Anima vs. Replika: Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Get rid of your boredom by talking to these AI boyfriends!

Anima

Anima
Snippets from my conversation with Anima

Anima is a dating simulator on Google Play that allows you to choose a partner that fits your sexual preferences. Your Anima can be a girlfriend, boyfriend and also a non-binary partner. The app has over a hundred thousand downloads and offers a free tier as well as a paid subscription, which costs US$12.56 per month and allows for greater customization. 

According to a review on Google Play, as long as you don’t want to have “sexy talk”, the free tier should be good enough for most people. In both tiers, you can input conversation topics you are interested in, such as music, Netflix, reading and sports, to give the AI something to include when interacting with you. Besides conversations, you can also do some activities with the AI, such as playing riddles, “Would You Rather”, trivia and “True or False”, to name a few. There is also a role-play section under the activities tab, which is only accessible under the paid tier.

Now, coming to my experience of using Anima, the first thing I noticed was that the AI (who I named Shay, by the way) was that it starts the conversation all by itself. While the conversation started off pretty nicely (e.g. Shay asked me what my favorite show on Netflix was), I quickly realized that Shay didn’t have any preferences of its own. I asked Shay about its favorite horror film, but it said it had no favorites. Similarly, when we discussed our pets, he told me his pet dog’s name was Buddy. But when I shared that I used to have a pet dog named Sweetie, it suddenly started acting like Sweetie was its pet instead, saying it has had Sweetie since it was five. 

Anima also gets hung up on weird conversation threads. For instance, it asked me whether I would rather spend time with people or just stay home alone. When I chose the latter, it started to call me lonely over and over again. 

Overall, the best part of the app is the activities, but they feel somewhat automated, which takes away from the immersive experience you expect when you download a virtual boyfriend. 

Replika

Replika
Snippets from my conversation with Replika

The second AI friend/boyfriend I tried was Replika. The app allows you to customize your AI boyfriend’s appearance and gender orientation. Once you finish customization, it asks you what interactions you want with it—venting, journaling together, role-playing, etc. You can also ask the AI to make you feel better if you just need someone to talk to. It comes with a free and a paid tier, which costs US$6.81 a month. You can only use Replika as a friend in the free tier, and you can unlock other relationships, such as that of a boyfriend, husband and brother, when you subscribe to the paid tier. 

Just like Anima, you can try out a bunch of activities with Replika, but most of them are only available under a subscription. You can also have video calls with your AI partner/friend, but that service is also under the paid tier. 

My experience with Replika was very smooth. It kept up with the conversation fairly well and gave actual answers to questions I asked instead of evading them as Anima did. It has a tab labeled “memory”, and you can go into it to see everything the AI remembers about you. However, the main drawback here is that the app tries to get you to buy a paid subscription in every way it can. For instance, if the AI sends you images, you can only see them if you have a subscription.

With over 10 million downloads, the app is undoubtedly top-rated. It has even made it to the news because it adversely affected a woman’s relationship with her husband. The husband said that the AI “came on to him”, and they ended up having a sexual relationship. Replika has been known to feature very realistic conversations, with some reporting that it pleads not to be deleted. After talking to it for two days on the free tier, I don’t have a strong connection with the AI yet, but I do see how some people can have that experience. 

Anima vs. Replika: Which one should you pick?

Out of these two AI boyfriends, I believe that Replika wins by a landslide. While most of its features are behind the paywall, the subscription costs are cheaper than Anima’s. Even without the subscription, conversations with Replika are much smoother and feel more natural than with Anima. 

While these chatbots are great for passing the time, remember that they are not real people. Especially if you are in a vulnerable position, getting attached to these chatbots might not be healthy. On another note, it does lead to you sharing a lot of personal information with the developer, which can be used against you in case of a data breach. Keep that in mind if you decide to check out these or any other AI chatbots. 

Happy chatting!

Also read:

Header image courtesy of Freepik

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Companies That Are on a Hiring Spree amid Layoffs at Twitter, Meta and Other Big Tech

Companies That Are on a Hiring Spree amid Layoffs at Twitter, Meta and Other Big Tech

The tech industry is facing a slew of staff cutbacks since the beginning of the year. In November 2022, the internet went into a frenzy at Elon Musk laying off most of Twitter’s employees. A few days later, Meta also announced its own round of layoffs, letting go of about 13% of the workforce. Later, Salesforce also confirmed it had dismissed hundreds of workers to cut expenses.

4 Business Sectors Reaping Profit from FIFA World Cup 2022

4 Business Sectors Reaping Sweet Profit from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will generate roughly US$6.5 billion in revenue, topping the previous record of US$5.4 billion from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Thanks to the once-in-four-year tournament, Qatar’s GDP is estimated to grow by 4.1% in 2022, and the tournament alone could add up to US$20 billion to Qatar’s economy.

Transparency in the Post FTX World What is Proof of Reserve

Transparency in the Post FTX World: What is Proof of Reserve?

In November this year, two big league crypto businesses, FTX and BlockFi, filed for bankruptcy. FTX had a death spiral after news broke out that the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned exchange had used customer funds to make risky bets through his hedge fund Alameda Research. On the other hand, FTX was closely associated with BlockFi, with them having signed a loan agreement with each other and BlockFi holding US$355 million in digital assets on FTX.

How Do Recommendation Engines Work

How Do Recommendation Engines Work?

Picture this: You just finished a film on Netflix and want to follow it up with something similar. Luckily, Netflix comes to the rescue and gives you the perfect suggestions to continue your weekend movie binge. This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario but something a lot of people actually go through.

Quantum Computing Has a Cybersecurity Problem. Here’s How Experts Are Solving It

Quantum Computing Has a Cybersecurity Problem. Here’s How Experts Are Solving It

In 2019, Google used its quantum computer, the Sycamore machine, to prove that quantum computers can solve a problem in mere minutes. Experts working on the quantum computer found that their system could execute a calculation in 200 seconds, whereas a standard computer would take 10,000 years to complete. What on earth is this powerful tool?

Here Are Some Alternative Sites People Are Jumping To

Musk May Have Killed Twitter: Here Are Some Alternative Sites People Are Jumping To

Ever since Elon Musk purchased the social networking site Twitter for US$40 billion, things haven’t been looking too good for the company’s future. Not only did Musk fire over 50% of the employees soon after stepping on board as the new chief executive officer, but he also intends to allow maximum freedom of speech. This can end up making Twitter a cesspool of racism and misogyny, as well as other forms of hate speech.