Apple celebrates 15 'App Store Best Of 2020' winners across gaming, education, and more

App Store Best Of 2020 Award
App Store Best Of 2020 Award (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has announced its App Store Best Of 2020 award winners.
  • There are 15 winners including games, tools for teaching kids, and more.
  • Each winner received a physical App Store award.

Apple today announced no fewer than 15 App Store Best Of 2020 winners with apps covering genres including Apple Arcade games, tools for helping kids learn remotely, apps to keep us moving, and more.

All 15 winners also received a physical award based on the App Store logo – and it just so happens to look like a cross between a Mac mini and an Apple TV, too. In typical Apple fashion, those awards are made from 100& recycled aluminum and have the name of the winner engraved on the side.

There's no denying that 2020 has been a year like no other and we've all been leaning on some apps more than others as we try to navigate the pandemic. Apple Fellow Phil Schiller says all 15 apps are examples of innovation – innovation that is helping deal with the unique problems 2020 has brought us.

"This year, more than ever before, some of our most creative and connected moments happened in apps. This was thanks to the amazing work of developers who introduced fresh, helpful app experiences throughout the year," said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. "Around the world, we saw remarkable efforts from so many developers, and these Best of 2020 winners are 15 outstanding examples of that innovation. From helping us stay fit and mindful, to keeping our children's education on track, to helping fight hunger, their impact was meaningful to so many of us."

The full rundown of all 15 winners reads:

Best of 2020 Winners:

  1. iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout! (Andres Canella, USA)
  2. iPhone Game of the Year: Genshin Impact (miHoYo, China)
  3. iPad App of the Year: Zoom (Zoom, USA)
  4. iPad Game of the Year: Legends of Runeterra (Riot Games, USA)
  5. Mac App of the Year: Fantastical (Flexibits, USA)
  6. Mac Game of the Year: Disco Elysium (ZA/UM (UK/Estonia)
  7. Apple TV App of the Year: Disney+ (Disney, USA)
  8. Apple TV Game of the Year: Dandara Trials of Fear (Raw Fury, Sweden)
  9. Apple Watch App of the Year: Endel (Endel, Germany)
  10. Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Sneaky Sasquatch (RAC7, Canada)
  11. App Trend of the Year: Shine for helping users practice self care (Shine, USA)
  12. App Trend of the Year: Explain Everything Whiteboard for helping bring remote classrooms to life (Explain Everything, Poland)
  13. App Trend of the Year: Caribu for connecting families to loved ones (Caribu, USA)
  14. App Trend of the Year: Pokémon GO for reinventing the way we play (Niantic, USA)
  15. App Trend of the Year: ShareTheMeal for helping users make a difference (United Nations, Germany)

I had the opportunity to speak with several of the award winners, with all of them expressing their pride at being recognized for the work they're doing. The people behind all of these apps have given us a boost throughout 2020 in their own ways and they all deserve the recognition they're receiving.

The independent developer of Wakeout! brought gentle exercise to home offices and classrooms with light-hearted and inclusive movements designed for everyone. Vast fantasy worlds in games like Genshin Impact, Legends of Runeterra, Disco Elysium, Dandara Trials of Fear and Apple Arcade's Sneaky Sasquatch delivered a great escape, while Disney+offered a sense of unlimited possibility that many craved. Whether it was to facilitate distance learning through Zoom, create daily routines with Fantastical or lull us to sleep with Endel, the App Store Best of 2020 winners helped us live our best lives at home.

If there's one thing that stands out about the list of winners it's the mix of huge companies and small indy developers. The likes of Disney+ and Zoom have come to the fore during the pandemic for obvious reasons, but the small teams behind the likes of Wakeout! and Dandara Trials of Fear have offered people ways to stay active and escape the minutiae of pandemic life, respectively.

All of the winners can be downloaded from the App Store now.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.