It’s that time of the year. Another year has almost passed and that means we’ve seen thousands of new apps and games hit the App Store. Some apps have been drastically overhauled to represent something completely different while matching Apple’s design aesthetic on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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As is the case every December, Apple has published a new blog post detailing the best apps and games that were released over the last year. The list includes many options that we’ve heard of before, and likely are using ourselves, but there are also a few surprises in the ranks.
Best Apps of 2021
Kicking things off, Apple shared what the best apps of the year were, including options for every platform including the Apple TV and Apple Watch. Out of this list of apps, seeing DAZN as the best Apple TV app comes as a bit of a surprise given that it’s not as widely used. But others like Craft and Carrot Weather are two apps that are near and dear to our hearts.
- iPhone App of the Year: Toca Life World
- iPad App of the Year: LumaFusion
- Mac App of the Year: Craft – Docs and Notes Editor
- Apple TV App of the Year: DAZN
- Apple Watch App of the Year: Carrot Weather
Best Games of 2021
Over the course of 2021, Apple’s lineup of devices have turned into gaming powerhouses, with game studios and developers jumping on board. While we are still longing for parity between macOS and Windows, there are still plenty of fantastic games to choose from. Here are the winners for the best games of the year:
- iPhone Game of the Year: League of Legends: Wild Rift
- iPad Game of the Year: MARVEL Future Revolution
- Mac Game of the Year: Myst
- Apple TV Game of the Year: Space Marshals 3
- Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Fantasian
Most Downloaded Apps and Games
Taking things a step further, Apple shared the most downloaded apps and games across a few different categories. Free and paid apps are included for both the iPhone and iPad, along with the most popular free or paid games. Apple even shared the most popular Apple Arcade games that were downloaded in 2021. Here’s the list that Apple announced, including links so you can download and try something out if you’ve never used it before.
- Free iPhone Apps
- Paid iPhone Apps
- Free iPhone Games
- Paid iPhone Games
- Free iPad Apps
- Paid iPad Apps
- Free iPad Games
- Paid iPad Games
- Apple Arcade Games
What Are Your Favorite Apps and Games?
We’re still working on our favorite apps and games of the year, but we want to hear from you. What apps and games stood out to you over the past year? It’s an exciting time to be in the Apple ecosystem, as the M1 is now in the iPad Pro, and the new M1 Pro and Max processors have landed on the Mac. Drop us a line in the comments below and maybe we’ll feature your app in our year-end roundup!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.