As 2023 reaches its final crescendo and the year concludes, it’s not just your favourite tunes getting a rewind. From YouTube Music to Spotify, and now Apple unveiling its App Store Award winners – every tech heavyweight is throwing its own wrap-up party. The Cupertino giant recently announced the winners of the 2023 App Store Awards, highlighting the apps and games that have redefined user experiences and set new benchmarks for excellence.
In total, the company spotlighted 14 apps and games out of the current 1.8 million available on the iOS App Store. These apps and games “empowered users to unleash their creativity, discover a world of new adventures, and have fun with family and friends.” Here’s a list of the best apps of 2023, according to the Apple App Store Awards:
App of the Year 2023 Winners
Game of the Year
Cultural Impact Winners
The winners of the 2023 App Store Awards feature developers from various corners of the world, and their apps and games were handpicked by the App Store’s Editorial team for delivering meaningful experiences and inspiring cultural change. According to Apple, the winners of the 2023 App Store Awards were chosen from a pool of nearly 40 finalists, recognized for “delivering exceptional technical innovation, user experience, and design.” The winners also “showcase the scope of creativity, technical innovation, and design possible across the App Store and Apple’s ecosystem.”
The 2023 App Store Award Winners fall into three distinct categories: App of the Year, Game of the Year, and Cultural Impact Winners. Among these, Cultural Impact Winners stand out for “their ability to drive positive change through apps and games.” In the apps category, AllTrail nabbed the title of iPhone App of the Year, while Prêt-à-Makeup took home the accolade for iPad App of the Year. The Mac App of the Year was awarded to Photomator, and Mubi claimed the prestigious Apple TV App of the Year. SmartGym, on the other hand, emerged victorious as the Apple Watch App of the Year.
On the gaming side of things, Honkai: Star Rail, which also nabbed this year’s Google Play Awards was crowned iPhone Game of the Year. Snapbreak Games’ Lost in Play took home the iPad Game of the Year, competing against tough contenders like Eggy Party and Pocket City 2. Lies of P claimed the esteemed title of Mac Game of the Year. Lastly, Hello Kitty Island Adventure, developed by Sunblink, was celebrated as the Apple Arcade Game of the Year.
Additionally, Apple recognized 5 Cultural Impact Winners that stood out for encouraging users to “learn and grow in an inclusive and accessible space, contribute toward a more sustainable future, and explore self-reflection and connection across generations.” Among these standout apps are Pok Pok, a digital toy room designed for kids, providing a blend of entertainment and educational experiences. Proloquo by AssistiveWare, “a pioneer in accessibility apps for over a decade”, focuses on creating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools, revolutionizing global communication methods.
Too Good to Go was acknowledged for its impactful role in reducing food waste and promoting sustainability. Unpacking by Humble Bundle offers a captivating block-fitting puzzle game that provides users with an engaging and thought-provoking gaming experience. Finally, Finding Hannah by Fein Games takes users on a serene hidden object puzzle journey, delving into the nuanced exploration of a woman navigating a mid-life crisis. These Cultural Impact Winners showcase the diverse ways in which apps contribute positively to users’ lives, spanning education, accessibility, sustainability, and meaningful gaming experiences.
Amid a tech-packed year, Apple shook things up by introducing a category that perfectly captures the ongoing frenzy around AI and generative chatbots — aptly named “Trend of the Year.” Given the widespread excitement and hype surrounding the tech, it’s no surprise that Generative AI naturally claimed the title as the year’s defining trend. As per the official blog post, “Although many features are still in their infancy, they gave users a chance to see, firsthand, the technology in action and come to their own conclusions about the benefits and risks.”
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In a blog post Apple’s CEO Tim Cook expressed his admiration, stating, “It’s inspiring to see the ways developers continue to build incredible apps and games that are redefining the world around us. This year’s winners represent the limitless potential of developers to bring their visions to life, creating apps and games with remarkable ingenuity, exceptional quality, and purpose-driven missions.”
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