Yes, for the greatest happiness of some and the greatest misfortune of others, I’m back to offer you NextPit’s weekly selection of the five best new Android and iOS applications of the week. From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the best new apps that have made an impression on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in the last seven days.
Firefox gets a makeover
Firefox last week released a huge overhaul of its Android app. I was too busy with the IFA 2020 to check out this new “Daylight” version, so I’m correcting it this week.
The interface has been completely redesigned, the emphasis has been placed on data protection with features taken from Firefox Focus, Mozilla’s other ethical mobile browser (additional protections against tracking, third party cookies etc…).
Well, I’m not going to get ecstatic either because I use head down, and I totally assume, the Chrome ecosystem like most users. But after testing the application for the purposes of this article, I liked being able to switch between dark and light mode easily, for example.
I also liked the customization of the interface, you can move the search bar at the top or bottom of the screen which is great for one-handed use. The collection of favorites in the form of albums (not really but it’s to illustrate) is nice too. The “picture-in-picture” mode that allows you to overlay video while you’re doing something else on the browser is also very handy.
I’ve seen several users complain in the Play Store reviews about the disappearance of the “Save as PDF” feature. But I’ll let you ping me in the comments for any other flaw I haven’t raised in this short description.
Company of Heroes: the long-awaited mobile port
Feral Interactive has been behind many (successful) ports of PC/console games to Android for several years such as Rome: Total War and Tropico. Company of Heroes is the latest example and I’ve been waiting for it since the release of an iPad version last February.
I can hear the free at all costs zealots screaming about the £13.99 it will cost to play this great real-time strategy game. But if you like games about World War II, you like killing Nazis and you like RTS (Real-Time Strategy), then this title is clearly worth the money.
The gameplay consists essentially in micromanaging your squads, you control two of them. You must therefore progress through each level by accomplishing different military objectives by alternating between strategy phases (movement, troop positioning) and combat phases. All this, while managing your resources and building and improving your bases.
In short, Company of Heroes does not reinvent the genre but has the merit of being very complete and above all very well optimized. We find all the emblematic moments of the progression of the American troops since D-Day in Normandy and the skirmishes (the combat phases) are really nice. In any case, I know what I’m going to do this weekend.
Sky Combat: “I feel the need, the need for speed”
There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft Flight Simulator this summer. Ah, such a soothing game of gentle aerial rides to discover the world from below as seen from above. But not here! I want some action, some good big aerial battles with homing missile launchers.
Keep your ultralights and your lyrical flights, I put on my Ray-Ban Aviators and my sheepskin bomber to play Sky Combat. It’s a PvP multiplayer game in which you take on other aces of piloting like you in armed fighter jets all the way to the cockpit.
Getting used to it requires some adaptation, especially to understand how to move around and to apprehend the inertia of your device. But the rest of the controls are very simple to master. You play in 5 vs 5 by default in a game mode that mixes match to death (the team that kills the most enemies wins) but also basic conquest/defense.
The game is free to download but it integrates in-app purchases. We can therefore expect pay-to-win mechanics where little Dylan or little Gwendoline, equipped with the credit card of one of their parents, will blow you away with their elite planes bought several hundred bucks.
You can download the game Sky Combat for free (buy-in app) on the Google Play Store.
Round Light RGB: to spice up your screen
Are you a gamer? I mean a real g4m3r? Then you obviously like to put RGB lights all over the place like the rooms of almost every Twitch Streamer. I have the app you need.
Round Light RGB is a free application (but with ads) to customize your Android interface. You can apply an animated rainbow-colored frame to wrap your screen. You can set the thickness of the borders, the scrolling direction of the animation, the colors, etc…
The application can also adapt the frame to certain types of notches such as the large notches on the iPhone, the centered punches on Samsung’s Infinity-O screens, the punch hole in the top left corner, or the classic teardrop notches.
There’s an astronomical amount of similar applications on the Play Store. But this one has the merit of imposing only one ad after each creation of a new frame, unlike others that are much more aggressive.
I’m not pretending otherwise, it’s no use except to look pretty. And the application will inevitably have an impact on your battery. But if you want to infuse a little bit of craziness into your dying display, this app might be fun to try.
You can download the Round Light RGB application for free from the Google Play Store.
ScreenHive: to keep an eye on your screen time
ScreenHive is a very simple digital wellness application that can be very useful. It allows you to display a timer throughout the interface in the form of a “bubble notification”, like those of Facebook Messenger or Android 11.
This way, you can always keep an eye on your screen time and decide whether to take a break or not. I like this principle of self-monitoring but without the constraint of the different Zen, Focus, or Concentration modes that some manufacturers offer and that block your smartphone.
Two buttons, to start and pause the timer, and a minimalist interface with an artistic graphic style, what more could you ask for? No advertising or in-app purchases either. These kinds of applications do good from time to time.
You can download the ScreenHive application for free on the Google Play Store.
What do you think of this selection? Have you already had the chance to test some of the applications on this list? What would be your applications of the week? Share your opinions in the comments!