Apple has revealed its favorite apps and games of the year, with four main winners granted the honor. Let’s take a look – if any of these passed you by this year, it might be time to remedy that.
Best iPhone App
A meditation and mindfulness app for beginners, Calm helps users de-stress, fall asleep easier, and improve their breathing. Apple was impressed by the app’s ease of use and attention to detail, and its endorsement by mental health experts.
Best iPhone Game
Splitter Critters [$3/£3]
We reviewed this back at the start of the year and were impressed by its inspired use of the touch screen as a game mechanic. Since then, it’s updated to take advantage of Apple’s new augmented reality framework so you can play the game “in” your own home.
Best iPad App
Affinity Photo [$10/£10]
This is a high-end image editor, roughly akin to something like Adobe Photoshop. This year it made the transition from the Mac to the iPad, and Apple is clearly a fan of how many power tools the devs managed to bring to iOS.
Best iPad Game
The Witness [$10/£10]
A stunning open-world puzzler unlike almost anything else on the App Store. We gave this one the full five stars. Its release was something of a landmark for mobile gaming, as it showed that full-fledged console experiences could translate to the small screen.
Around the world
The choices above reflect the best apps of the year in the USA, but some real gems got recognition elsewhere.
Enlight Videoleap [Free]
The easy-to-use creative video editor from the makers of one of our very favorite iOS photo apps took the world by storm this year. It was featured as Best iPhone App almost everywhere outside of the US, UK, and Australia.
Hidden Folks [$4/£4]
In the UK, Apple highlighted Hidden Folks instead of The Witness as Best iPad Game. Though less impressive technically, it has a unique and charming art style that looks great on iPad. It reminded us of Where’s Waldo/Wally.