Apple has announced recipients of its “Best of 2019” apps and games. In announcing this year’s roundup, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said this year’s winners “reflect our global desire for connection, creativity and fun.” Apps include creative tools for photography, sketching, and graphic design. Best Games included a social-minded RPG, stylish and offbeat action and puzzle titles, and more.
Apple broke up this year’s awards separately into apps and games. First the apps:
Apple’s Best Apps of 2019
iPhone App of the Year went to Lux Optics’ Spectre Camera, a $2.99 app that uses AI to take long-exposure photographs. It’s been optimized for the iPhone 11 series.
iPad App of the Year is Moleskin’s Flow, an app that lets iPad and iPhone users draw, sketch, and write notes using tools that mimic real-world implements like pencils and chisel-tipped markers. Free with in-app purchase.
Mac App of the Year goes to Serif Labs’ Infinity Publisher, a powerful desktop publishing app suitable for laying out magazines, books, brochures and more – priced at only $34.99.
Apple TV App of the Year is The Explorers from The Explorers Network. The collaborative app enables pro and amateur videographers and photographers, scientists and others to share their content – the goal is to create “the first planet inventory” of the natural world, all in 8K HDR.
Apple also cited its official app trend of 2019, described as “storytelling simplified.” Apple praised 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).
Apple’s Best Games of 2019
Sky: Children of the Light got Apple’s nod for iPhone Game of the Year. From the same team that created Journey and Flower, it’s an RPG with a social element that lets you interact with other players as you explore seven different realms to save spirits and uncover treasures.
Heart Machine’s stylish and award-winning action role playing game Hyper Light Drifter gets the nod for Best iPad Game. The game is a throwback to 16-bit-era classics, with modernized gameplay mechanics and a greatly expanded scope.
Best Mac Game goes to Gris, the puzzle-platformer from Devolver that takes players on an emotional journey of renewal through beautifully designed and intricate light puzzles, platforming sequences and optional skill-based challenges.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap gets the nod for Best Apple TV game. This redux of a classic game from the 80’s has you in the role of a cursed half-human half-lizard on a quest for the Salamander Cross, the only thing that can save you.
Apple’s Game Trend of 2019 is “Blockbusters Reimagined,” with recognition to Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour and Dr. Mario World, Minecraft Earth from Mojang, DeNA’s Pokémon Masters, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Rebellion, Microsoft’s Gears POP!, Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls: Blades, D3PA Alien: Blackout and Activision’s Call of Duty: Mobile.
Apple Arcade launched this fall, so Apple also recognized one standout game from that new service – Sayonara Wild Hearts got the nod. “A hopeful, gorgeous and unique game — the kind that gets your adrenaline pumping and makes your spirit soar,” said Apple. “Prepare to race motorcycles, wield swords and break hearts at 200 mph.” Make sure to check out our own review of Sayonara Wild Hearts for more details.