There are millions of apps and games on the Apple App Store, but every year Apple narrows that number down to just one “best” app. This year, the list is all about photos and games, with apps to help you capture your memories and have fun.
The iPhone App of the Year is a photography app Spectre Camera ($3), which uses AI to help you capture long-exposure images — the sort of thing you would usually need a DSLR camera and other pricy equipment for. It takes hundreds of photos over the span of a few seconds, then manipulates them into a long-exposure style still image. It can add motion blur to lights and water, and even remove crowds from hot tourist spots for a perfect photo.
The iPad App of the Year focused less on capturing and more on creating with Flow by Moleskine, an app for drawing and sketching. Though it's available for both iPhone and iPad, it really shines on the iPad's larger screen and works with Apple Pencil (starting at $89, check price on Amazon). You have a wide selection of materials — a tap lets you switch between different styles of pen, marker, and highlighter, or even create your own tools — as well as a variety of paper types. It does a really good job of mimicking a physical notebook, so the only thing you need in your pocket is your smartphone.
These two apps are part of a larger trend: we have our smartphones with us every day, and they’ve become our go-to means capturing the world around us in whatever way we want. With the right apps, it just takes a few taps to take photos or videos, as well as making your own drawings or notes. Apple's list of runner-ups was packed with apps to edit and organize your images and videos:
- 1 Second Everyday Video Diary
- 24FPS Video Filter
- Canva Stories and Video Maker
- Lifecake Family and Baby Photos
But with the launch of Apple Arcade ($4.99/month) this year, the platform has more than one hundred new games that you'll only find on iOS. Apple showcased this in the apps of the year, with great games topping the charts:
- iPhone Game of the Year: Sky: Children of Light
- iPad Game of the Year: Hyper Light Drifter ($5)
- Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Sayonara Wild Hearts (requires Apple Arcade subscription)
And those are just the very best of the year. If you're looking to flesh out your app library, check out Apple's full list of top titles.
[Image credit: Apple]