Apple celebrates the best apps and games of 2019

Best Apps and games
Best Apps and games (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has held an event to celebrate the best apps and games of 2019.
  • Awards were given to several apps for iOS and Mac, as well as games on both platforms and Apple Arcade.
  • Winners include Spectre Camera, Sky:Children of the Light and Flow by Moleskine.

Apple has revealed the winners of its App Store Best of 2019, handing out a pile of awards to apps and games on iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, and Apple Arcade.

Apple announced in November it would be holding an event on December 2 to honor the best apps and games of this year. Now, in a press release Apple has confirmed the full scope of the awards and all of the winners. In the release it said:

Today Apple revealed the best apps and games and the most powerful trends that drove app culture in 2019. Apps help simplify our lives and express our creativity, connect us to friends, family and the world beyond, and of course, have fun. In 2019, apps made their mark by reflecting the zeitgeist of our society and sitting at the nexus of digital and pop culture.

Best Apps of 2019

  • iPhone App of the Year: Spectre Camera (Lux Optics)
  • iPad App of the Year: Flow by Moleskine (Moleskine)
  • Mac App of the Year: Affinity Publisher (Serif Labs)
  • Apple TV App of the Year: The Explorers (The Explorers Network)

Apple also gave a nod to the App trend of 2019, which it called Storytelling Simplified:

In 2019, a groundswell of apps helped us fill the proverbial blank page with our memories, dreams, images, and voices—and did so with more power and personality than ever. With apps like Anchor (Anchor FM), Canva: Stories & Video Maker (Canva), Unfold (Unfold Creative), Steller (Expedition Travel Advisor), Spark Camera (Dayworks), Over (Over, Inc) and Wattpad (Wattpad Corp), anyone can express themselves through moving podcasts, one-of-a-kind novels, and true-to-life photo collages in an easier way than ever before.

Best Games of 2019

  • iPhone Game of the Year: "Sky: Children of the Light" (thatgamecompany)
  • iPad Game of the Year: "Hyper Light Drifter" (Abylight S.L.)
  • Mac Game of the Year: "GRIS" (Devolver / Nomada Studio)
  • Apple TV Game of the Year: "Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap" (DotEmu)

The Game Trend of 2019 was Blockbusters Reimagined, which gives a nod to all of the monster games we saw brought to iOS and Apple this year, including Mario Kart, Minecraft Earth and Call of Duty:

This year, game developers worldwide burst onto iOS with a wave of world-renowned brands, all featuring leading-edge technology, bold design and innovative features that delivered a level of depth and quality never thought possible on mobile. Hits like "Mario Kart Tour" and "Dr. Mario World" (Nintendo), "Minecraft Earth" (Mojang), "Pokémon Masters" (DeNA Co), "Assassin's Creed Rebellion" (Ubisoft), "Gears POP!" (Microsoft Corporation), "The Elder Scrolls: Blades" (Bethesda), Alien: Blackout (D3PA) and "Call of Duty: Mobile" (Activision Publishing) aren't mere remakes or tributes — they are original releases that breathed new life into the most beloved franchises in gaming history.

The Apple Arcade Game of the Year award was given to Sayonara Wild Hearts, developed by Simogo. Apple noted that the App Store continues to revolutionize the way we work and live, and says that it has earned developers $120 billion worldwide. It also says that the App Store is "the world's safest and most vibrant app marketplace", and that over half a billion people visit each week. It also announced the charts for the top free apps and games of 2019. The top free app was YouTube, and the top free game was Mario Kart Tour.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9