Apple today announced its Best of 2018 selections – its annual, editorial list of what it considers the best content across its App Store and iTunes, along with its top charts of the most downloaded apps and games fo the year. As in other years, Apple selected a “best” app and game for each platform, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac. It also rounded-up several favorite Apple Watch apps, but didn’t award a winner.
The best app of 2018 on iPhone was the iPhone version of the popular Procreate drawing app for iPad, Procreate Pocket.
Meanwhile, the top iPad app was Froggipedia, an AR app that lets you virtually dissect a frog so you don’t have to actually dissect a frog.
Both apps showcase technologies Apple aims to promote. In Procreate Pocket’s case, it’s the iPhone companion to an Apple Pencil-powered app on iPad. On the iPhone, it instead uses 3D Touch support for painting with your finger. Froggipedia turns an Apple Pencil into the scalpel to dissect a virtual frog.
On Mac, the top app was image editor Pixelmator Pro, and top Apple TV app was the big-screened version of workout app Sweat, whose creator Kayla Itsines also showed up at WWDC this year to lead a special session.
The top games this year were: Donut County (iPhone), Gorogoa (iPad), The Gardens Between (Mac) and Alto’s Odyssey (Apple TV) – the latter which also won an Apple Design Award earlier this year.
Showcasing their somewhat secondary status, Apple Watch apps didn’t get a “best of” pick for app and game, but a small group got a shoutout from Apple as being “favorites.”
This includes: WaterMinder, Lifesum, 10% Happier, Carrot Weather, FunGolf GPS, Swing Tennis Tracker, Slopes, App in the Air, Overcast, and Just Press Record.
In addition to its “Best of” apps, Apple also identified 2018 app trends, which included “self-care” apps in the non-gaming space, and Battle Royale-style gaming (e.g. Fortnite and PUBG Mobile) as the game trend.
Notably, a self-care app – meditation app Calm – won the best iPhone app of 2017, so this is trend that’s not dying down. Though not a “Best of” pick on iPhone or iPad, Apple did give a shout-out to wellness and self-care apps, noting that Fabulous, Shine, 10% Happier and Headspace had a good year.
While its “Best of” selections were editorially chosen, Apple also unveiled its year-end “Top Charts” across iPhone and iPad, which were separated by both apps and games (free and paid).
These are the most downloaded app of 2018. The lists still show Facebook, YouTube, Google, and other entertainment apps dominating the top free charts.