Seeing how Antoine is still on vacation, it is my lot this week to come up with five recommended apps that I would like to introduce to you in brief. As always, you will be able to find both mobile games and apps, which are paid as well as free. Of course, these will cater for both iOS and Android mobile operating systems.
Let’s not waste any more time now and jump right in: Here are the 5 free and paid Android/iOS app recommendations from NextPit this week.
As the Bundesliga kicked off in Germany, and even though my club has slipped down to the second division, I have returned to enjoying some football fever after seeing how the European Championships ignited this passion once again over the summer. I hope that our non-German readers will forgive me for sharing my enthusiasm about the Bundesliga with you, as for that very reason alone, I would like to recommend a German app that offers perfect football enjoyment. DAZN is the channel name that owns rights to the matches every Friday (8:30 PM) and Sunday (5:30 and 7:30 PM).
In addition, DAZN also caters to many of the other top football leagues (the Ligue 1 in France and La Liga in Spain, for example), in addition to a slew of other sports such as motorsports and sports documentaries. DAZN is currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Japan.
The app will of course, require you to have a subscription in order to enjoy the entire sporting lineup. Unfortunately, they’ve just raised the monthly fee to $19.99. DAZN explained that the subscription fee was increased because of the additional Bundesliga and Champions League games and Eurosport channels.
If you’re a sports fan and enjoy watching tennis, darts or American ,football as well as football, you’ll find that you will definitely get your money’s worth here. If you are still unsure whether DAZN has something right up your alley, there is no harm in trying out a free trial for a month.
The app is logical and well-structured. At the start page, you can view what is currently showing and which broadcasts are up next. Alternatively, you can access the calendar tab at the bottom in order to obtain chronological list of the program, or you can click the individual sports directly. You can also set reminders for specific games and activate a filter to show you just the sports that you want to watch.
I’ve watched the stream both on Wi-Fi and a mobile connection, and both have been very reliable so far. If you would like, you can activate a data saving mode for both the mobile network and WLAN, letting you use less data volume. As far as my personal TV enjoyment is concerned, I do admit that I prefer watching sports on the big screen. However, if that’s not possible, the DAZN app is a great alternative whenever you are on the move, provided you have a stable, fast network, of course.
Curio, which my dear colleague Camila Rinaldi pointed out to me, is not free, but well worth the money in my opinion. It’s an exciting idea that combines top-notch journalism alongside the podcast wave. Curio subscribers will have access to more than 50 (unfortunately only in English) publications. Among them are high profile publications like the Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, The New York Post, Wired, Vulture, and numerous others.
The only ‘downside’? Articles will be read out to you. This allows you to choose as many articles as you would like from this curated selection, where you can then either stream directly or download them. Depending on the article length, listening will take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. You can also piece together your favorite topics and obtain recommendations based on your preferences.
In addition to the “For You” section with your carefully selected magazines, you can also browse through the entire range of publications. There is also the option to create playlists.
The app itself comes without any advertising and is free for the first ten articles. You can listen to a maximum of ten articles, before you run into a paywall. If you would like to continue, you will have to fork out $8 monthly or $60 annually. If you don’t cancel your subscription 24 hours before it expires, it will be automatically renewed. However, you can specify in the settings as to whether you want the subscription to expire automatically or not.
I’m now going to take you on a journey to happiness. Okay, maybe that’s somewhat exaggerated, but Calm does indeed want to make you happier. The app is one of the most successful in the wellbeing niche, as evidenced by a 4.3-star rating from more than 400,000 reviews.
The feeling of happiness actually sets in right the moment you launch the app, especially when you are greeted by pleasant sounds. There are sceneries with which the app is underlaid. While you are searching for a certain exercise or music, your eyes will waft to a beach in the background and your ears entertained by soothing waves. Alternatively, you can choose other sceneries like a crackling campfire, a waterfall, summer rain, and numerous others.
This actually places me in a relaxing mood almost immediately. But that’s really where it starts, because you can choose from a very extensive program. There are many meditation exercises with lengths between 5 and 25 minutes, with beginners to meditation taken into consideration as well.
Which problem do you want to get a grip on? Do you suffer from poor sleep quality? Do you want to reduce stress, increase your self-esteem or your body awareness? There are exercises for every purpose. You can also choose soothing music or let Idris Elba, Harry Stiles or other celebrity voices lull you to sleep.
The app has been designed to look great in terms of visuals, and is intuitive enough for you to find your way around right away. However, my journey to bliss was cut short by a blatant request to subscribe to the premium version. You will need it to be able to enjoy all of the wonderful content within. There is a free 7-day trial to get you hooked. If you like what you see and hear, you can enjoy the fun for less than $69.99 annually. I think that’s a fair price, but it’s definitely worth checking out the free trial to see if the app appeals to you.
This is an app find that I’m a little proud of, because it’s almost as delightfully wacky and niche as some of Antoine Engels’ tips. Dogname’s name pretty much gives away what it is about: dog names. Can you imagine choosing your pet’s name on Tinder? Congratulations, then you’ve already figured out how the app works. You’ll need to invite someone to think alongside you as to what is the most appropriate name that you can give your dog after going through the free installation.
There are over 30,000 dog names available for both genders, of which you can view on individual cards that comes with an explanation of the name. Does the name sound stupid to you? Just swipe left. You think that you’re looking at a fantastic name? Then swipe to the right. If your contact also swipes that same name to the right, you have a match. Hooray!
This is a delightfully nonsensical app that will definitely waste your time, but it is one I will definitely use if I ever think about getting a dog. Until then, I’ll just continue to deal with app purchases, which in any case, Dogname is free. You can pay a small fee to get rid of the ads though. There are also in-app purchases that you can consider, such as for filters to sort out dog names by breed, number of syllables, or alphabetically, among other things.
Game of Shots
Last but not least, I’ll bring things to a close with a drinking game. Most of my days have just two main objectives: parties at NextPit, and responsible drinking. So I would like to think that Game of Shots is a fitting recommendation. My favorite drinking game goes like this: Go to the pub, order drinks until I run out of money, go home drunk but happy, and wake up the next morning with a terrible hangover while trying to remember just how the evening went.
But of course, there are classics out there like Truth or Dare, which work great as an icebreaker on a class trip as well as in a drinking game setting. Game of Shots doesn’t look like much, but it’s a collection of many different drinking games that caters for up to eight people in both English and Spanish languages. You can pick a single one and then play 100 rounds of Taboo, where you have to get your team to guess a word while not being able to use certain terms.
Or you can choose Hot Cocktail, where different categories are mixed up and the entire story becomes more diversified. There are four levels in each game, with the last one being a premium level that you’ll have to fork out cash for. Yes, not only does the app come with ads, but it also comes with in-app purchases. You can get a level unlocked for just under a Euro, or you can unlock all content in the premium version. But that costs €5 each month, and I’m not that drunk to pay that kind of money as part of my monthly expenses.
I’m not quite sure yet whether such an app glorifies alcohol too much. Besides, I’m skeptical that you can really have more fun this way than when the party crowd is having fun together without a smartphone. But if you like playing party games, need some drinking inspiration, and are fluent in English, feel free to give it a try.