Apple just named its favorite apps and games of the year

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

  • Apple announced its apps of the year on Thursday.
  • The picks include two puzzle games and a meditation app.
  • These choices are based at least in part on the merits of the apps, rather than exclusively on downloads.

Meditation, photo editing, and puzzles were the themes of the best apps of the year as determined by Apple employees.

The company on Thursday released its year-end list of top US apps for iPhones and iPads. In addition to publishing the list of the most-downloaded apps and games, Apple also chose an app of the year and a game of the year for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple’s iPhone app of the year is Calm, a health and fitness app that provides soundtracks and guides for meditation, including routines to help you sleep. It’s free, but many of its features are available only through in-app purchases or a subscription.

A screenshot of Calm, the iPhone app of the year.

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A screenshot of Calm, the iPhone app of the year.
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iTunes

Apple’s iPhone game of the year is Splitter Critters, a creative and cute puzzler in which players navigate the game’s two-dimensional world by ripping it apart and pasting it back together. The $3 game features a new augmented-reality mode.

A screenshot of Splitter Critters.

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A screenshot of Splitter Critters.
source
iTunes

The company’s iPad app of the year is Affinity Photo, a professional-level photo-editing suite that can handle uncompressed RAW files and allows you to create an unlimited number of layers. It costs $20.

Apple’s iPad game of the year is The Witness, a beautiful single-person puzzle game. It’s $10.

Apple’s employees determine the apps of the year. Their picks are supposed to be based at least in part on the merits of the apps, rather than on other criteria such as how many downloads they have.

The company determines its top apps on a per-country basis and picked different ones in other countries. You can see the full US list here.