About a week ago, Google unveiled its list of the best Android apps of 2014. This time around, it is Apple's turn. The tech giant has officially announced its list of the best apps of the year for iPhones and iPads, and like Google's list, Apple's picks are editorially chosen to include both popular and not so popular choices.
For its best app of the year for iPhone users, Apple has chosen Elevate Brain Training. Since its release earlier in the year, the Elevate app has been downloaded more than 5 million times. Even though it is a free downloadable app, users will need to pay $5 each month in order to unlock the app's full catalog of brain training games. It is a very well-deserved selection, and just like last year's app of the year winner Duolingo (for learning languages), Elevate Brain Training is as fun as it is educational.
Second on Apple's list of the best iPhone apps is Hyperlapse, the image stabilizing video program developed by Instagram. As for the year's best game for iPhone users, the honor goes to Threes, the $3 puzzle game app that managed to be highly addictive even with the presence of another clone version (albeit not superior) easily available online.
Leading the list of the best apps for iPad users is Pixelmator. Mac users may already be familiar with this app, but with the new iPad Air now sporting faster and more powerful processing speeds, the Pixelmator can now be easily used on an Apple tablet.
For the best game of the year for iPads, Apple has picked Monument Valley, which interestingly also has a version for Android handsets and tablets.
Apple may have some surprising selections for its best apps, but for its music and media list, the choices are less unpredictable, and may even represent what is currently selling on iTunes. For instance, the tech giant has recognized Beyonce as the best artist of 2014, while choosing Taylor Swift's hit record 1989 as the year's best album, and Iggy Azalea's hit single Fancy as the year's best song.
Aside from its list of the best iPhone and iPad apps, Apple also revealed its list of special mentions. These include the Swiftkey Keyboard, the Yahoo News Digest, and quite curiously, Facebook's Paper.
For those who want to know which apps are the most popular or the best-selling, Apple has also published its year-end charts for the most downloaded and highest grossing apps. Not surprisingly, the most downloaded free app for iPhone and iPad users is Facebook Messenger. Well, why wouldn't it be? Facebook has essentially forced everyone to download the app when the social media company separated the Messenger app from the main Facebook app.
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