Like every week, I’m going to talk about 5 free /paid mobile applications and games on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store that I think are worth trying out. Apart from my own findings, this list also includes a few apps that were suggested to me by our users from the NextPit community and forums.
Without further delay, let’s get down to business
Proton Calendar, a data-friendly calendar
Proton Calendar is a calendar application being developed by Proton Technologies, a company founded by three CERN researchers and to whom we owe the well-known Protonmail email client that offers end-to-end encryption of your emails.
Personally, I use Protonmail for my personal emails even though I find the service ill-suited for intensive use (storage options are restricted unless you pull out your credit card). And the application is for the moment reserved for paying users (subscription from 5 euros per month).
The operation is similar to Google Calendar. Your calendar is linked to your Protonmail account which again allows the encryption of all your information (contacts, reminders, appointments etc…). With both Protonmail and Proton Calendar, end-to-end encryption is automatic and the company is domiciled in the canton of Geneva in Switzerland as are its servers, outside the jurisdiction of the United States and the European Union.
Proton goes one step further by guaranteeing “zero access” encryption, which means that even the names, descriptions and participants of the events in your calendar are inaccessible to third parties. And, of course, all the classic functions of a Google Calendar are included.
You can manage up to 10 calendars, create and edit your events at will, schedule recurring events, schedule appointments across multiple time zones in sync, access your calendars on all your devices and a dark mode.
If you have a paid Protonmail account, you can test the application now but the developers ensure that it will be open to free users in the future.
Mutify, to mute Spotify commercials
One of the only subscriptions I could never say goodbye to is Spotify Premium. Not because it’s a great service, but because I could never go back and do the damn ads that were in between the tracks on my playlists. Mutify is a very simple, free, no-purchase in-app application that allows you to “mutify” most of the annoying ads on Spotify. The app does not require any system authorization, just enable the “Device Broadcast Status” feature which allows or disallows third-party apps to see what you’re listening to.
Whenever Mutify detects that Spotify is broadcasting an advert, it will turn down the music volume to zero. I quickly tested it over the course of an evening spent writing this article (with a non-premium account) and the app works without a problem except for one. It does block all the ads, except the ones that play when you change tracks manually. But since you can only “skipper” six times an hour with a non-premium account, it’s not a big deal.
Bundled Notes, a visually appealing and ergonomic productivity app
Bundled Notes is an all-in-one note-taking, scheduling and task application that the NextPit Community introduced me to on our forum. It’s not the first time I’ve heard about it since the app is in beta since the end of 2019.
The concept is to create “bundles”, folders that gather your notes, to-do lists etc… in order to sort all these elements in a more productive and efficient way.
Each bundle is displayed on the home page as a widget and you can preview what it contains. Basically, it’s a way to arrange all your notes, reminders, recipes, shopping lists, journal entries, articles in an ergonomic, clear and above all listed way (the tagging system is really well done).
The application is free, with no ads or in-app purchases except a pro version so you can manage your bundles from the web version on your PC. Everything is synchronized on your devices, so you have to create an account. In my opinion, it’s really the system of tags and filters, to find a specific note among several bundles, which makes this application particularly interesting.
Trip Meter, to track your movements during containment
It is certainly not the most relevant application to recommend during a confinement, but Trip Meter allows you to track your movements and provides you with useful information such as your average speed, the start or end date of your trip and much more.
Personally, I know that confinement, or rather confinements, have had a very negative impact on my pace of life. I am not moving, even less than before, which I thought is impossible. I don’t spend any energy apart from the mental effort of writing and working in general. But no physical expenditure. My sleep cycle is totally imbalanced.
Basically, I only go out to run errands. And I think that this app could help me to better understand my travels and maybe lead me to change the way, the frequency and the duration of my travels. If I see that this week I only went out three times to walk less than a kilometre, I should increase the number of trips and the length of the routes for example.
The application is free, without ads or in-app purchases but it lacks a pedometer function in my opinion. It requires permission to access your location and I don’t know if it goes through Google Maps but the geolocation is very accurate, to the nearest street number. The interface is minimalist and unpretentious, the information on each trip is presented in a clear way. I’ll try to use it for a while, maybe it will lead to an article for NextPit.
Eumathes, to optimize your revision sheets
Eumathes is an application created by a French high school student if we believe the Reddit post he wrote to present his app. The idea is to make learning easier and help you progress by creating “augmented” revision sheets on a historical event, a translation, a definition, a mathematical formula etc…
Once a sheet is created, you can associate several questions to it. For example, on a card on the fall of the Western Roman Empire, you can add several questions about key dates. You can classify your cards by category, and prioritize certain questions.
The UI is really very nice visually and also very ergonomic to the point that I can only salute the talents of the young independent developer behind this project and who undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him. Your records are presented in a simple and effective colourful widget format. Everything is stored locally and the app does not require the creation of any account.
The other interesting feature of Eumathes is the possibility to evaluate yourself. You can test your knowledge on a particular form, with a series of unique and personalized questions. The assessments are customizable according to your preferences, and allow you to track your progress over time.
It’s a bit cumbersome since you not only have to import your course sheets, but also create the questions yourself. For the rest, the app is free and without ads, but a pro version sells for 4,19 € (one-time payment). My years of revision and cramming are fortunately over, but Eumathes clearly deserves a look.
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 applications of the week? Share your opinions in the comments!