At the end of the year, we often take a moment to look back and reflect on what marked the year. Today, Apple honored 16 of the 3.59 billion apps in its App Store that have made their mark in Apple’s ecosystem.
Much like Apple’s own mission, it looks like the 2022 winners are looking to redefine everyday practices.
“This year’s App Store Award winners have reinvented our experiences with apps that offer new, thoughtful, and authentic insights,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
The 16 featured apps range from the popular BeReal, urging people to embrace spontaneity in a highly calculated social media world, to Gentle Streak, the health app that reminds us that recovery is part of the fitness journey. .
Highlighting the intentionality behind the creation of these apps, Cook praised the recognized creators, saying they “have a meaningful impact and represent how apps and games influence our communities and our lives.” .
Read on for the full list of 2022 App Store award winners.
Also: Not sure which iPad is right for you? We break it down
iPhone app of the year
BeReal by BeReal
With over 56 million downloads and counting, BeReal has taken the social media world by storm this year. A social media app that encourages people to drop poses and calculated captions, BeReal notifies you at a different time each day to post what you’re doing at that time. The app is simple in its mission and interface. Only allowing two box images, one with the front camera and one with the rear, there is no room for photo dumps or eternal photos where you can look a little better .
While the app was initially launched in 2020, it took until this year for the app to become not just another social media platform but a shared moment among smartphone users. That said, it’s no surprise that BeReal won the 2022 title for Best iPhone App.
Also: What is BeReal? Everything you need to know about this fast-growing social media app
iPad app of the year
GoodNotes 5 from Time Base Technology Limited
Coupled with iCloud, GoodNotes 5 synchronizes your digital notes on all your Apple devices. You can draw a complex heart diagram using your iPad and Apple Pencil, then access the drawing on your Mac if you want to create a text guide. GoodNotes 5 builds on the Apple ecosystem and makes it easy to switch between multiple devices without leaving a thought or unfinished.
Mac App of the Year
MacFamily Tree 10 from Synium Software GmbH
Designed specifically for Mac, MacFamily Tree aims to be the ultimate genealogy tool. Unlike other ancestry platforms, MacFamily Tree is a comprehensive library where you can scan family records, search for entries, and even post your own. With an easy-to-use interface, the interactive tree allows for easy navigation and collaboration, so multiple people can participate. New features also include customizable editing, easy source management, and intentional grouping of people.
Plus, it can use machine learning to colorize your old photos.
AppleTV App of the Year
Vix: Spanish language movies and TV shows from TelevisaUnivision Interactive, Inc.
Developed by Telavisa Univision Interactive, VIX Cine y TV is a free streaming service specializing in Latinx entertainment. The service offers more than 20,000 hours of on-demand content, including movies, soap operas and other TV programs in Spanish. Everything is grouped by category, making the app easily navigable. Although a free streaming service means occasional advertising, the app’s user-friendly interface and “favorite” feature that lets users keep tabs on their favorite shows apparently outweighs the slight inconvenience.
Apple Watch App of the Year
Gentler Streak by Gentler Stories LLC
Redefining what a fitness routine can look like – especially on a smartwatch – Gentler Streak is an exercise and fitness tracker designed to get you more gentle with yourself. The app strives to help you find balance in your fitness journey, recognizing that rest days are part of the cycle. Equipped with customizable parameters, metric graphs and actionable insights, Gentler Streak can prevent overtraining while keeping you at an optimal level of activity. Using a user-friendly interface, the app makes it easy to choose a routine that bends to your lifestyle, not the other way around.
iPhone Game of the Year
Electronic Arts Apex Legends Mobile
Designed to immerse users in the universe of Apex Legends, the strategic battle mobile game invites you to participate in fast-paced battles with your favorite characters. Apart from amazing graphics, the app not only enables but promotes communication. People can connect, collaborate and compete on their love or similar interest in this game.
iPad Game of the Year
Moncage from XD Network Inc.
With this game, you literally have to think outside the box. Moncage, the ultimate visual puzzle unfolds from a simple cube. Each side of the cube contains seemingly unrelated worlds that you must somehow put together. With Moncage, you can unleash your imagination and medals to prove your puzzle solving skills.
Mac Game of the Year
Incorporating a card game and an escape room, Inscryption is perhaps truly a one-of-a-kind game. With maps containing dark secrets for players to solve, this game promises to keep your puzzle-solving skills and your mind sharp. Rethinking how an escape room works, this Mac game has gamers hooked.
Apple TV Game of the Year
It makes sense that Game Show of the Year revolves around a character. In this case, players follow a six-year-old child, “El Hijo”, as he overcomes obstacles, strategizes how to deal with his enemies, and gains self-confidence. El Hijo invites players to explore the Wild West with the young boy while solving puzzles, exploring abandoned towns, and using other playful tactics to continue the journey. Overall, this non-violent game promotes growth and the importance of determination.
Apple Arcade Game of the Year
Wylde Flowers from Studio Drydock Pty Ltd.
Wylde flowers is a storytelling sim that combines creation, storytelling, and exploration. As Tara, players can transform the Wylde family farm into a flourishing garden, and even turn what they grow into “food” with hundreds of recipes available.
Chinese game of the year
Tencent’s League of Legends esports manager
Opening the beta in July 2022, the mobile management game finally features players from the Spring 2022 season as well as players from previous seasons.
Cultural impact category
In addition to the above, Apple also recognized five apps that it says “have had a lasting impact on people’s lives and influenced culture.” Staying on theme, the following apps invite users to reinvent connections with themselves and with others.
How We Feel from How We Feel Project, Inc.
An emotional journal and feelings diary, How We Feel encourages users to take a moment to take note of how they feel instead of acting on it. Whether people want to find the right word to describe how they feel, track what a good day is like, or just think of a dump, How We Feel was designed so people can watch patterns over time so that they can make changes or better.
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Dot’s Home from the Rise-Home Stories Project
Marrying interactive storytelling, history, and race relations education, Dot’s Home is a video game that offers the perspective of a young black woman as players travel with her through time. This game offers players a chance to learn about systemic housing issues and communities of color in a truly empathetic way.
Medallion Widget from Locket Labs, Inc.
The Medallion Widget creates a new space for Live Photos, right on your home screen. Now every time you unlock your phone, you can see a friendly face that isn’t frozen in time. If BeReal is too much of a commitment for you, it can be a good alternative to stay present with your friends without needing a notification.
Water Llama by Vitalii Mogylevets
This app not only holds you accountable for drinking water, but makes it cute. By using adorable characters, like her iconic llama, to set drinking reminders, you can be more hydrated and motivated to stay that way. Along with logging your water intake, Waterllama also gives you fun and healthy challenges to complete throughout the day.
Inua – A Story in Ice and Time by ARTE Experience
Inua embraces the power of storytelling to navigate the Arctic in the 19th century. Following a young journalist, players will journey through a historically fictional journey that is both educational and engaging.
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