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Here they are: Our top 5 Android and iOS apps of the week

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Each weekend, we at NextPit meet to check our selection of five free or paid mobile applications and games that caught my eye on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. We have personally tested all the apps and games listed here. This week will see the following: The puzzle game Square Valley, the cooking app Pestle, the hit game Ni No Kuni and a screenshot app that automatically generates instructions.

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Each week, I will try to bring you the best possible apps for your Android smartphone or iPhone. There are only two restrictions that I hold dear: that these apps are not data traps or microtransaction hells. NextPit editors' finds are accompanied by apps that have been tested out by the NextPit community and shared in our forum.

Enough talk: Here come our top five free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week which range from mobile games to productivity apps. We publish this selection every week, by the way. You can also check out last week's 5 apps.

Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds (Android & iOS).

The hottest app launch this week is certainly Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds. After an endless beta phase, the PC success from the Japanese game developer Level-5 is finally available for Android and iOS platforms. And the best part? The ambitious port is available completely free of charge.

In Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds, you, ironically, take on the role of a beta tester for a virtual reality game called Soul Diver. Due to a mistake, however, you get stuck in the VR world called Ni No Kuni. From then on, you fight your way through a fantasy world as one of five character classes, which looks simply beautiful thanks to Unreal Engine 4 and Genshin Impact-style anime graphics designed by Studio Ghibli.

Throughout the game, you'll be able to cooperate with various other characters and level them up in the best Pokemon manner possible, as well as building your own farm and customizing it according to your preferences. In addition, publisher Netmarble promises numerous community events in due time.

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None  / In-app purchases: None / Account: Required
Ni No Kuni Screenshots
In Ni No Kuni, you plunge into an exciting anime adventure with one of the five character classes. / © Screenshots: NextPit

Pestle (iOS)

Tired of extracting recipes from pages and pages of blog posts explaining how the author's grandma bought this and that particular ingredient from a llama that hailed from the mountains? If you answered in the affirmative, then Pestle is just your app. The iOS tool extracts titles, photos, and ingredients from websites and turns them into simple step-by-step lists. You can then compile your own cookbook from various sources and save it locally. Adding recipes works either in the app via the URL or via the share function and "Send to Pestle".

You can then cook your recipes step-by-step, which can also be accessed via voice control so you don't smear your iOS device with marinade or batter by accident. Thanks to the integration of the Live Text API in the latest version, Pestle also supports scanning apps from cookbooks. In reality, unfortunately, this did not work quite smoothly, especially with recipe instructions. However, you can edit the recipes afterward and correct them quickly. Unfortunately, Pestle doesn't work if the recipes are behind a paywall. As a paying Chefsteps customer, for example, I unfortunately cannot save my recipes to Pestle and Pestle doesn't allow you to store login information.

Pestle is basically free, only allowing 15 recipes in the database and a single recipe scan. For extended functions and unlimited recipes as well as scans you need a Pro Account, which costs you $0.99 per month, $9.99 annually, or a lifetime license for $24.99.

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: Yes / Account: Required 
Pestle Screenshots
Pestle lets you collect all your recipes in one place - both from websites and cookbooks. / © Screenshots: NextPit

Square Valley (Android & iOS)

Square Valley is a tip from the French NextPit community - many thanks to Luna for the hat tip! As you might have guessed from the name, it's a turn-based city building that is somewhat crossed with Tetris. The goal of the game is to integrate randomly selected city elements into an existing landscape. This is made easier by the fact that you always have two or three options available to you per turn; it is also made more complicated by the fact that you are only allowed to build on certain randomly selected fields each turn.

On your nine-by-nine tiled map, for example, there are roads, forests, houses, windmills, pasture fences, or mountains. Depending on how well the existing and newly placed elements harmonize with each other, you'll get more or fewer points per turn - and achieve the challenge's scoring goal or not. Houses, for example, do better when built near roads, but should also not be too close together. Bonus points are awarded for planting fruit trees nearby. You can view the rules at any time by clicking on the elements.

The game principle and the handful of rules quickly become second nature to you. The game rounds are relatively short and usually completed within a few minutes.

Price: $1.99  Advertising: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required

Square Valley Screenshots
Square Valley is all about integrating new elements into an existing settlement as wisely as possible. / © Screenshots: NextPit

Download Square Valley: Apple App Store / Google Play Store

Screenshot Flow (Android)

Screenshot Flow is the app-written dream of anyone who regularly has to explain to their relatives or friends on how to reset your Android smartphone across different languages from Korean to German, use wireless reverse charging, or add songs captured with Shazam to Spotify playlists. In Screenshot Flow, you can link individual screenshots to instructions and then send them as a whole.

The trick is, you can use Screenshot Flow's overlay to mark a position on the screen for each screenshot, and then use the overlay to capture screenshot after screenshot. Based on the marked positions, Screenshot Flow then assembles a guide with the click positions. The only drawback is that you cannot edit the instructions afterwards.

A small hint: Under MIUI, I had to manually grant the app all permissions in the app settings in order for the app to work.

  • Price: Free / Advertising: None / in-app purchases: None / account: Not required
Screenshot Flow Screenshots
Screenshot Flow lets you quickly and easily piece together a tutorial for smartphones. / © Screenshots: NextPit

Ringtone Maker - MP3 Cutter (Android)

While we were on the subject of Pestle and the subscription model: There are actually still apps that work well without subscription models. One example is Ringtone Maker by Yogesh Dama, which does what it promises. And it does so for an entire lifetime for a mere $1.49. You can cut ringtones from audio files in the app and assign them to certain contacts directly in the app or set them as a general ringtone.

Ringtone Maker uses MP3 files as sources for the ringtones. So if you want to turn your favorite song into a ringtone, for instance, you will first have to have it in MP3 form in the music directory of your Android smartphone. If you haven't already done so, I'm sure you can manage this via one or another YouTube Music Downloader.

  • Price: $1.49 / Advertising: None / In-app purchases: None / Account: Not required
Screenshots Ringtone Maker MP3
With Ringtone Maker you can transform MP3s on your smartphone into ringtones and notification sounds. / © Screenshots: NextPit

What do you think of this selection? Have you already tested some of the apps from this list? What would be your Android and/or iOS apps of the week?

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