Top 5 Android And iOS Apps Of The Week: Games, AI Art, And Notes!
You will find a console game ported over to the mobile platform featured this week in the form of Little Nightmares, accompanied by Microsoft’s CoPilot that would have no doubt debuted on your Windows 11 PC, another AI art generator in the form of Niji Journey, Metal Slug 2 (!!!), and Beeper Mini.
Before you proceed, it would be good for you to know how nextpit carefully curates our Top 5 Apps of the Week list. First, we ensure these Google Play Store and Apple App Store offerings do not go behind your back by mining data or offering endless microtransactions. In addition to my findings, I also checked out recommendations from the nextpit community to know what is all the rage among the grassroots.
This selection of Top 5 iOS and Android Apps is published weekly, do refer to our past lists to know more.
Little Nightmares (Android and iOS)
Smartphones have progressed so far ahead in terms of processing muscle, so much so they can even handle console or PC ports of a game. This is something unheard of back in the early smartphone days. Little Nightmares is a horror adventure title that has finally arrived on the small screen, delivering a big gaming experience.
While the graphics look amazing, there is some loss of immersion. This is to be expected considering the rather limited hardware, as the missing physical-based lighting system reduces immersion somewhat. There is still some work that needs to be done to fix the glitches, but it does not detract from the overall playability of the game.
If there is one thing you should take note of, it would be the controls. Touchscreen controls are always iffy to begin with as the lack of tactile feedback when using physical buttons tends to dilute the gaming experience. It does get tough to perform more precise actions, including picking items and holding on to an object to climb. Here’s keeping your fingers crossed that the developer will include an update to fix the controls.
- Price: $8.99 (Android)/ $7.99 (iOS) / Ads: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required
Note-taking apps are a dime a dozen, and if you are already comfortable with your current one, perhaps you can give this a miss. Otherwise, those who are on the lookout for a note-taking app that gets the job done without fanfare can check out FoxyNotes. One key aspect that I found useful was the extremely user-friendly interface.
Launch the app and you can get started right away. It intuitively guides you to create notes, and there is also an easy search function for you to locate old notes quickly. There is even a category function for you to better organize your notes. All the relevant text formatting functions are included, with a To-Do function thrown into the mix for good measure. It is not powerful, but functional.
I found FoxyNotes useful, although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea since individual experiences may vary. However, if you have yet to pick up any note-taking app to date, FoxyNotes is a good place to start. What’s great about this is how you can synchronize it to your Google Drive as a backup, making it virtually accessible from anywhere in the world.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account: Required
Niji Journey (Android and iOS)
Ever wanted to create your anime characters or drawings, but lack the artistic talent to do so? Why not rope in AI to get the job done? Niji Journey is no ordinary AI art generator but focuses solely on anime styles. This includes cat ears and all things quirky from the Japanese art form. Generated art can be done in different formats, from landscape to phone wallpaper, and square, among others.
You can also choose various models with different styles such as cute, expressive, or scenic. Typing the prompts is easy enough, and of course, the results are better if you are more specific.
Interestingly enough, when I prompted “demon slayer in a bamboo forest”, one of the four images that resulted depicted Nezuko of the Demon Slayer manga/anime fame, complete with her bamboo mouthguard! I would have thought that intellectual property would be safeguarded to a degree, but I guess there is some leeway here.
Overall, I was very pleased with Niji Journey and if you are a casual user who needs some manga-looking images just for a particular event, the free version is enough as you get up to 20 free trial images before a subscription is required.
- Price: Free / Ads: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account: Not required
Metal Slug 2 ACA NEOGEO (Android and iOS)
At last, I do not need to feed my smartphone quarters non-stop in my lame attempt to complete Metal Slug 2! For those who love this classic arcade shoot ’em up, you can now play it on your smartphone! Expect the same degree of hair-tearing difficulty as the original, but one thing that is different now is the presence of online features. See where you stack up against the rest of the world with an online ranking mode. It is also heaven-sent you can enjoy a quick save/load function.
As usual, there will be some slowdown when too many sprites begin to appear on the screen (just like in the 1990’s). It does not matter how fast your phone is, even flagship handsets will stutter when the action gets hot and heavy, but this is due to the app’s code more than the processing muscle of your smartphone. Mastering this game will take some time, but there is a sense of accomplishment if you are able to complete it on a single credit.
Having precise controls will help you go a long way in the game, so I would recommend using a physical controller connected to your smartphone if you want to go far on as few lives as possible. Touchscreen controls are all right, but they still lack that x-factor in terms of accuracy. If you are a sucker for self-loathing and punishment, you won’t go wrong with this relatively faithful port.
- Price: $3.99 / Ads: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required
Microsoft Copilot (Android and iOS)
Want to carry out a conversation with your computer? It is getting easier by the day, thanks to a proliferation of AI chatbot apps. ChatGPT-4-powered Copilot from Microsoft is yet another player on the scene. It can carry conversations with you, generate content (including creative ones), and identify objects in photos. However, an image of a whiteboard eraser that I fed it was wrongly identified as a smartphone. I believe these are niggling issues, and the app will become smarter with time.
The usual gamut of features is there, including image generation. It is not the best, but functional for basic parameters. If you are going to use it specifically for image generation, it is best to look elsewhere for a dedicated AI art generator program. Otherwise, Copilot will suffice for simple requests.
While it is functional enough as an AI chatbot which you refer to from time to time, those who want to ask more questions and carry longer conversations are highly recommended to sign in. Most people would have a Microsoft account already, so this is just a minor hurdle for you to gain better functionality with Copilot.
- Price: Free / Ads: Yes / In-app purchases: Yes / Account: Not required
What do you think of this selection to kick off the year? Do you already use any of the listed apps? What would your recommended Android and/or iOS apps be to begin the new year?