Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Apple announces the 2021 App Store Award winners and most downloaded apps of the year

Apple announces the 2021 App Store Award winners and most downloaded apps of the year

Apple today released its anticipated annual list of the best apps and games of the year across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch. This year, children’s app maker Toca Boca won iPhone App of the Year for “Toca Life World,” and Riot Games’ “League of Legends: Wild Rift” was the iPhone Game of the Year.

Other winners included the iPad App of the Year “LumaFusion” from LumaTouch; iPad Game of the Year “MARVEL Future Revolution” from Netmarble; Mac App of the Year “Craft,” from Luki Labs Limited; Mac Game of the Year “Myst,” from Cyan; Apple TV App of the Year “DAZN,” from DAZN Group; Apple TV Game of the Year “Space Marshals 3,” from Pixelbite; Apple Watch App of the Year “Carrot Weather,” from Grailr; and the Apple Arcade Game of the Year: “Fantasian,” from Mistwalker.

Typically, the award winners represent relative newcomers to the App Store, those who have taken advantage of Apple technologies in interesting ways, or those that gained special attention during the year. For example, last year’s award winners reflected how the pandemic played out in the world of apps, when home workout app “Wakeout!” won iPhone App of the Year and “Zoom” won for iPad.

But this year’s iPhone App of the Year, “Toca Life World,” is an interesting pick for another reason. Its maker, Toca Boca, this March celebrated its ten-year anniversary. In the time since the launch of its first app, the company has gone on to release over 40 other kids’ apps — or as Toca Boca likes to call them, digital toys. “Toca Life World” is the culmination of a lot of this work, as it connected the prior “Toca Life” apps into one connected experience.

Apple praised the award winner for “still masterfully iterating on the art of play and self-expression for kids,” ten years later.

The pick also serves as a subtle reminder amid a year that’s seen much App Store backlash and upheaval, that developers are building long-term businesses on the App Store and Apple has helped play a role in supporting that success, including through awards like these.

Apple also praised other winners, remarking how streaming service “DAZN” guided local sports culture into the global spotlight. Meanwhile, Apple is quietly building out a SportsKit framework for Apple TV and iOS apps, which DAZN could one day utilize, perhaps.

Apple also touted “Carrot Weather’s” best-in-class meteorological forecasts, which compete with Apple’s default Weather app and use data from Apple-owned Dark Sky. Apple promoted LumaFusion’s ability to make video editing faster and less intimidating and document editor Craft’s “efficiency and artistry.” But it’s hard to ignore that those apps also compete with Apple products — iMovie and iWork’s Pages, respectively. If anything, much of the list is a reminder of how closely the fates of third-party apps are tied to Apple’s own software developments.

The past year has been a transitional one for the App Store, which has faced increased regulatory scrutiny, new legislation in global markets, and various lawsuits over the App Store’s commission-based business model — including the ongoing one with Epic Games, now under appeal. As a result, Apple has adjusted and clarified its policies and even reduced its commissions in some cases, as dictated by the market demands and settlement agreements.

Despite the changes, the success and quality of many apps, award winners included, remains high.

In announcing its year-end winners, Apple also dubbed “Connection” as the top Trend of the Year and celebrated a number of apps and games that had a lasting impact on people’s lives with this theme in mind. This list included the cooperative and competitive game “Among Us!” from InnerSloth; dating and networking app Bumble (whose top rival, Match, happens to be a noted App Store critic); design resource Canva; local eatry guide focused on Black-owned businesses, EatOkra; and social network for women Peanut, which launched its audio chatrooms this year.

“The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year — sparking the creativity and passion of millions of users around the world,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a statement. “From self-taught indie coders to inspiring leaders building global businesses, these standout developers innovated with Apple technology, with many helping to foster the profound sense of togetherness we needed this year,” he said.

The award winners will again receive physical App Store awards, which are inspired by the signature blue App Store icon, which is set into the 100% recycled aluminum used to make Apple products, with the name of the winner engraved on the other side.

Apple also released its lists of the most downloaded apps of the year, as usual. In the U.S., the most downloaded apps are as follows:

Top Free iPhone Apps

1. TikTok
2. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
3. Instagram
4. Snapchat
5. Facebook
6. Messenger
7. Google Maps
8. Gmail – Email by Google
9. ZOOM Cloud Meetings
10. Amazon Shopping

Top Paid iPhone Apps

1. Procreate Pocket
2. HotSchedules
3. The Wonder Weeks
4. TouchRetouch
5. Facetune
6. Shadowrocket
7. 75 Hard
8. Dark Sky Weather
9. Autosleep Track Sleep on Watch
10. SkyView®

Top Free iPhone Games

1. Among Us!
2. Roblox
3. Project Makeover
4. Call of Duty®: Mobile
5. Subway Surfers
6. High Heels!
7. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
8 Water Sort Puzzle
9. Shortcut Run
10. Bridge Race

Top Paid iPhone Games

1. Minecraft
2. Heads Up!
3. Bloons TD 6
4. Monopoly
5. Geometry Dash
6. My Child Lebensborn
7. Plague Inc.
8. True Skate
9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
10. Incredibox

Top Free iPad Apps

1. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
2. ZOOM Cloud Meetings
3. Disney+
4. Netflix
5. TikTok
6. Google Chrome
7. HBO Max: Stream TV & Movies
8. Hulu: Watch TV series & movies
9. Amazon Prime Video
10. Gmail — Email by Google

Top Paid iPad Apps

1. Procreate
2. GoodNotes 5
3. Notability
4. Duet Display
5. Toca Kitchen 2
6. Toca Life: Hospital
7. LumaFusion
8. Shadowrocket
9. Affinity Designer
10. Toca Life: Vacation

Top Free iPad Games

1. Among Us!
2. Roblox
3. Project Makeover
4. Phone Case DIY
5. Subway Surfers
6. Hair Challenge
7. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
8. Tiles Hop – EDM Rush
9. Blob Runner 3D
10. Bridge Race

Top Paid iPad Games

1. Minecraft
2. Bloons TD 6
3. Geometry Dash
4. Monopoly
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s
6. Stardew Valley
7. Plague Inc.
8. Human: Fall Flat
9. Ultimate Custom Night
10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Top Apple Arcade Games

1. The Oregon Trail
2. NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition
3. Sneaky Sasquatch
4. Sonic Racing
5. SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit
6. Skate City
7. PAC-MAN Party Royale
8. Cut the Rope Remastered
9. Hot Lava
10. Angry Birds Reloaded


Related Articles

Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police