticulously curated collection of free apps for the week! Each week, we hand-select a variety of apps that are typically paid but are now available for free as part of an exclusive promotion. So, without further delay, let us delve into this week’s crème de la crème – the top 5 apps that reign supreme in the realm of mobile games and applications!

Paper Trail (Android & iOS)

I remember reading Mad Magazines back in my youth and was always enthralled by the back cover where you are presented with one visual, only for the visual to change when you fold the cover according to the given lines. Paper Trail is somewhat like that, where you solve puzzles and explore places in the paper world. It does require some brain power to progress, and the accompanying artwork is definitely something worth taking note of.

I like how the art direction goes, and would be nice to see a printed copy of this game appear, although I wonder how one can execute this in the real world. It’ll require Hogwarts-level magic, that’s for sure! Take your time piecing together different segments of the ‘page’ to open up pathways to new areas and solve different puzzles. As you meet new characters along the way, you will also be able to gain entry to additional parts of the game.

  • Price: Paid (Netflix account) / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: None / Account required: Yes

Since there is no timer involved, you do not have to worry about fighting against the clock for some sweat-inducing sessions. Take your time. Perhaps when you come up against a seemingly impossible puzzle to solve, take a break. I found that to be most helpful, thinking about something else only to return and solve it later.

Balance: Meditation & Sleep (Android & iOS)

I have felt it from time to time when work piles up and it seems difficult to find a way to get away from it all. After all, bills need to be paid at the end of the month, so why take the risk and get the boot? So I grit my teeth, pull myself up by my bootstraps, and plod on. Still, this doesn’t mean I have forgotten about my overall well-being, because I know when I die, the company is not going to attend my funeral but get a replacement in double quick time.

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($11.99 – $139.99) / Account required: Yes
Top 5 apps - Balance
Get a better grip on life with Balance. / © nextpit

Balance aims to manage my stress levels, help me with my sleep, and touts to be the first personalized meditation program in the world. Each day, I will be prompted several questions concerning my meditation experience, goals, and preferences. Upon answering them, Balance will cobble together a daily meditation from its audio library. Needless to say, honesty is the best policy here, and I don’t think an app will rat me out to my best friend.

I like how calming and peaceful the speaking voice can be, and for someone like me whose mind is all over the place at times, it is nice to have an app that helps me focus so that I can relax better and subsequently, grab some quality shuteye.

Stamurai (Android & iOS)

Stuttering is not funny at all, and children can be rather mean in school and other social settings when they ostracize someone who stutters. I should know, I am ashamed of at times during my youth, making fun of others who are ‘different’ from the norm, not knowing any better. Back then, speech therapy was not something everyone could afford, but with Stamurai, here’s an app which will be able to help people overcome their stutter. I like how the video explains how to get started, and it is pretty easy and convenient from there. 

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($19.99 – $299.99) / Account required: Yes
Top 5 apps - Stamurai
A virtual speech therapist that helps you overcome your stutter. / © nextpit

Apart from training, I like the Community tab which allows me to perform group video calls at a time of my choice with other people. This shows that I am not alone, and when armed with such knowledge, overcoming stuttering becomes easier knowing that there are others on the same journey as me. There is also a library function that provides different avenues of practice including breathing exercises and meditation, among others.

Of course, this app cannot be tailored to meet every single individual’s needs. And an app can never replace a specialist’s care, so always check with a professional.

Perhaps the words in Stamurai used for practice might not be an issue for me to pronounce, but I am sure the developers have done their fair share of research to cover the widest base possible. What I would have liked would be a demo video of a live person actually pronouncing those words. 

Be My Eyes (Android & iOS)

The sight is a gift not something everyone has, and while technological advancements over the years have jumped by leaps and bounds in making life easier for the visually challenged, there are still vast areas of improvement that can be made. With Be My Eyes, this is a unique app that allows those who are blind or have low vision gain a trio of powerful tools through their smartphones.

It is a volunteer-powered app, where those who can see can sign up as a volunteer, enable Bluetooth, microphone, and camera access on their smartphones, and choose a language.

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: None / Account required: Yes
Top 5 apps - Be My Eyes
Help others see or need help seeing from others? Be My Eyes offers both options. / © nextpit

The latest feature, ‘Be My AI’, is an interesting one. This AI assistant has been integrated into the app, letting the user send images through the app where the AI will then be able to provide answers to questions concerning the image while providing conversational AI-generation visual descriptions. Of course, there are limitations such as language since this is currently available in 36 languages, but it is a start.

Some scenarios where Be My Eyes can be of help include assisting a person in using home appliances, reading medicine labels, being able to match outfits for that night out, or perhaps navigating through more complex TV menus as opposed to just having three channels and volume controls as in the past.

Evolve: Self Care & Meditation (Android & iOS)

No man is an island, and it makes perfect sense to want to improve oneself over the course of time. Enter Evolve, a self-care and meditation app that includes a bunch of meditations, breathing exercises, therapy modules that are ADHD-related, gratitude journals, and for those whose words of affirmation are your primary love language, an unlimited number of those!

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes ($12.99-$29.99) / Account required: Yes
Top 5 apps - Evolve
Make sure you are working toward being your personal best with Evolve. / © nextpit

The different ‘exercises’ vary in terms of time, but they’ve been broken down to extremely manageable levels. For instance, improving my mental well-being requires anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes daily for three weeks (makes sense, since that is the amount of time normally required to form a new habit). For instance, to feel better about my body, I had to answer some questions worth thinking about before writing a reflection for the day, before moving on to the next day.

There are numerous ways to improve myself, and based on the earlier questions that I answered, I was presented with various categories ranging from improving relationships to dealing with loneliness and even changing my attitude toward failure. There are plenty of life lessons to be learned here, and ultimately, it is a gentle way of ‘forcing’ the user to think deeply about matters that, well, matter in the long run and acting on it. 

Was there an interesting app this week you came across this week that you would like to share with the world? Why not let the nextpit community know via the comments?


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