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Apple reveals 37 finalists for the 2023 App Store Awards

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Each year, Apple’s editorial team picks out the more impressive apps and games of the year in a variety of categories. Though we won’t find out the winners until later this month, the finalists have been revealed and there are some fantastic entries this year.

“We are excited about the achievements of these App Store Award finalists who are helping users around the world to explore their interests in drawing, design, video editing, education, music, time management, working out, hiking, playing games, and so much more,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “These finalists are all incredibly talented and have put enormous effort into creating these great apps and games. We are inspired by their accomplishments and look forward to announcing the winners of the App Store Awards later this month.”

With the actual top prizes somewhat arbitrary and subjective, we feel the shortlist actually gives a better representation of what the App Store has to offer. Included below is a mix of big, predictable names and experimental indie titles alike. We’ve covered many of them before, and will link through to our verdicts where appropriate.

iPhone App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPhone App of the Year category helped users discover more ways to explore and learn new skills:

AllTrails, for helping the world find their way outside.
Duolingo, for bringing learning to the masses. (30 Days with Duolingo)
Flighty, for keeping travelers on time and stress-free at the airport.

iPhone Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPhone Game of the Year category invited players to new adventures with lush graphics on iPhone:

Afterplace, for creating a retro role-playing game with intuitive controls.
Honkai: Star Rail, for building a space fantasy adventure with cinematic animation.
Vampire Survivors, for inspiring a new roguelike action genre. (Read our review)

iPad App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPad App of the Year category helped users tap into their creativity through multiple mediums:

Concepts, for creating innovative drawing tools and dynamic color palettes. (Read our review)
DaVinci Resolve, for creating a more portable video editing experience.
Prêt-à-Makeup, for bringing makeup designs to life for all beauty enthusiasts.

iPad Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPad Game of the Year category enchanted gamers with visual storytelling, intuitive controls, and absurd obstacles:

Eggy Party, for crafting whimsical and joyful experiences for users.
Lost in Play, for delivering charming visuals and gameplay for all ages.
Pocket City 2, for inviting players to build from their imagination.

Mac App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Mac App of the Year category inspired focus and creativity for users:

Linearity Curve, for crafting innovative design tools for pros and aspiring designers.
Photomator, for making the photo editing workflow faster and simpler.
Portal, for immersing users in beautiful landscapes and spatial audio.

Mac Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Mac Game of the Year category delivered rich storylines and graphics:

ELEX II, for transporting players to a dynamic Science Fantasy world.
Lies of P, for delivering smooth gameplay with an alternative twist on a classic tale.
Return to Monkey Island, for building on its iconic point-and-click adventure.

Apple Watch App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Apple Watch App of the Year category made it even easier to get all the information users need right from their wrist:

Planny, for intelligently helping users stay on top of tasks.
SmartGym, for creating smart and targeted workouts at any skill level.
Tide Guide, for offering water enthusiasts real-time marine conditions.

Apple TV App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Apple TV App of the Year category brought stunning experiences to the biggest screen in the home:

Bugsnax, for capturing mystery and charm through its gameplay.
FitOn, for offering a range of workout experiences with popular trainers and celebrities.
MUBI, for bringing quality cinema to users’ homes.

Apple Arcade Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Apple Arcade Game of the Year category delivered endless entertainment this year:

Cityscapes, for inspiring players with a sustainable and purposeful twist.
Hello Kitty Island Adventure, for taking players on a grand adventure with adorable creatures.
stitch., for bringing the meditative art of embroidery to more users.

Cultural Impact Finalists

Through powerful missions, finalists in the Cultural Impact category fostered new ways to connect and celebrate the world’s diversity and wonder.

balance, for making menopause support more inclusive and accessible to all.
Copilot, for simplifying personal finance.
Endling, for inspiring players to focus on environmental impact.
Finding Hannah, for connecting women across generations through gameplay.
How to Say Goodbye, for helping users process difficult emotions.
Pok Pok, for helping kids learn, explore, and experiment in a digital playroom. (Read our review)
Proloquo, for supporting communication without speech.
Rebel Girls, for turning bedtime stories into a discovery of heroic women throughout time.
Too Good To Go, for helping to reduce food waste at restaurants, bakeries, and supermarkets.
Unpacking, for crafting soul-soothing puzzles.