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BeReal is named 2022 App of the Year at Apple’s annual App Store Awards

Apple today announced its list of this year’s App Store Award winners and the top list of most downloaded apps and games in both free and paid categories. These awards include apps for all of the company’s platforms, including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV. For 2022, social network app BeReal won the iPhone App of the Year award, while note-taking app GoodNotes 5 won the crown for Best iPad App.

MacFamilyTree 10 by Synium Software GmbH – a visual family tree exploration app – was awarded the best Mac of the year; TelevisaUnivision Interactive’s Vix streaming service has been recognized as a top app for Apple TV for highlighting Spanish language stories; and Gentler Streak, an exercise and fitness tracker by Gentler Stories, won Best Apple Watch App of the Year.

Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends Mobile snagged the title of Best iPhone Game, while XD Network Inc.’s Moncage took home the title of Best iPad Game. Other gaming winners include Devolver’s Inscryption for Mac, HandyGames’ El Hijo for Apple TV, and Studio Drydock’s “Wylde Flowers” for Apple Arcade. Shenzhen Tencent Tianyou Technology’s League of Legends Esports Manager won China App of the Year.

BeReal was a social media hit this year, forcing giants like TikTok and Instagram to ape the format. The France-based company originally launched the app in 2020. But their format of getting a notification at random times of the day to post a front and back camera photo within two minutes became popular this year. For a social app to win Best Crown App this year is a significant departure from the top apps of the past two years, Toca Life World (a kid’s app) and WakeOut!. (a training app). In its awards blog post, Apple described BeReal as an app that offers “an authentic look into the lives of their family and friends.”

“This year’s App Store Awards winners have reimagined our experience with apps that offer fresh, thoughtful, and genuine perspectives,” said CEO Tim Cook in a statement, making meaningful impact and representing the way apps and games shape our communities and ours affect lives.”

Last year Apple had a bonus section called “Apps that brought us together”. As such, a “Cultural Impact” section was introduced this year to recognize some apps that “have made a lasting impact on people’s lives and impacted culture.” The list includes the How We Feel Project’s How We Feel app for signing up for daily emotional check-ins; The Rise-Home Stories Project’s Home Stories Project to highlight stories about systemic housing injustice and its impact on people of color; Locket Labs’ Locket widget allows live photo sharing between friends and family via a home screen widget; Vitalii Mogylevet’s drink-tracking app Waterllama; and ARTE Experiences Inua – A Tale in Ice and Time to explore historical events from the Inuit tradition.

The App Store had a challenging 2022 impacting revenue and regulatory battles. It had to allow developers to use third-party systems for in-app purchases in regions like South Korea and the Netherlands (only for dating apps). The US and EU are also looking at ways to control app distribution monopolies across different app stores. These regulations could force Apple to relax some rules on how it allows app distribution and payments on the App Store.

In March, Apple allowed “reader apps” — apps that give users access to digital content like music, books, and videos — to insert external links so users can create and manage their accounts. In June, the company relaxed some of its rules regarding in-app binary content using HTML5, lottery and donation apps. In October, it cracked down on NFT functionality in apps, blocking developers from using digital collectibles to unlock new features. It also mandated that any NFT purchase system must use Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism and give the company a commission. It also updated its policy to state that it will take a cut for purchasing social media post boosts within the app.
According to industry data, App Store revenue fell 5% due to the global economic downturn. In addition, fluctuating currency prices against the dollar forced Apple to increase App Store prices in several countries in Asia and Europe. Additionally, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has also started a fight with the tech giant, claiming that the iPhone maker “has threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store.”

Apple also published the year’s most downloaded apps and games in free and paid categories. Here are the top apps in the US:

The best free apps

  1. tick tock
  2. YouTube: watch, listen, stream
  3. Whatsapp
  4. Instagram
  5. Google Maps
  6. Google search
  7. Gmail – Email from Google
  8. Be honest
  9. Facebook
  10. cash app

The best paid apps

  1. bag
  2. HotSchedules
  3. The Miracle Weeks
  4. shadow rocket
  5. 75 Hard
  6. AutoSleep Track sleep on the clock
  7. TouchRetouch
  8. FILCA – SLR film camera
  9. SkyView
  10. My Macros+ | Nutrition & Calories

The best free games

  1. World!
  2. Subway surfers
  3. Roblox
  4. trippy boys
  5. color game
  6. Count Masters: Crowd Runner 3D
  7. fish dome
  8. Call of Duty®: Mobile
  9. Parking traffic jam 3D
  10. text or die

The best paid games

  1. Minecraft
  2. Heads up!
  3. Bloons TD6
  4. geometry dash
  5. Monopoly – Classic board game
  6. My child born of life
  7. Five nights at Freddy’s
  8. plague inc
  9. Rovio Classic: AB
  10. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2

Top Apple Arcade Games

  1. NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition
  2. The Oregon Trail
  3. Angry Birds reloaded
  4. Sneaky Sasquatch
  5. Cooking Mama: Kitchen!
  6. Bloons TD 6+
  7. Skate City
  8. Distorted kart racers
  9. Solitaire from MobilityWare+
  10. LEGO® Star Wars™: Castaways

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