Apple reveals best apps and games of 2019

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
Apple on Tuesday unveiled the top apps of 2019, following its usual annual format of arranging selections by category. In addition to the typical end of year press release, the company also celebrated its picks with developers at a special event in New York.

Best Apps


Apple staged proceedings almost one year to the day after it announced the best apps of 2018. The app-centric event was not streamed or broadcast, and those in attendance did not share photos from Apple's New York City loft (though one image showing an envelope embossed with the App Store logo and text reading "And the winners are..." was posted on social media before it was quickly removed).

As previously reported, the gathering was designed to celebrate the best software of the year. For 2019, Apple broke with convention and concentrated on apps and games instead of promoting top selections across all of the media it serves, such as movies, TV and music. A separate set of streaming music accolades, dubbed the Apple Music Awards, were revealed on Monday, with Apple planning to live stream a special awards ceremony on Dec. 4.

Announced in a press release, Apple's iPhone app of the year went to Lux Optics' Spectre Camera, an AI-powered photography app that packs in "a dizzying amount of tech" to accomplish long-exposure photos. Digital notebook app Flow by Moleskine was the top iPad app, while Serif Labs' Affinity Publisher publishing and design app took top honors for Mac. The Explorers, an app designed to "create a comprehensive 'visual inventory' of the natural world through photo and video," ranked as the year's best Apple TV app.

Apple says the app trend of 2019 was "Storytelling Simplified," with titles like podcast app Anchor, Canva: Stories & Video Maker, collage app Unfold, Steller, Spark Camera, Over and Wattpad exemplifying the wide array of software available to storytellers.

Sky: Children of the Light was named iPhone game of the year, while Hyper Light Drifter, GRIS and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap received top awards for iPad, Mac and Apple TV, respectively. Following its debut in September, Apple Arcade saw its first App Store award granted in Sayonara Wild Hearts, which snagged game of the year.

"Blockbusters Reimagined" was the gaming trend of 2019, with standouts including Mario Kart Tour and Dr. Mario World, Minecraft Earth, Pokemon Masters, Assassin's Creed Rebellion, Gears POP!, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Alien: Blackout and Call of Duty: Mobile.

Previously, the lists of best or favorite apps in different categories have been released in the relevant sections of the App Store or iTunes Store.

In 2018, the best app was Procreate Pocket on iPhone, with Froggipedia and Pixelmator Pro listed as the best for the iPad and Mac, respectively.

Back in 2017, meditation app Calm was selected as the best general iPhone app, while Affinity Photo took the prize for best iPad title.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,186member
    Crickets ...
  • Reply 2 of 6

    Congratulations to Affinity (Publisher) for this well deserved award! Can't wait to see what more they have in store for us in the future!

    And, Studio Link is just...brilliant! Keep up the great work!

    Just as an aside...It never ceases to amaze me how some people complain that Publisher doesn't do this or that, or can't bear the thought that there could be a .0 upgrade fee (2.0, 3.0, etc.). The fact is that no 1.0 version of any major DTP package was as full featured or priced as low as Publisher.

    My wish list for Affinity, other than continuing their work on Designer, Photo, and Publisher is for a DAM (Digital Asset Management) app.

    edited December 2019 cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 6

     Can't wait to see what more they have in store for us in the future!

    (cough) The answer to that may end up being: not much.

    Do some research into the history of the company now known as Serif (and the company it was prior to being known as "Serif"). They have a some curious habits in terms of how they treat their users and their long-term commitment to their products. 

    I mean, use the software if it does what you need it to—They're fine products. Just don't expect much beyond what they are right now. 
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 4 of 6
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,217member
    I played Sky, Children of the Light. It was OK, but not my thing. It was beautiful, but I didn't realize you needed to play cooperatively. 
    GRIS is beautiful. Loved the game. 

  • Reply 5 of 6
    neoncat said:

     Can't wait to see what more they have in store for us in the future!

    (cough) The answer to that may end up being: not much.

    Do some research into the history of the company now known as Serif (and the company it was prior to being known as "Serif"). They have a some curious habits in terms of how they treat their users and their long-term commitment to their products. 

    I mean, use the software if it does what you need it to—They're fine products. Just don't expect much beyond what they are right now. 

    I have read that many Serif users were upset with their abandonment of their old products. Judging by your comments, I'm guessing that you are one of them or have had other negative experiences with Serif in the past before they became Affinity, and I'm sorry about that. But, you could have said, "Just don't expect much beyond what they are right now" after they released Designer and then after they released Photo (I don't recall which was first) and look where we are now.

    Perhaps the leadership at Affinity has learned lessons and grown from their experiences in the past to not repeat those mistakes...the marketplace has changed dramatically over that time. Perhaps, their ownership/leadership has changed. I know I have changed and matured over the years.

    I'm happy with the quality of the Award winning products Affinity has produced, the bargain prices, and the support I've received for Designer, Photo, and now Publisher. I'm judging them on my experiences and the quality of their software.

    That said, I can certainly relate to not trusting/supporting a company because of their previous actions: Adobe and their decision to rent software and Quark's lack of customer service and long delays in updating their software.

    I can only hope that you are wrong and just experienced their worst, but time will tell.

    edited December 2019 cornchipmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 6

    I'm happy with the quality of the Award winning products Affinity has produced, the bargain prices, and the support I've received for Designer, Photo, and now Publisher. I'm judging them on my experiences and the quality of their software.

    That said, I can certainly relate to not trusting/supporting a company because of their previous actions: Adobe and their decision to rent software and Quark's lack of customer service and long delays in updating their software.

    I can only hope that you are wrong and just experienced their worst, but time will tell.

    Thank you for such a polite reply—a rarity on AI sometimes. And I hope my message didn't come across as, "YOU'LL SEE!" ... not at all my intent. Serif and its products get a lot of praise from Mac users in particular, and their support of MacOS and iOS is to be lauded. I just think given some of their history, and the struggles they have providing timely technical support for their products right now, means some caution is in order before basing an entire vertical workflow on their software. They're still a very small company competing against billion dollar behemoths with 99% marketshare. That's just the reality of the situation. They've shown a level of disorganization in the past that is at odds with the quality of their products, and that's a shame. As you say, the market benefits from their presence and hopefully they've learned something from their past struggles. If so, we all stand to benefit.
    edited December 2019 sportyguy209cornchipmuthuk_vanalingam
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