IMORE PRESENTS

THE BEST OF 2013 EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS

They're what change the way we get things done and how we have fun. They're what compel us to replace what was in our pocket, on our lap or our desk, on our Home screens, in our workflows, and in our hearts with what's new and what’s next. They're what challenge our preconceptions, force us to forget what came before, and make it impossible for us to imagine how we ever lived without them. They're the devices, the apps, the games, and the accessories that affected us the most this year. They're our 2013 iMore Editors Choice Award winners!



iOS

iOS DEVICE OF 2013

iPad Air

When you pick up the iPad Air, you're once again left to wonder how Apple could possibly make so glorious a screen and powerful a device feel so insanely light.

Runners-up: iPhone 5s, Retina iPad mini

iOS FEATURE OF 2013

Just-in-time multitasking

People don’t care when something happens as long as it happens before they need it. iOS 7 just-in-time multitasking is how all power- efficient mobile backgrounding should work.

Runners-up: Control Center, iCloud Keychain

iOS APP OF 2013

Duolingo

A 5 year old can sit on the couch with an iPod touch and, with our iOS app of the year — and education app of the year — Duolingo, learn Italian or German or English or one of several other languages. A lot. This is the future we've been waiting for.

Runner-up: Tweetbot 3

iOS GAME OF 2013

Badland

Combining gorgeous, atmospheric graphics and clever, physics-based gameplay, our iOS game of the year — and action game of the year — Badland breathed new life into the endless runner genre.

Runners-up: Candy Crush Saga, Ridiculous Fishing

iOS APPS

iOS PRODUCTIVITY APP OF 2013

Editorial

When you take a great text editor and ratchet it up with powerful automation features, you get Editorial, and a lot of geeks really excited.

Runners-up: Fantastical 2, Vesper

(Dave Wiskus, the designer of Vesper, has written music reviews for iMore in the past.)

iOS HEALTH OR FITNESS APP OF 2013

Nike+ Move

The iPhone 5s introduced the Apple M7 motion coprocessor, allowing the device already in our pocket to track the steps we were already taking. Nike+ Move does just that. In style.

Runner-up: Fitbit

iOS ENTERTAINMENT APP OF 2013

Netflix

Always a great service, Netflix struggled at the beginning to also be a great app. No longer. With 3 big updates in 2013, include an updated interface, and the addition of Netflix HD and proper AirPlay, it's now both.

Runners-up: Songza 3, iTunes Radio

iOS KIDS APP OF 2013

Disney Animated

Take the magic of the iPad and infuse it with the magic of Walt’s kingdom and what do you get? Disney Animated, of course, and decades of artistic and cinematic wonder at the tips of your fingers. (For kids of all ages!)

Runner-up: Endless Alphabet

iOS MUSIC OR AUDIO APP OF 2013

djay 2

How do you make an Apple Design Award winning app even better? By doing what djay 2 did and harmonizing, not replacing, the best of traditional with the best of digital.

Runners-up: PocketCasts 4, GarageBand 2

iOS PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO APP OF 2013

iMovie 2

Sometimes the only way to move forward is to step back, regroup, and pick a better path. That's exactly what Apple did with its iLife and iWork apps this year. And, while iWork has a lot of catching up to do, iMovie is already breaking new ground.

Runner-up: VSCO Cam

iOS NEWS OR READING APP OF 2013

The Loop Magazine 2

What do you do when you have a successful Newsstand app? If you're Jim Dalrymple you ditch your old platform for Glide and make The Loop Magazine exponentially more immersive and impressive.

Runners-up: Feed Wrangler, Reeder 2

iOS SOCIAL OR COMMUNICATIONS APP OF 2013

Tweetbot 3

Some thought iOS 7 would mean the death of big design and big personality. Tweetbot 3 proved it meant the transformation instead, with nowhere near the texture but every bit the charm and considerably more delight.

Runners-up: App.net, Google Hangouts

iOS SPORTS APP OF 2013

ESPN SportsCenter

In 2013 ESPN ScoreCenter became ESPN SportsCenter and, along with a new design and new features for iOS 7, it kept every sports fan up-to-date faster and better than ever.

Runner-up: FIFA

iOS UTILITY APP OF 2013

Screens VNC 3

With a new look for iOS 7 also came a new engine, keeping Screens VNC 3 not only the best VNC app on mobile, but making it even faster and better. Running your workstation from the pool? A dream no more.

Runners-up: DeskConnect, PCalc 3

iOS GAMES

iOS KIDS GAME OF 2013

Despicable Me: Minion Rush

Easy to pick up, challenging to master, not even the ugh-inducing freemium model could sour the excellent gameplay and engaging characters that make up Despicable Me: Minion Rush.

Runner-up: Dumb Ways to Die

iOS PUZZLE GAME OF 2013

Candy Crush Saga

On one hand, Candy Crush Saga is one of the most popular, most successful games we’ve ever seen. On the other, it achieves this popularity and success by engaging in what amounts to psychological warfare against its players. Love it or hate it, we simply can’t deny it.

Runners-up: Dots, Spaceteam

iOS RACING GAME OF 2013

Real Racing 3

Time was Firemint made the best racer in mobile. Now owned by Electronic Arts, Real Racing 3 freemium frustrations tore a some of the fun out of the franchise, but none of the gorgeous graphics or amazing gameplay.

Runner-up: Asphalt 8: Airborne,

iOS RPG OF 2013

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

It’s 3D. It’s real money up-front instead of insidious in-app purchases throughout. It’s gorgeous. It’s enthralling. And it’s on the iPhone. It’s Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.

Runner-up: The Shadow Sun

iOS ACCESSORIES

iOS DOCK OF 2013

EverDock (Duo)

What if you could charge any phone you had, iPhone or Android? What if you could change any device you had, iPhone or iPad? With the EverDock and EverDock Duo you can. Beautifully.

iOS STYLUS OF 2013

Pencil by 53

It looks old world but is filled with the newest technology. It fits in your hand and frees it. Last year Paper by 53 changed the way we sketched on our iPads. This year, Pencil by 53 changed what we sketched with.

Runners-up: Pogo Connect + brush tips, Jot Script

iOS SPEAKER OF 2013

SONOS Play:1

How do you take all the amazing power and connectivity of a SONOS speaker and make it small enough to fit anywhere, and inexpensive enough to fit almost any budget? You release the SONOS Play:1, of course.

Runners-up: SONOS PLAYBAR, MINI JAMBOX

MAC

MAC OF 2013

Mac Pro

Not innovating any more? Phil Schiller's ass! The last of Apple's Macs to go the appliance route, the new Mac Pro is big, bold bet on the future of OpenCL based computing.

Runner-up: Haswell MacBook Air

MAC OS X FEATURE OF 2013

Energy savings

Steve Jobs once asked his engineers why a MacBook Air didn't boot as fast and last as long on a charge as an iPad. It took a few years, some new chipsets, and OS X Mavericks's timer coalescing, app nap, and battery shaming, but now it does.

Runners-up: Interactive notifications, multi-monitor support

MAC APP OF 2013

Napkin

Where previously only a few of us were experienced and fast enough to make diagrams in Photoshop in a couple of hours, now each and every one of us can easily make great looking diagrams in Napkin in minutes. Also our Mac productivity app of the year, nothing saved us more time in 2013, and that’s priceless.

(One of the developers of Napkin, Guy English, is co-host of the Debug podcast on the Mobile Nations network. In the interests of full disclosure, Napkin received the most votes from iMore/Mobile Nations staff for Mac app of the year, and was the unanimous choice for productivity app of the year.)

Runner-up: iMovie 10

MAC GAME OF 2013

Bioshock Infinite

If the steampunk setting isn’t enough to grab you, the incredible story, incredible gameplay, and new episodes of Bioshock Infinite — also our Mac action game of the year — will put you in a full body lock, in your chair, in front of your screen, unable to do anything but enjoy the ride of your gaming life.

Runner-up: The Stanley Parable

MAC APPS

MAC ENTERTAINMENT APP OF 2013

Plex Home Theater

Out of beta and high on life, Plex Home Theater forks much of the power of XBMC into a highly polished package suitable for anyone to run on any Mac to watch pretty much anything.

Runner-up: iBooks

MAC MUSIC OR AUDIO OF 2013

Logic Pro X

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Apple takes a beloved but neglected pro app and gives it a mainstream makeover. Frustrating some old users, it’s now accessible to far, far more new ones. This year was Logic Pro X’s turn. And it was about time.

Runners-up: DM1: The Drum Machine, Instacast

MAC NEWS OR READING APP OF 2013

ReadKit

Google Reader might have died in 2013, but with apps like ReadKit not only do we no longer miss it, but we’re kinda glad it’s dead. With RSS and read-later support, it’s not only how many of us keep up with the news, but how we get our jobs done.

MAC PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO APP OF 2013

Ember

Taking what was already good about Littlesnapper and transforming it into a more powerful, more diverse cataloging tool for pros and casual users alike makes Ember not only an awesome-to-have, but a must-have.

Runners-up: Acorn 4, Pixelmator 3

MAC UTILITY APP OF 2013

1Password 4

When Apple “Sherlocks” your app with something like iCloud Keychain, you have two choices: quit and go home, or do what 1Password 4 did and make “Sherlock”-aid. Better looking and easier to use than ever, even post OS X Mavericks, it’s our go-to security solution.

Runner-up: Disk Diag

MAC DEVELOPER APP OF 2013

Kaleidoscope 2

If keeping track of the differences between multiple versions of text, folders, and images feels like a nightmare, then Black Pixel’s reforged Kaleidoscope 2 is dream come true.

Runner-up: Reveal

MAC GAMES

MAC FAMILY GAME OF 2013

LEGO Lord of the Rings

You must play! We are servants of the secret LOGO, wielders of the blocks of LotR. You must play! The dark seriousness will not avail you, flame of adulthood! Go back to the Mac! You! Must! Play! (LEGO Lord of the Rings, that is!

Runner-up: Rayman Origins

MAC PUZZLE GAME OF 2013

KAMI

Fold some paper, try to fill your screen, and what do you get? KAMI, one of the best looking, best playing Mac puzzle games yet. Bet you can’t play just once.

Runner-up: Blast Away

MAC RPG OF 2013

Shadowrun Returns

Maybe you played the original pen-and-paper game, maybe the Nintendo classic, or maybe you’re only just now about to discover one of the most richly textured, most compelling pieces of science-fantasy ever made. Deckers rejoice, Shadowrun Returns is here.

MAC STRATEGY GAME OF 2013

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a brand new game inspired by the classic X-COM: UFO Defense. New story, new enemies and new technologies, hostile aliens, what's not to love?

Runner-up: DOTA 2

MAC ACCESSORIES

MAC STORAGE APPLIANCE OF 2013

AirPort Time Capsule

Apple’s Time Capsule grew up this year. Literally. It went from being short and stout to tall and even more powerful. With 802.11ac and up to 3TB of storage, the new AirPort Time Capsule is still the easiest way for most people to keep backed up most of the time.

Runners-up: Synology Diskstation, Promise Pegasus

MAC KEYBOARD OF 2013

Matias Quiet Pro

If you’re looking to go mechanical for the first time, look no further. If you’re already familiar with the Tactile Pro, you’ll be right at home with the mechanical feel of the Matias Quiet Pro. The only thing missing is the clickety-clack, which many won’t miss at all.

MAC MOUSE APPLIANCE OF 2013

Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac

Even if you believe Apple makes the best products in the world, that belief may not extend as far as the mouse. Logitech, on the other hand, has been making some of the best pointing device sin the world for years. The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac is just the latest in that long line, near-legendary line.

More awards and your awards!

How did your picks vary from ours? Check out iMore's 2013 readers choice awards and find out, and if your favorite didn't make either list, tell us all about it in the comments!

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