Apple has revealed its selections for this year’s coveted App Store Awards. 16 app and game developers have been announced as winners, and there are some fantastic entries on the list.
“This year’s App Store Award winners reimagined our experiences with apps that delivered fresh, thoughtful, and genuine perspectives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “From self-taught solo creators to international teams spanning the globe, these entrepreneurs are making a meaningful impact, and represent the ways in which apps and games influence our communities and lives.”
While some of the winners are fresh apps from 2022, existing apps were eligible too so long as they are continuing to iterate and improve. Without further ado, here are the winners:
Apps of the Year
“Not another social network” BeReal won the top prize for 2022, the iPhone App of the Year award. The app rode a wave of popularity this year, reinventing social media with a twist designed to encourage more genuine posts. Users can only submit one photo post each day, during a randomly-assigned 2 minute window. That led to a refreshingly lean feed, full of hastily-captured slices of life from your friends and family – and no more showing off with perfectly-prepared selfies.
On iPad, the App of the Year prize went to the superb note-taking and markup app GoodNotes 5. We gave the app a solid 4.5 rating when version 5 first dropped in 2019, and it’s gone from strength to strength since then. It’s a decent app on iPhone, but really shines when used in conjunction with Apple Pencil on iPad.
Genealogy app MacFamilyTree 10 won the prize for best Mac app, with its amazing visualizations and immersive Virtual Tree allowing users to dig into their family history.
Spanish streaming app VIX (formerly PrendeTV) won the Apple TV award, impressing Apple more than any English-language TV app this year. Note that depending on where you live, this one may not be available in your region.
Finally, the rest-focused fitness app Gentler Streak won the best Apple Watch app prize, with a beautifully-designed interface that taps into the Health app really nicely. This one’s great on all devices, but pays better attention than most to Watch features, making it a great workout tracker.
Games of the Year
Last year’s winners in gaming were high-budget affairs with showy graphics, and although the big winner follows that trend, we were pleased to see Apple rewarding plenty of smaller indie developers this year.
iPhone Game of the Year went to Apex Legends Mobile, which took a hugely popular battle royale game and somehow getting it to play well on a smartphone without cutting features.
Illusion-based puzzler Moncage won the iPad Game of the Year award, with its sumptuous cel-shaded graphics and mind-bending concept best experienced on a large display. We enjoyed this one when it launched at the tail end of 2021 and it remains a great experience.
The Mac award went to the genre-blending Inscryption, which is best described as part card game, part escape room, part psychological horror.
Apple ranked the Wild West puzzler El Hijo as the best gaming experience for Apple TV this year, with its child protagonist and focus on stealth-based gameplay.
For those of you subscribed to Apple Arcade, the top prize there went to Wylde Flowers, a cosy life sim in a world of magic and secrets.
There was a new category this year, too: China Game of the Year. That prize went to League of Legends Esports Manager, a wall-breaking management game about gamers themselves.
Cultural Impact winnters
It’s not just about the best apps, though. Several more were deemed noteworthy for the ways they “made a lasting impact on people’s lives and influenced culture.”
To that end, Apple also gave awards to the emotional wellbeing app How We Feel, the gentrification-questioning adventure Dot’s Home, the viral sensation Locket Widget, the hydration tracker Waterllama, and the historical Inuit game Inua.
Phew – that’s a lot of great apps to explore. Hope you’ve got some storage space free to check them out!