Apple has announced the best apps, games and trends that drove culture in 2019. At its special event in New York City on December 2, the company revealed the best apps and games on its platform this year. The company also announced the first ever Apple Music awards at the event. Unlike other Apple event, this one seems to have been subdued in nature and meant to celebrate app developers than the product on which their apps run. “The 2019 App Store Best Apps and Games winners reflect our global desire for connection, creativity and fun,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Best apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
Spectre Camera is iPhone App of the Year
Apple has crowned Spectre Camera by Lux Optics LLC has the best app for iPhone in 2019. The app, available for iPhone and iPad, is made by the developer behind popular Halide Camera. It leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to create long exposure images. It can remove crowds, turning city streets into rivers of light and even make waterfalls look like paintings. “From machine learning-based scene detection to computer vision aided image stabilization, Spectre is jammed full of impressive technologies to get the best possible image,” the developer explains in app description.
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Flow by Moleskine is the iPad App of the Year
Flow by Moleskine has won Apple’s recognition for iPad app of the year in 2019. The app brings Moleskine notebook experience to iOS and allows users to create simple drawings, complex works of art or takes notes like you would on a Moleskine notebook using iPhone or iPad. The free app is also compatible with Apple Pencil and offers dozens of combinations for paper types, colors, and tools.
Affinity Publisher is Mac App of the Year
This year, Apple made it easier for app developers to bring their iPhone or iPad app to Mac App Store as part of Catalyst. While major app developers are still translating their existing codes for Mac, the Affinity Publisher by Serif Labs has won Mac App of the Year. The app makes it easier for anyone to access pro-level design. Priced at $49.99, it also offers superior user experience.
The Explorers wins Apple TV App of the Year
Apple has crowned The Explorers by The Explorers Network as Apple TV app of the year. The free app is designed as a collaborative environment for explorers. The app is designed with a common goal: “To create a comprehensive ‘visual inventory’ of the natural world through photo and video.”
Best games for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
Sky: Children of the Light is iPhone game of the year
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sky: Children of the Light by thatgamecompany is Apple’s iPhone game of 2019. The app allows users to fly across landscapes and interact with celestial beings and find their way back to the heavens. The game is developed by award-winning creators behind Journey, which won 2013 Game of The Year.
Hyper Light Drifter is iPad game of the year
According to Apple, Hyper Light Drifter by Abylight S.L. is the best iPad game of the year. It is an action-packed re-imagining of a classic 16-bit adventure game for the App Store. It features 120fprs gameplay on the iPad Pro and is the winner of the Audience Award and Excellence in Visual Art awards of the prestigious Independent Games Festival.
GRIS is Mac Game of the Year
While one would expect a powerful game to win Mac Game of the Year, GRIS is an outlier. The puzzle-platformer by Devolver wins the crown for its work of digital art. This $9.99 app revolves around a hopeful young girl lost in her own world and the game is all about her journey.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is Apple TV Game of the Year
Apple TV, with the release of new tvOS, has become a prominent platform for games. With the award for Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, Apple shows that quality of games remain noteworthy on the platform. The $7.99 game is developed by Lizardcube with cooperation of series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa. The game is a throwback to the beloved game from the 1980s, in which a lone half-lizard adventurer sets off on the challenge of a lifetime. The game stands out for its hand-drawn animation and a re-orchestrated soundtrack.
Sayonara Wild Hearts wins Apple Arcade Game of the Year
With the release of iOS 13, Apple also introduced Arcade as a game subscription service. The service brings 100+ games available exclusively through Arcade and the company is announcing Sayonara Wild Hearts as the Apple Arcade Game of the Year. The game developed by Simogo and published by Annapurna Interactive that lets users race motorcycles, wield swords and break hearts at 200mph.
App and Game trends of 2019
While Apple has picked best apps and games of this year for its platform, there are apps and games that continue to chart higher. Apps like Anchor, Canva: Stories & Video Maker, Unfold, Steller, Spark Camera, Over and Wattpad win accolades for being apps that allow anyone to express themselves in a unique way. Apple says app that simplified storytelling became popular in 2019. On the gaming front, Apple says blockbusters reimagined for modern age became an instant hit.
Apple cites games like Mario Kart Tour, Dr. Mario World, Minecraft Earth, Pokemon Masters, Assassin’s Creed Rebellion, Gears POP!, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Alien: Blackout and Call of Duty: Mobile on the App Store as examples. These games, per Apple, are original releases that breathed new life into the most beloved franchises in the gaming industry.